When my daughter’s doctor prescribed very bland food (for an Indian) as part of her treatment for a gastric condition, I looked around for a preparation that would be easy to digest and provide very good quality protein. I found that she was able to tolerate cauliflower, eggs, and cheese. I also love cauliflower and cheese and found recipes for the elaborate cauliflower au gratin, but I wanted something simpler. The Complete Australian Cookbook in my personal library gave me a recipe for cauliflower and cheese. I modified the recipe using some features from the au gratin and made the measurements of the ingredients easier. I also omitted the heating of the cheese with the white sauce because of the stringy texture it gives. Instead I sprinkled the cheese on top, and it not only gave a beautiful colour, but also a delicious aroma while baking.
Though we’re past the Spring Equinox, good quality cauliflower is still available. The tomatoes are also luscious. In Tamil Nadu, cauliflower is rarely combined with prawns, so I decided to experiment combining the two with tomatoes. The crisp texture of the fried prawns and the turgor of cauliflower add an interesting mouthfeel to the dish.
Cauliflower and Unripe Papaya Pickle is not only a ‘pickle’ but also a kind of relish, and even a vegetable curry, at least my daughter and I treat it so. I thought I would post this now that cauliflower is in season in Chennai. Though unripe papaya is not usually available in the market, you could always ask your vegetable vendor to get you one. Unripe papaya is also known as green papaya.
My aunt Cynthia was always introducing new recipes to the family. This is another one of her innovations. We used to look forward to this preparation from January onwards when good quality cauliflower floods the market. This year it has been a bit late in coming – I have found good cauliflower only now in Chennai. The egg-coated cauliflower makes a wonderful side dish. It is a semi exotic preparation as it is both unusual and seasonal. I have added ginger garlic paste to the beaten egg to introduce some variety to the flavour. This dish was very popular with my colleagues who asked me for the recipe and prepared it often at home for their families.