Fall Fest: Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes

Quick, veggie main dish: Bal's Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes.

Fall Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

Looking for a quick, meatless weeknight meal that isn’t PB&J? Of course you are. As temperatures outside decrease, our desire for warm, comforting foods increases. But time spent in the kitchen and waistlines needn’t increase as well. Spice Goddess Bal Arneson’s Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes is a quick, healthy Indian main dish that will warm you up and fill you up. It’s perfectly spiced without being spicy (though heat-lovers might choose to saute some jalapenos along with the onions in the recipe), and if you can manage to save any, the leftovers are great for lunch the next day, or for breakfast served alongside a fried egg.

Clockwise from the top: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, tumeric powder.

The spices you’ll need for this recipe are basics found in an Indian pantry: tumeric, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. They’re best purchased in small amounts from a spice market, Indian grocery or store with a high turnover of spices so you know they’re fresh (beware of exotic spices from a supermarket that sells few items like this; the goods might have been sitting on a shelf for months). The spices are cooked with some minced onion and fresh ginger, and then some tomatoes, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. The result is as savory as it is simple; an Indian main dish that takes minimal prep and requires very few exotic spices — ones you may have on hand or are easily obtained.

It'll taste like you slaved, but this dish only takes a few minutes in the pan.

Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes

Recipe courtesy Bal Arneson

Yield: 4 servings


2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tomato, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets


Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, and salt and toast for 15 seconds and then add the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook until the cauliflower is crisp- tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Give it a try. Save the PB&J for another night.

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