My colleague Purva told me a version of this vegetarian recipe made by her mother, who comes from the Punjabi region of India. Purva says onion, ginger and garlic are the base of Indian cooking. She cautioned me to always add garam masala at the end. Turmeric powder adds a nice yellow color and is reputed to have many health benefits.
To make this a vegan dish, omit the butter.
1 large head cauliflower
4 large Russet potatoes
1 large yellow onion
4 Tb olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 – 2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
2 tsp melted butter (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut cauliflower into florets, and then cut florets in quarters or smaller pieces. Place in an oiled shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 2 Tb olive oil and toss gently. Spread in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes until it begins to brown.
Peel potatoes, slice in half lengthwise, and then slice crosswise thickly. Place in a large pot of boiling water, so that the water covers them by 3 inches, and cook for 25 minutes until soft.
While potatoes and cauliflower are cooking, stir whole mustard seeds in a dry frying pan over medium flame until they begin to pop. Set aside.
Chop onion into small pieces. Sauté in remaining 2 Tb olive oil until soft, and then add minced garlic, and sauté another minute. Stir in mustard seeds, ginger, turmeric, cumin, pepper and salt.
When potatoes are soft, drain, and then mash with a potato masher in the big pot.
Add the cauliflower mixture to the potatoes and stir until well combined.
Stir in melted butter and garam masala, and adjust salt.