The last time I visited new york, I was lucky enough to literally stumble into a blogger event at an Indian restaurant near Madison Square Park called Junoon. Because I know the secret blogger handshake, I was able to sit at the bar tasting many of their creative cocktails and small bite appetizers. My favorite was a fried cauliflower that was tossed in a sweet and sour sauce. The owner described it to me as Indian-Chinese fusion. When I was attending a party last weekend and needed an alternative app that was also vegetarian, this was the first thing that came to mind.
A quick curry powder.
Saute the onions to brown, then add the ginger, garlic, and curry powder.
Pineapples add a really nice taste to the final sauce.
The whole thing gets pureed after simmering away for awhile.
A quick fry on the cauliflower.
We aren't frying these to make them crispy, the purpose is to cook them and give them that really nice browned cabbage flavor.
Tossed in the sauce and I packed them up to bring to the party.
Yum! Something a little different than what you expect at a casual cocktail party.
The bigger chunks worked great with the toothpicks, but for the pieces that broke up a bit, it was better to put some on a plate and use a fork.
For the sauce: grind to a powder 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon black mustard, 1 teaspoon chile flake, ½ teaspoon ajwain, ½ teaspoon cardamom seed, 2 cloves, and a pinch of cinnamon. Make a paste from 5 cloves of garlic and a few inches of ginger. Cook sliced onions and jalapenos in butter until starting to brown. Add some more butter and toss in the spices and pastes. Cook 2 minutes. Toss in about a half pineapple worth of pineapple chunks, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and about a cup to a cup and a half of vinegar. Simmer for 45 minutes before blending smooth in the food processor. This is enough sauce for 2 heads of cauliflower.
Now just deep fry the cauliflower florets at 375 for about 2 minutes. Do this in small batches or the oil WILL overflow and you will have a fire on your hands. After you put out the fire and vow never to mention this to your roommates, toss the fried cauliflower in the sauce gently so as not to break them into smaller pieces. Serve with a toothpick. This also would taste great over rice.