Before I left my parents’ house over spring break, I made sure to copy down a recipe from a great book they had about dips. The recipe, called Dip Into India, was for a curry-cauliflower dip. I wrote down each ingredient and step of the recipe, and then as usual, I changed it as soon as I got in the kitchen.
The main change was the spice. The book calls for curry powder, but I wanted to use individual spices so I could better control the flavors, and so each taste would be more pronounced. I toasted and ground whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek, cardamom and other spices.
My other addition was lemon juice, which I am surprised the recipe didn’t call for in the first place.
I liked the dip a lot. It’s great with pita chips, which were a process to make all from scratch, but at least I didn’t feel ripped off by the prices they charge for tiny bags of pita chips in the grocery store.
The cauliflower dip actually makes a good hot or cold side dish, too. When I was out of chips, I finished it off with a fork.
Curry Cauliflower “Dip into India”
Adapted from Delicious Dips
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley (Italian parsley)
- Curry powder or your own blend — I used small amounts of cumin, coriander, cardamom, fenugreek and turmeric. I didn't use a recipe, but this might help if you're unsure.
- Dash of nutmeg
- Dash or two of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh lemon juice (my addition)
In a large pot, bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower, partially cover pot, then bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain completely and transfer to a bowl.
In a small pan, saute onion in olive oil
over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder blend, 1 tablespoon of sugar and salt and pepper. Saute another 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Mash cauliflower into small pieces with a fork. Add onion mixture and stir with rubber spatula to combine. Add yogurt, sour cream, Italian parsley, nutmeg, cayenne and juice from half a lemon. Taste and adjust as necessary. I thought it was a little bland at first so I added more of my curry powder blend, salt and pepper. Don't skimp on the parsley either. I know it seems optional sometimes, but it really adds something here.
The dip can be made up to two days in advance, and it actually stayed good for at least a week. Serve at room temperature with pita chips, or even as a hot or cold side dish.
I started by making pita bread according to Brown Eyed Baker. Alternatively, you can use store-bought pita.
Slice cooked pita into chip-sized wedges. Spread on a cookie sheet. Brush or toss with good extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake at 350 until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. I've since read that you can do this at higher heat or even under the broiler much faster. I just went with what the Delicious Dips book said.