This dish is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into something of a Thai curry which always has chili and ginger. Chilies were introduced to Thai cooking during the late 1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for them while serving in South America. The overpowering chili spice is toned down in this dish with yoghurt and enhanced with fresh ginger and scallions.
2 cauliflower florets, divided into small florets
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
4 cloves garlic
2 inch piece fresh root ginger
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound large button mushrooms, sliced
1 small chili (seeds removed)
¼ cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cilantro (coriander)
½ teaspoon salt
12 ounces of plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mango chutney (or any other of your choice)
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish
1. In a large stock pot, simmer cauliflower after reaching a boil in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In food processor, puree scallions, ginger and garlic with 2 tablespoons of water.
3. Heat half of the oil in a frying pan and toss mushrooms and pureed mixture to sauté for 5 minutes or until browned.
4. Remove from pan, pour remaining oil and add tomato puree, ground coriander, salt, chili, chili powder and fry for a few minutes.
5. Add yogurt and stir well, bringing to a simmer. Once simmering add the chutney and whisk to blend and emulsify the ingredients together.
6 6. After 5 minutes, add cauliflower and mushrooms and gently simmer 10 minutes more. When done, garnish with cilantro and serve.