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Cauliflower Tabbouleh

The last two years would have made you believe that it doesn’t rain enough in Mumbai for the months from June to September to be called ‘monsoon’. It’s been a slightly delayed start to the season this time, but it’s such a relief to hear thunder as I type this. Growing up in Mumbai, the pre-monsoon showers would arrive close to the end of May, making the beginning of the school year in June, a rain-soaked one.

But unlike a lot of schools, I can recall just two days of ‘rain holidays’ in the span of seven years of school-life in Mumbai. My school, just a stone’s throw away from home, sat atop a little hill, so the property never got flooded. It wasn’t until I got to college that such holidays became frequent. And progressively, every year, I saw the situation getting worse in the city. The area around our house now turns into a whirlpool with anything more than a drizzle. As much as I love the rains, my anxiety starts building up towards the end of May. Will we be rained-in without enough food? How will I step out to buy things I might need urgently? What if I have to wade through knee-deep water? While I do stock up a bit, given that we’re also blessed with a legendary space-crunch, ordering online has become a bit of a saviour. Because when it comes to buying gourmet or imported products, it’s so much easier to buy them online than run to different parts of the city. Do you face this too? Not everything is available under one roof, right? It’s just so much easier to buy imported products online from a site like Big Basket. Like I usually make vanilla extract at home, but had completely forgotten to make a spare batch, only to realize I didn’t have enough time to make it and ended up buying it from here because I really can’t use vanilla ‘essence’!

Weather ramblings aside, the recipe I’m sharing today is one for Cauliflower ‘Tabbouleh’, my spin on this classic Middle-Eastern salad that traditionally uses bulgur wheat or sometimes even couscous. Cauliflower ‘rice’ is one of those internet recipes that’s showed up as a replacement for rice just as is, slightly toasted or cooked up as ‘fried rice’. But you’ve been here long enough to know that I like my own spin on things. So I’ve used the ‘pulsed’ (you can even grate it) cauliflower florets to make this Salad. The true test for this recipe was when my veggie-hating brother tucked into it. I think the secret lies in gently toasting the cauliflower grains in some Olive Oil. I have a video of this recipe for you guys too!

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Cauliflower Tabbouleh or Tabouli
 My spin on this classic Middle Eastern salad, is with Cauliflower grains instead of Bulgar or couscous. Cauliflower 'rice' has been a trending recipe on the internet for the last few years, with many even making cauliflower fried 'rice'. This is an innovative cauliflower recipe, perfect if you're on a paleo diet, vegetarian or vegan. My version uses cauliflower 'florets' or 'grains' in a manner that even veggie haters and picky eaters will be surprised with and love!
Course salad
Cuisine arabic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Servings
serves
Ingredients
Course salad
Cuisine arabic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Servings
serves
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil & lemon juice. Add the minced garlic, cumin powder and a dash of salt and whisk together to combine. Add the sliced onions and let them soak in this dressing. This will take away the 'raw flavour' of the onions and stinky breath problems.
  2. Add the chopped parsley (use curly or flat-leaf), mint & sliced cherry tomatoes and stir them into the dressing.
  3. Use a box grater or food processor (on pulse mode) to make grains of cauliflower florets (discard the thick stem).
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sautee the cauliflowers grains until lightly toasted. Quickly add the warm cauliflower grains to the dressing mixture and toss through to combine completely. Add salt to taste. The warm cauliflower will bring alive the flavours of the dressing. Let this rest for some time as the flavours will develop further. I usually serve this cold or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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