Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A vegetable victory

I made cauliflower pakoras the other week and to my delight they were gobbled up with glee by my son who ordinarily refuses any cauliflower dish. I don't count them as hiding vegetables because if you bite into one, you can see the white cauliflower floret. Just out of interest and to test whether my son had come around to cauliflower, I made a cauliflower cheese this week. My son did not like it!

So, I will be making the pakoras again and in case you want to try them, I am sharing the recipe from River Cottage Veg Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall:

  • 1 medium cauliflower - cut into small florets, discarding nearly all the stalk.
  • Sunflower oil for frying
For the batter:
  • 150g gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • A good shake of cayenne pepper
Make the batter by whisking all the ingredients together, getting rid of any lumps. Slowly whisk in 175ml cold water or a little more if needed until you have a batter the consistency of double cream.

Add the cauliflower florets, turning them in the batter to coat thoroughly.

Heat about 1cm depth of oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Place spoonfuls of the battered cauliflower in the pan, not crowding the pan.

Cook for about 2 mins until crisp and golden on the base and then turn over for another minute or two.
Drain the pakoras on kitchen paper and serve.

Hugh accompanies the recipe with a tamarind raita, which sounds lovely but I skipped it. We ate these as they were but I might dip them in natural yoghurt too.
What vegetable victories have you had with your children, where you have found a way to cook a disliked vegetable in a way your child enjoys it?
photo credit


  1. Oh I have this book! I LOVE it! I also have a Madhur Jaffrey one I bought in a second hand shop which has some amazing recipes. Not tried this recipe yet but I love cauliflour and I love pakoras so i certainly will try it! Although not a vegetarian as such, I'll take vegetarian food over meat dishes any day of the week and meat is eaten less frequently the bigger my repertoire gets (sorry hubby!)

    Have you tried the rosemary polenta with tomato sauce? It's one of the nicest things I've ever eaten.

    Vegetable victories are pretty thin on the ground at the moment. My daughter won't eat anything - even spinach, which only a few weeks ago she loved. Having an absolute nightmare. Still, we keep persisting (and supplementing with vitamin pastilles :/) x

  2. Yes, I love it too. It's definitely my go-to cookbook these days. I will have to try the rosemary polenta, sounds tasty!

    As for the toddlers and vegetables, you win some, you lose some! They can certainly be quite fickle about their tastes.


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