In college, I was lucky enough to be exposed to so many wonderful cuisines and new ways of cooking. It is much of what inspires me to cook and adapt recipes today. The way I eat now can sometimes be isolating, but I am so grateful eating isn’t a physically painful experience for me anymore. We all had colds over New Years, and I found this really delicious sounding bowl recipe, that I just had to make – bonus, I could eat Indian food and not get sick! The recipe is a little complicated, only because there are three components, but in total it took about an hour to prepare, and we have enough leftovers for 2 more meals. Also, the flavors are amazing!
Banquet Bowls with Cauliflower Pilaf, Dhal, and Scallion Cucumber Raita
adapted from Whole Bowls – Complete Gluten-free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day
For the Cauliflower Pilaf
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 medium sized sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (I used jarred minced ginger from Ginger People)
1 tbsp curry powder (mild)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
1 3/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 small head cauliflower, cut into very small pieces (the bigger the pieces, the longer it will take to cook)
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
For the Dhal
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups red lentils, rinsed well and drained
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sea salt
For the Scallion Cucumber Raita
1 cup diced English cucumber
1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt* (I used So Delicious brand – 1/2 cup is one small container’s worth)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
MAKE AHEAD TIP
Cauliflower Pilaf – 2 days
Scallion Cucumber Raita – 3 days
Dhal – 1 week
For the Cauliflower Pilaf – In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium. Add onion, garlic, ginger, spices, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add rice, stirring constantly to toast, about 2 minutes. Add water and lemon juice, continuing to stir. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer, about 45 -60 minutes. [TIP – Set the timer to 30 minutes, and check on rice to see if you need to add more water, cover and simmer for another 7 minutes. Keep doing this until the rice looks puffed up.] When rice is cooked, add caulilflower, and cover another 10-15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender. You may need to add more water to achieve this. OPTIONAL – Turn off heat, and fold in cilantro.
For the Dhal – Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often. It will look like a little soupy, and you can cook down further if you want it a little thicker. It will have a beautiful golden color.
For the Scallion Cucumber Raita – Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer to a covered container and keep refrigerated until serving. *You can sub 3/4 cup greek yogurt for 1/2 cup coconut yogurt, if dairy isn’t an issue for you.
In a shallow bowl, place about 1 cup of the Dhal, with about 1 cup of the Cauliflower Pilaf next to it. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the Scallion Cucumber Raita next to these. Sprinkle a little cilantro over all of it and enjoy. The flavors taste great eaten together in one bite or separately.
Place the portions listed above of the Dhal and Cauliflower Pilaf in a bowl and heat up in the microwave. Garnish with the Scallion Cucumber Raita.