Hello beautiful friends!
In honor of Diwali this Thursday, October 19th, I will be posting a new Indian recipe throughout the week! Today’s recipe is…
Tamarind Curried Cauliflower + Cucumber Raita
This recipe makes a PERFECT side dish or appetizer for any upcoming Diwali dinner, a quick, filling lunch, or even as a filling in a wrap (throw in some more salad veggies and avocado)!
So, a little bit about Diwali:
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an Indian holiday celebrated by many faiths including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. While each religion has their own perspective behind the occassion, they all share the common commemoration of victory of good over evil, and start of a new year.
On this day, we decorate our homes with many deevos (lamps), create beautiful designs with rangoli (basically, next level chalk art), dress up in traditional Indian attire, spend time with family, and eat a lot delicious food including mithai (Indian sweets–here is a healthy version mithai hack)!
In Jainism, Diwali signifies the anniversary of Lord Mahavir’s (the 24th Thirthankar) attainment of nirvana, or moksha (i.e. liberation from the cycle of reincarnation). Apart from the colorful celebrations with dinners and family parties, Jains use this day to reflect on Lord Mahavir’s teachings through prayer, charity, meditations, and fasting.
Lord Mahavir’s teachings are universal lessons that people of any faith may relate to:
- ahimsa (non-violence) towards all living beings and in interpersonal relationships
- aparigraha (non-possessiveness): detachment from material things and avoidance of greed
- anekantvada (multiplicity of views): accepting relativism and pluralism as truth and reality are perceived differently from various viewpoints, and no one point of view is the complete truth
For those celebrating this holiday, I hope that you try some of these dishes at your family dinners and Diwali party celebrations!
Tamarind Curried Cauliflower + Cucumber Raita:
So why eat cauliflower? Well, this power-packed cruciferous veggie provides so many benefits including:
- Reduces risk of cancer
- Preserves eye health
- Inflammation fighter
- Replenishes Vitamin C and Vitamin K
- Keeps your gut moving with digestion and detoxification
- Helps you lose weight and helps balance hormones
For the Tamarind Curried Cauliflower: (makes 2 servings)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 lemon or lime juice
- 2-3 tbsp tamarind-date chutney (I use this one)
- 1 tsp paprika (or red chilli if you want it spicier)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried ginger* (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Shredded unsweetened coconut for garnish (optional)
- Salt and Black pepper to taste
Drizzle olive oil in a pan and heat on medium flame. Add cauliflower florets and sautee for 5-10 minutes until tender. Mix in lemon juice and spices and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve hot with chopped cilantro and shredded coconut as garnish!
*Dried ginger is permitted in the Jain diet for medicinal properties
How delicious does that look!? A little sweet. A little tart. A little spicy. So goooooood!
For the Cucumber Raita: (makes 2 servings)
- 2 cups plain or vegan yogurt (non-fat)
- 1-2 persian cucumbers, grated
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro or mint (or combo)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin (or whole cumin seeds)
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika or red chilli (optional)
Grate cucumber into a bowl. Mix in plain yogurt. Add salt, cilantro/mint, cumin, and pinch of red chili. Stir and serve as a dip with the cauliflower!