Cauliflower Stirfry

Cauliflower is a 'must buy' veggie in our shopping list.Even if there is one sitting in the refrigerator,I would pick another one!!There are so many dishes that can be prepared with this nutritious veggie but the easiest one is what I am going to send for JFI Cauliflower hosted in Mythreyee blog.Jhiva For Ingredients,fondly known as JFI,is an online monthly food event, celebrating the Ingredients and was started by Indira ....

This is a fairly simple dish that goes well with rice or chapathi.

You need:

Cauliflower -1 large head, cut into big florets
Tomato-1, chopped
Onion-1, chopped
Ginger garlic paste-1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds/ jeera -1 teaspoon
Mustard-1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder -a pinch
Chilli powder -1 teaspoon
Garam masala -1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil-1 tablespoon
Coriander leaves to garnish

  1. Soak the florets in salted water for 10 minutes.[1 tablespoon salt for a big bowl of water.This is said to kill the worms,if any].
  2. Meanwhile,heat oil in a pan and put in mustard and jeera.
  3. When the mustard splutters,add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Then add the onion and cook till soft.
  5. Put in the tomatoes and cook till mushy.
  6. Add salt,turmeric powder,chilli powder and garam masala.
  7. Cook till the raw smell of the masala disappears.
  8. Rinse and drain the cauliflower and put into the pan.
  9. Sprinkle water and mix well.
  10. Cover and cook till the florets are soft stirring occasionally.Don't stir too much else the florets will break to tiny pieces.Sprinkle more water if needed.
  11. Once cooked remove from heat,garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
[What I generally do is,microwave the florets till almost tender and add to the pan after the tomatoes are mushy.Just toss them a bit and cook for 2 minutes and the stir fry is ready really quick....]

Points to ponder:
Cauliflower is a member of Brassica family and possesses a high nutrient density.It is low in fat and high in dietary fiber,folate and Vitamin C.Folate helps the blood work more efficiently and is often recommended for preventing anemia. Folate is also essential for proper tissue growth .When u get enough of this u are preventing many diseases like cancer and heart disease.Vitamin C is an antioxidant. When used with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta carotene, it keeps our immune system strong.
It is also high in Manganese,potassium,Sodium,Phosphorus,Thiamine,Pantothenic acid,Riboflavin and Vitamin B6.
It has several Phytochemicals that are valuable to human health.It contains an anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane.It is interesting to note that this compound is released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. Another compound called inole-3-carbinol,has anti oestrogen properties which slows/prevents the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate.Apart from these it also has other glucosinolates which improves the livers ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances.

Knowing the nutritional importance of Cauliflower alone is not enough.Purchasing a good one is also essential as we can ascertain that these nutrients are available to the body.Cauliflower with a white head is one thing to look for.The florets should be tightly packed.If the florets have brown spots,it means the veggie is losing its nutrition.
The leaves surrounding the cauliflower is another thing to pay attention to.These “jacket leaves” should be green and fresh looking,and not yellowing or withering.
Cooking or rather not cooking also determines the nutritive value of cauliflower.The nutritional peak is when it is served raw but if we can't consume it raw,it can be lightly steamed.Overcooking destroys the anti cancer properties and also ruins the flavor and texture.Steaming and blanching are the best methods to preserve the most flavor and nutrition.
The best storage method is to wrap in crisper section and use within a week of purchase..

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