Essential Indian Vegetables: Cauliflower With Asafetida and Cumin

Madhur Jaffrey

Lesson time 11:59 min

Indian vegetarian food is among the best in the world. Here, Madhur shares a hearty cauliflower dish with cumin and asafetida. Using an okra dish and an eggplant bharta, she walks you through the various types of vegetables in Indian cuisine.

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Topics include: Madhur’s Vegetable Dishes


[MUSIC PLAYING] MADHUR JAFFREY: Indians make absolutely amazing vegetarian food. I think it's the best in the world, because it has such variety. Whatever vegetables you choose to eat, just remember that there are dozens and dozens of ways of making them. This is our vegetable chapter. I'm going to make a whole lot of vegetables and show you a whole lot of vegetables. We eat, really, I would say thousands of vegetables that seem to be in India. Some are Indian, like the eggplant, which is originated in India. And there are lots of squashes that originated in India. And some came to us from other countries. For example, cauliflower is not an Indian vegetable. It came from the West, and we eat a lot of it. But let me first show you how we use the vegetable itself. Now, you have a whole head of cauliflower. You break it off wherever the stem is, and you cut it into smaller florets, like this. Now, this is quite large. So what I'm going to do further is I'm going to cut it even smaller, and there's a technique to doing it. So you want about 1 and 1/2 inches at the top, so you cut up to this point, and then you pull, so you're not cutting the rest of it. And the rest of it has a more natural look to it, and I've done it for all the cauliflower here. So we have smaller pieces that are about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter. And I'm going to cook this cauliflower with potatoes, which is a particular favorite in India. [BURNER CLICKING] So I have it on medium. I'm going to let it heat up, put a little oil in it, because I need to brown it slightly. But I'll let this oil heat. See those spices that I'm going to use slightly later. So I have cumin. I'm going to put them all in a little bowl, because I'm going to put them in all at the same time-- cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder. I'm going to put them all in here. And now my oil is heating, so what do I put in the oil? I put two things that I absolutely love in the taste of Indian food-- asafetida, a truffle-like taste, and I will put that into my hot oil. And it should sizzle. OK, and I will put the cumin seeds and leave them to sizzle a little as well. So now I'm going to put in all my cauliflower and my boiled potatoes. And I'm going to stir and fry them 'til they are nicely browned on all sides. Then this is going to take its own sweet time, because you can't hurry the process. So this is, perhaps, a very good time to talk about Indian vegetables and non-Indian vegetables and Indian vegetarian food. So let me tell you, first of all, that Indians make absolutely amazing vegetarian food. I think it's the best in the world, because it has such variety. There are bean dishes. There are vegetable dishes. There are dishes that are made with different grains, like millet. You don't miss the meat at all. You don't think about the meat. You are so satisfied with the taste and the fullness and the completeness of the vegetarian meal, that you don't want an...

About the Instructor

With more than 30 award-winning cookbooks and a James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame Award, Madhur Jaffrey may be the greatest living authority on Indian cuisine. Now she shares those vast and storied traditions with you. Learn 30 authentic recipes: vegetables, breads, South Asian meats, street foods, and more. Blend and layer spices and bring it all together—from the perfect bite to full menus of vibrant flavor.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Madhur Jaffrey

7x James Beard Award winner Madhur Jaffrey teaches you 30 authentic recipes and shares India’s vast culinary traditions and techniques.

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