I think one of the biggest surprises I got when I turned vegetarian was just how much quicker things took to cook. Outside of the larger dried pulses, the trick is to not overcook the vegetables rather than worry about them being undercooked.
A prime example is this cauliflower curry. If you’d suggested cooking a curry as a midweek evening meal I would have laughed at you, but you can get this one from chopping board to plate in half an hour. It’s also a waste-not-want-not dish as it uses the cauliflower leaves as well as the florets. The cauliflower is the only fresh ingredient (apart from the onion, garlic and ginger and I assume most people keep those in the fridge as a constant). Am I selling this to you yet? – it tastes great as well!
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 red onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
400g tin of tomatoes
1 small-medium cauliflower florets separated
leaves from cauliflower, shredded
100g frozen peas
1 tsp black onion seeds
Fresh chopped coriander for garnish
Heat some oil in a saucepan, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry until the onion has turned golden brown.
Add the fennel, cumin, coriander, chilli and turmeric and stir for a minute or so.
Then add the tomatoes and the cauliflower.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cauliflower leaves, peas and black onion seeds.
Season with salt.
If the mixture is looking a little dry at this point add a splash or two of boiling water.
Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender.
Serve with the chopped coriander as a garnish.