January 30, 2012 (Bu yazıyı Türkçe okuyun)
It's been ages since I posted this recipe to my Turkish blog. In the original English draft I prepared weeks ago, I was aiming to condemn food prejudice and discuss how our childhood experiences with food shape our preferences; a topic that sounds boring to me as well as irrelevant considering today’s personal circumstances. Now instead of that, I can write a typical eulogy I always love writing when it comes to family recipes but time wore out my enthusiasm to do that too. Let me give you the bottom line of what I was intending to say and stop depriving you of this recipe that can be very handy for the rest of winter:
Even if cauliflower is not your thing, this recipe from Tarsus, a town in Southern Turkey where my grandmother grew up, is very likely to change your mind. Give it a chance. Please.
Sour Fried Cauliflower and Potatoes
- 1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
- 3 medium size potatoes, peeled and washed
- 1 cup flour
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, mashed
- a handful of fresh parsley, minced
- a handful of fresh mint leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper paste or tomato paste
- juice of 1 lemon
- sunflower oil and olive oil for frying
For the cauliflower:
1) Slice potatoes in stripes and rest them in a bowl of water until you get everything else ready.
2) Combine garlic, red pepper paste and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir to obtain a paste. Add parsley, mint leaves, spring onions and 3 tablespoons water. Season to taste.
3) Boil cauliflower in salted water for ten minutes. Drain and pass under cold water, drain again.
4) Heat 1 cm/0.5 inch of sunflower oil and a couple of glugs of olive oil in a medium size frying pan. Oil should be just as deep as a finger's thickness. Sprinkle cauliflowers with salt and coat them thoroughly with flour in a bowl and shake to remove excess. Fry them in batches, over high heat, each side approximately 3 minutes, until light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer onto a paper towel.
5) When cauliflowers are ready, heat 10-12 cm/4-5 inches of sunflower oil and a couple of glugs of olive oil in a deep frying pan. Drain and dry potatoes with a clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle them with salt. Fry them over medium high heat until they are golden. Stir occasionally. Place them on a paper towel to drain.
Finally, combine fried cauliflowers and potatoes in a flat dish and pour over the sauce. Best when served warm. Yogurt on the side is highly recommended. Wow.