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Cauliflower Saute with Indian Seasonings

The cumin and mustard seeds are cooked in very hot oil until they pop; this classic Indian cooking technique releases their flavors.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1999


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 large jalapeno or hot green chile pepper, seeds removed, minced, plus 1 small jalapeno or green chile pepper, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 10 ounces cauliflower florets, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toast cumin seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until aromatic, about 2 minutes, shaking pan to avoid burning. Set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. When oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds; after a few seconds the seeds will pop. Immediately add the chiles and the sliced cauliflower; saute, stirring often to keep from burning, until just tender and golden brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. The cauliflower should be al dente, tender but with some texture, not soft.

  3. Stir in chopped cilantro just before removing mixture from pan. Drizzle with lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chile slices and cilantro leaves. The saute is best served right away.

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