A Taste of India


Wow. Just wow. I’m still shaking my head over what happened in our house tonight.

I love Indian food and often make the ‘heat-and-eat’ cans of Saag Paneer, Chana Masala, and Vegetable Korma.  You know — the kind you can get in the grocery store International aisle. They’re great for nights when my husband is working late, the kids have had an easy chicken nugget night, and the only person left to feed is myself. 

We’ve taken the kids out for Indian food before, but it’s been a while. Honestly, I don’t think they remember it. 

So tonight, I had a bottle of Butter Chicken simmer sauce in the pantry and decided — it’s go time!  Time to try this on the kids! 


I made Butter Chicken (no recipe here, since I just browned the chicken and poured the sauce into the pan), and boiled some jasmine rice. Delicious and comforting on a chilly, rainy, fall night. But I wanted to try my hand at making a side dish, and here’s what I came up with:

Curried Cauliflower

ImageWhen I found cauliflower in our refrigerator, I turned to Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness‘s book “Indian Home Cooking” for inspiration. They have a recipe for “Cauliflower in a Piquant Tomato Sauce” that looks delicious, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients. So I improvised and came up with this:


  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 fresh diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Get to work: 

  1. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle with cumin and garam masala. Saute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and cilantro.  Cook through.
  4. This takes a total time of about 10 minutes.

The results: 

  • My 3-year-old CLEARED her plate!!! I had to take a picture of it to believe it myself! 
  • ImageMy 5-year-old cleaned his plate and asked for seconds!!! 
  • My 7-year-old liked the Butter Chicken and the jasmine rice (even though earlier in the night he told me he’s ‘not really a fan of Indian food.’)  He really liked the cauliflower, but didn’t like the tomatoes in it.  I think he had a problem with the texture of them.
  • My husband liked the whole meal and asked me to make it all again. But I think the next time, I’ll go all out and make butter chicken from scratch.  (The Saran/Lyness cookbook has a recipe that looks really good and is not terribly complicated.) 

It just goes to show how surprising meals can be in our house.  🙂

Happy eatings!! 


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