Friday, May 30, 2008

Fennel-Cauliflower Sauce

This sauce comes from the Indian Fusion Diner, but it is also a great creamy sauce to put on other things such as pasta.

4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 large fennel bulb, or 1 small bulb
1 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/2 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (2 cups)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger juice*
pinch of cayenne pepper

* To make ginger juice grate a piece of ginger and then squeeze juice out of this pulp into a bowl.

Warm 4 teaspoons of oil in a small saucepan. Add the chickpea flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the roux darkens slightly, turning a nutty golden color. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

Toast the fennel seeds in a dry medium skillet until ragrant. Immediately transfer them to a mortal and pestle or a spice grinder and grind to a powder.

Trim off the stalks and any discolored parts of the fennel bulb. Cut it in half and cut out the hard core. Slice it thin lengthwise; you should have about 2 cups.

Warm the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan or pot. Add the onions and sliced fennel and sauté over medium heat for 7 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the ground fennel seeds and sauté for a couple of minutes more. Add the cauliflower and the water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Remove 1/2 cup or so of the hot liquid and pour it into the bowl with the reserved roux. Whisk vigorously to dissolve the roux in the hot water, then pour the dissolved roux back into the pot. Simmer, partially covered, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking, for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft.

Purée the mixture, using an immersion lender, or purée in small batches in a regular blender. (Hold a towel over the top and do not fill the blender more than half full if you are puréeing while the liquid is hot).

Return the sauce to the pot and add salt to taste. Let the sauce sit for a couple of minutes to absorb the salt, then add the lemon juice, ginger juice, and cayenne. Adjust salt if necessary.

recipe from: The Voluptuous Vegan

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