Cauliflower Korma & My Next Big Project

So, last week Aaron and I laid out a backward plan in which for me to complete the chapter drafts of my next book on Gemmotherapy for Babies and Young Children. By all estimations, it’s a pretty rigorous schedule. But, then again, that’s how I seem to function at my best. When we wrapped up the plan, Aaron asked if it wasn’t a bit much to fit my blog writing in as well and, even I had to admit, there just wasn’t much space left for any further creative endeavors even if it was a short blog post each week. I said I’d think about it this weekend and get back with her.

This leads me to the most beautiful spring writing day that could exist for an Austin author. Overnight, the temps dropped by 20 degrees and I woke to a soft steady rain. Perfect! My absolute favorite writing weather. No distractions in sight beckoning me outdoors for an extra long swim or some re-potting in my herb garden. Here I had a whole gorgeous gray day ahead and three chapters open in Google Docs.

Off I push through one page turning chapter after another, topics ranging from acid reflux to blow out stools. It’s the stuff I dreamed of writing about as editor of my high school newspaper, destined to partner in the next Woodward and Bernstein reporting team… OK, maybe not so much.

Regardless, it certainly seems to be what the Universe has called me to do and there is no doubt I am passionate to share what I’ve come to know with parents, grandparents, and caregivers of the next generation. So, with a beautiful rain falling outside and Ruby the office cat nearby, I find myself two chapters in and take a well deserved tea break. What happens to catch my eye? Meera Sodha’s, Fresh India on my waiting room table. Hmmm, I’ll just take a peek while my tea brews. I mean isn’t this the ideal weather for Indian food bubbling away on the stove top?

Before I know it, I’ve assembled across my counter all of the ingredients for Cauliflower Korma with blackened raisins, Moong Dal Tarka, and Grain free nan. What could taste better on a day like this? Seriously?

Well, now is where the bargaining comes in because that is every artist/ writer’s curse. It’s a well honed skill I must say and this is the deal I make with myself: Finalize the two chapters I blocked out in the morning and lay out the content for the next one, then I can at least get that Cauliflower in the oven. The. rest. can. wait. But somehow it doesn’t.

One pan of sizzling coconut oil with turmeric and shallots leads to another of blistering raisins. The kitchen smells divine by the way. And then it comes to me! “Brilliant” I say out loud to no one but the inattentive cauliflower. But of course, I will write my blog, these upcoming weeks, on all that I choose to do instead of writing, because trust me: This is good stuff! If you are or live with a writer, artist, creative soul, etc. then you know exactly what I mean. Set a deadline and everything you haven’t done all year starts to get done. For me, this is the time when I organize and sort my closet by color, stage my pantry as if I’m preparing it for a photo shoot, plant 8 types of basil, and cook really amazing meals. Steven Pressfield may call what I am doing resistance. I call it enriching my creative spirit, or something more or less like that.

So aren’t you curious now about that Cauliflower Korma? I knew you would be! Here you go, my adapted version:

2 large cauliflower heads, cut into florets
Coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 inch of ginger, grated
¾ tsp of ground cardamom or ground seeds from 8 pods
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chili powder
2 Tbl honey
1.5 cups of raw cashews, soaked in 1 can of coconut milk
Handful of golden raisins, toasted in frying pan on medium heat until puffed and begin to blackened
Handful of chopped almonds, toasted in frying pan until light in color over medium heat

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Toss cauliflower florets with coconut oil and salt, spreading out in one layer on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
3. Bake for 30 minutes until edges begin to color and single pieces can be pierced with a fork.

While cauliflower bakes,
4. Saute onion in 3 Tbl of coconut oil with a sprinkle of salt, cooking until soft for 15 minutes on medium heat.
5. Add grated ginger and spices stirring further for 3-5 minutes.
6. Blend coconut milk and cashews in high speed blender until smooth, add to spices, salting to taste.
6. Cook sauce another 5-10 minutes until golden in color. Thin with more coconut milk if desired.
7. Add cooked cauliflower as it finishes roasting, stirring well to blend flavors.
8. Transfer to serving dish and top with raisins and almonds.

Stay tuned for next week’s update. It will be cause for celebration if I am on schedule AND I’ve opened up my own test kitchen!

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