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Curried Cauliflower Gratin

 
This dish can be prepared the day before and cooked to serve or cooked ahead and briefly reheated. This recipe is also great with potatoes or carrots in place of the cauliflower.
Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of leaves and stem
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
5 tablespoons minced shallot (1 large)
2 teaspoons best curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 pinches ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping:

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ cup Panko or breadcrumbs (or 50/50 breadcrumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
cup GARNISH: ½ minced fresh cilantro

Procedure:

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 400° F. Butter an 8x8-inch baking dish and set aside.

Step 2 Steam the whole cauliflower until tender but not soggy (about 15 minutes). Cool and slice the cauliflower horizontally.

Step 3 Heat the peanut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, shallot, and garlic; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the dry spices and sauté until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to cook, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk and salt and cook at a simmer, stirring, about 3 to 5 minutes (until thickened).

Step 4 Layer the cauliflower slices and curry cream in the prepared baking dish.

Step 5
Sprinkle the cumin seeds and breadcrumbs over the cauliflower and curry cream. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Step 6
Sprinkle the finished dish with the minced cilantro and serve.

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