This was one of the hits of the party and people have been texting and emailing all morning asking for the recipe. It is a great make-ahead appetizer or side dish and will convert any Cauliphobes. A great way of getting kids to munch their way through a pile of veg too. This would be a great side with a curry. Or come to think of it, it would be yummy wrapped in a wholewheat pitta with some mango chutney and a little feta or shredded chicken.
Cauliflower Panko Pakoras with Cilantro Mint Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs), divided
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup club soda (soda water)
2 large egg whites
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
To Make the cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 475°.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 cup panko, the garam masala, baking soda, salt, and remaining spices. Whisk in lemon juice and club soda. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, use a clean whisk to beat egg whites until foamy.
- Whisk whites into flour mixture. Using your hands or a spatula, add cauliflower and combine until all florets are coated.
- Place remaining panko in a medium bowl. Lift florets, 1 at a time, out of batter and toss to coat with panko.
- Place florets on a large nonstick baking sheet coated with oil or parchment paper. Bake until browned and crispy, about 20 minutes.
- While cauliflower bakes, make Cilantro Mint Dipping Sauce.
1 small serrano chile (about 1 inch)
2 cups cilantro (coriander) leaves
½ cup large fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a food processor or blender, pulse chile, cilantro, and mint until reduced in volume by half.
- Add 2 tbsp. water, the oil, lemon juice, honey and salt. Whirl until smooth, adding 1 more tbsp. water if needed.
- Taste and adjust with more lemon juice, honey or salt as needed. You might even need to add more cilantro or mint depending on your preference.