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Old 11-18-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
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Question ISO "North African" mystery cauliflower dish

A friend of mine was asking me about this dish a coworker of hers had made. She told me the lady claimed to be from North Africa, and the dish was made with cauliflower. That's about all she remembers other than it was good and she wanted more. I was thinking maybe it had curry in it, but she says she doesnt even remember what it tasted like.
I know this isnt much to go on. I have asked her to describe taste, texture,even consistancy, but it was years ago when she tried this dish. There was no meat or other identifiable ingredients.
Not alot to go on, i know, but i am willing to try almost any suggestion to recreate the dish, as long as it isnt the same secret ingredient in yellow snow. I made that once

I know with all the awesome cullinary minds in this forum someone has to come up with something. Thanks guys, and gals :)

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Old 11-18-2006, 09:59 AM   #2
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Since you were not able to give more detailed information about the dish you have in mind, here is a Moroccan recipe that might be the one you are looking for or a close equivalent:

CAULIFLOWER WITH TOMATOES AND CUMIN

Ingredients:
30ml/2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
5ml/1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of ground ginger
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered
15-30ml/1-2 tbsps lemon juice
30ml/2 tbsps fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
3/4 cup water

Method:
1. Saute onion in hot oil then add garlic. Stir in cauliflower and fry for a while before adding cumin seeds and ginger. Lastly add tomatoes, cup water, salt and pepper.
2. Once it starts to boil, cover the pan and continue to simmer until cauliflower is soft.
3. If using lemon juice and coriander, add them just before dishing it out.
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:27 AM   #3
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Thanks Boufa!

We arent sure if that is it, but it does sound very good. I would be willing to give it a try.

I am not familiar with cumin in a seed form, I have used ground cumin before. Could/ should I use the gound cumin or the whole seeds and if I use ground how should I adjust the amount?
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:30 PM   #4
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If you do not have cumin seeds, replace it with 1/2 tsp of cumin powder. Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:59 PM   #5
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Humm ... couldn't ask for a more specific description than that! One ingredient, one broad geographical region, no remembrance of anything about the dish other than "it was good" ... yep, that should be easy to nail down.

You might check out some of these North African cauliflower recipes.
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Humm ... couldn't ask for a more specific description than that! One ingredient, one broad geographical region, no remembrance of anything about the dish other than "it was good" ... yep, that should be easy to nail down.

You might check out some of these North African cauliflower recipes.
Amazing sense of sarcasm! Almost sounds like me. I am impressed.
I really did ask all those questions, like was it sweet, spicy, even if she remembered what it smelled like. I was thinking that if she smelled a random yellow spice from the ol spice rack I would have a clue what might have been in this mystery dish. The facts supplied are the facts I was given to work with. When faced with a challenge this tough I have no choice other than to consult with (dum dum dum!!) THE D.C.FORUM!

You guys haven't failed me yet, so lets concentrate all our telepathic powers and I am sure we will get it right, or go through alot of cauliflower trying
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:42 PM   #7
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Actually ... I wasn't trying to be sarcastic Bubba. I was merely pointing out the obvious ... we have no more to go on than you do. Your friend only remembers that the dish was made with cauliflower, it was good, and the person who made it was from North Africa (which doesn't automatically mean it was a North African recipe ... nor does it narrow down which area of North Africa she may have been from, coastal or inland - or where the recipe may have originated). Foods do have a way of migrating from one culture to another ... so the dish might have actually been French, English, Spanish, Greek, Italian or Moorish.

I did give you a link to a Google search of North African cauliflour recipes. Based on the information that you supplied in your first post (which is what I was going by) can you say that one of the recipes I provided a link to isn't the right one?

Okay ... let's traverse North African cauliflour recipes by country .... Morocco - Algeria - Libya - Mali - Niger - Egypt

And by cultural influence...
French - English - Spanish - Greek - Italian - Moorish or Moors

You present us with one ingredient (cauliflour) and that is about it. No cooking method, no spices or herbs ... nothing else to go by.

Instead of labeling me "sarcastic" - label me "frustrated".
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:55 PM   #8
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Bubba and Boufa: Boufa's recipe sounds a lot what I make often, and it is actually started from an Indian recipe in an old cookbook. I sometimes put in boiled, cubed potatoes as well, and sometimes a can of chick peas. Sometimes meat, sometimes not, but the chick peas (garbanzos or chicas to some of you) make it a complete meal without meat for our vegetarian friends. A pinch of dark mustard seeds (black or brown) gives it a fun texture as well. They pop between your teeth like poppy seeds, which I like. Whether I use whole cumin seeds or ground simply depends on where I'm living at the time and what is on the spice shelf. I won't go out and buy the whole if ground is sitting there already (and vice versa).
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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[quote=

Instead of labeling me "sarcastic" - label me "frustrated".[/quote]

Fair enough, I am a little frustrated as well.
At least we have the cauliflower part to go on. Imagine where this thread would be without that part.
I think once I make an attempt at it the dish mentioned above I might have an idea. I am looking forward to trying. Problem is she doesnt have a spice rack so if it isnt the dish she was looking for I can just offer her spices that are yellow out of the rack to see if something smeels like the dish tasted.
Alot of times I can find my "secret" ingredient by smell.

Thanks for all the replies and I will be trying this soon
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Old 11-24-2006, 11:04 AM   #10
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Wish I could help. Tell your friend how lucky she or he is to have you as a friend who would try and get that particular dish she/he liked.Can't think of any cauliflower dishes from any part of Africa.We didn't eat cauliflower growing up, but that's coz we grew up in East Africa.Good luck.
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