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Vegan Planet: Big Vegan Virtual Potluck

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Big Vegan Virtual Potluck

When Robin Asbell invited me to participate in a Virtual Potluck for her new cookbook, Big Vegan, I happily agreed.  When I lived in Virginia Beach, I attended many vegan potlucks, but throwing a vegan potluck in my current vegan-scarce area would be akin to a game of solitaire. A virtual vegan potluck online reminded me a little of the old days! 

In trying to decide which main dish recipe to make from Big Vegan, several great choices caught my attention, but I gravitated to one in particular: the Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Beans. The recipe title had me at curry, but as I also adore both cauliflower and kidney beans, this dish was especially intriguing.

With a sauce made from pureed onion, coconut milk, and spices, combined with canned beans and cauliflower, the recipe is a harmonious merger of flavors combined with ease of preparation. If you follow my blog, you know that I appreciate recipes that can be made using pantry ingredients and that’s another reason I was drawn to this recipe.  Other than needing to buy cauliflower, I had all the other ingredients on hand.

I strayed somewhat from the recipe in that I sliced and roasted the entire head of cauliflower and then used 2 cups of it for the recipe (adding it near the end of cooking time).  I served it over brown rice and topped it with a hot mango chutney to amp up the heat factor — the dish is actually fairly mild on its own.  Here then, is the recipe for my choice in the Big Vegan Virtual Potluck:

Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Beans
This recipe is from Big Vegan by Robin Asbell © 2011, published by Chronicle Books, reprinted with permission.
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 cups cauliflower florets
14 oz canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt

1.                  In a food processor or blender, finely mince the ginger and garlic, then add the onion and puree.  Pour in the milk and process.  Add the chili powder, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, and cayenne and process to mix.  Transfer the sauce to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until it starts to bubble, then add the cauliflower and stir to coat it with sauce. Cover the pan and cook until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
2.                  Add the beans, tomatoes, and salt, and cook, stirring with the lid off, until the sauce is thick and the beans are heated through. Serve hot.

Serves 4

Thanks again to Robin Asbell for organizing this Virtual Potluck from her new book, Big Vegan.  

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Sounds good...I have a cauliflower that needs using. Thanks for sharing.
I have Big Vegan but unfortunately haven't been able to cook from it much - it's interesting to me though because it seems like the flavor combinations are a bit different than a lot of vegan cookbooks. This post makes me really want to try this recipe - too bad it's like $9 for a head of cauliflower here.
I know what you mean, LLP, at least in terms of this one recipe I tried.
Thanks for sharing the recipe and your looks superyummy! It looks so easy and I love the combination of flavors. hot mango chutney sounds like the perfect topper!
A "fairly mild" curry sounds good to me - we are not great chilli heads. But we do like cauliflower and we do like beans!
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