I love to cook – for the most part. I find great joy in handling spices, and randomly throwing them into whatever I am cooking, depending on my moods. The act of peeling and chopping (certain) vegetables is therapeutic. The aroma that wafts when bringing all the ingredients together on the stove top is heady. Yeah, cooking is a relaxation – for the most part. For the other not-so-fun-days, read on…
However, there are some summer days when the kitchen is the LAST place that I want to be. Of late, it has been so warm in North Texas, that the air-conditioning has been struggling to keep up. We recently got a notice from the City to restrict usage of ACs and large appliances. I guess they don’t want a blackout situation like they had, a few years ago.
On such days, I love to bake-grill my veggies. No fuss, no muss. My brother-in-law Sunil recently brought a grilled cauliflower dish to a party. He had prepped it on an outdoor grill.
Today’s recipe is a take-off from Sunil’s yummy dish. I’ve made a few modifications to his recipe. For one, if you own a grill, do use it, but since I don’t, I’ve used my counter top toaster oven and the veggies turned out excellent. For another, I’ve used purple sweet potatoes and that’s taken this dish to another level. Third, he added ginger and basil leaves to the dish, and I’ve skipped those since I forgot!
Talking of purple sweet potatoes…have you spotted these in the grocery stores yet? Move aside, regular sweet potatoes. These flavorful lavender cousins of the familiar orange variety are my all new favorite tubers. I recently made the Eggplant Potato Spicy Medley, but substituted the regular potatoes with these purple beauties. Oh bliss, it was.
According to the Internet, the source for all our (mis)information, the purple sweet potato has only been available in grocery stores since 2006, and it has somewhat mysterious origins. According to the LA Times, a North Carolina sweet potato farmer received some of the lilac-hued spuds as a gift from an unidentified woman, and he liked them so much that he started to cultivate them and eventually patented them with their own name: Stokes Purple. The striking hue adds a colorful twist, and this has become a regular in my kitchen whenever I spot it in the grocery store (look for them during Fall and Spring).
This colorful dish will be a great item to take to a pot-luck. I am certain kids can be persuaded to try it out (my picky 7-year-old niece did and didn’t make a face…that’s a small battle won!). It can be served as an appetizer before a main meal; and if you want to serve it with a dip, try Creamy Hummus or even better, with Baby Ghanoush. If you are time-bound, a spicy Sriracha Sauce will kick it up on the spice-scale. To follow up this dish, you can serve several items as the main meal like Brown Rice Pulao with Egg Curry. Or Quinoa Pulao with Mooli Raita. The choices are endless, so Bon Appetit!
If you love cauliflower, check out our Cauliflower ‘Rice’. A great option if you are following a grain-free diet too.
Purple sweet potatoes are truly a natural wonder! They have the same antioxidant known as anthocyanin that make food look pretty are touted to also have beneficial health effects – eradicating free radicals that have been attributed to causing cancer, protecting the liver, and lowering blood pressure. They are also high in potassium, B6, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
The nutrition profile of cauliflower is quite impressive. Considered a superfood because of its nutrient-rich content, it is high in fiber, and vitamins B and C. It also contains high concentrations of carotenoids (antioxidants) and glucosinolates which help protect cells from DNA damage.
Did you make this recipe? We’d LOVE to see your creations so click a photo and tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #healthyindian3 and please give a star (★) rating below. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for healthy, easy and delicious recipes.
Spiced Purple Potato-Cauliflower Bake
- 1 Tablespoon Avocado Oil Or any other high heat oil
- 4 Cups Cauliflower Florets Cut into 2" pieces
- 2 Cups Purple Sweet Potato Cut into 1" pieces
- 1/4 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder Or to Taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder Freshly ground
- 1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt Or to Taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon Lime Juice
- Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Dice into 1-inch cubes. Wash cauliflower and pull out the florets. Cut large ones to about 2-inch pieces. Add the vegetables to a large bowl.
- Sprinkle cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder over the veggies. Drizzle avocado oil and mix well until the vegetables are evenly coated with the spices and oil.
- Transfer to a baking tray and place the veggies in a single layer. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the veggies for 15 mins. Sprinkle salt, gently turn the veggies over, and grill for 15 more mins. I have used a counter top toaster oven for this recipe. If you are using a conventional oven, check frequently and alter the bake-grill times.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the veggies and serve hot.
- Orange sweet potatoes will work too, but the bake-grill times may be shorter.
- Use your imagination with spices. Substitute Asian spices with dried oregano, marjoram, basil or thyme or any combination of these. The original recipe had generous amounts of ginger and basil leaves in the dish.
- I have used a counter top toaster oven for this recipe. If you are using your outdoor grill or your convection oven, the bake-grill times may vary.
- One of the keys to successfully roasting vegetables is to make sure the vegetables are cut into similarly sized pieces. Cauliflower and purple sweet potato have similar densities, so their bake time is the same. If you are using any other combination of veggies, like bell peppers, then bake the cauliflower longer.