CAULIFLOWER + POMEGRANATE CHAAT

Soft, charred, creamy, crunchy, sweet, and sour. Good for lunch with hot bread, or as a side to dal or chicken. Chaat masala is a spice blend made with dried sour mango powder, pomegranate seeds, and ground ginger, and gives food real zing and perkiness. You can make your own (see here) or buy it in Asian grocery shops or online.

Serves 4 as a side

1 medium cauliflower (about 1½ pounds)
canola oil
1 x 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
½ a cucumber
seeds of ½ a pomegranate
2/3 cup cilantro
11/3 tablespoons chaat masala (plus extra to serve)
juice of ½ a lime
½ teaspoon salt

Break the cauliflower down into small florets using your fingers so that each one is around ½ inch to ¾ inch across.

Put a film of oil into a wide-bottomed frying pan over high heat. Once hot, throw in the cauliflower florets and aim to have most touching the bottom of the pan so that they fry rather than steam. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are tender and charred in places, stirring every now and then. Then throw in the chickpeas and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove to a plate to cool a little, using a slotted spoon.

In the meantime, halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon, then finely slice it and transfer to a serving bowl along with the pomegranate seeds. Finely chop the cilantro and add to the bowl.

Finally, add the cauliflower and chickpeas, along with the chaat masala, lime juice, salt, and a tablespoon of oil. Mix together using clean hands. Sprinkle over another pinch of chaat masala just before serving.