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Golden Potatoes and Cauliflower with Curry and Fennel Seeds

For a quick version of a cooling raita to spoon over this mildly spicy side dish, mix 1 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt with 1/2 cup grated cucumber, and season to taste with fresh lemon juice, paprika and salt. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb. unpeeled Yukon Gold or other thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed 
  • 1 small head cauliflower  
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds 
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced  
  • 3/4 tsp. salt 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 to 2 serrano chilies, seeded and minced  
  • 2 Tbs. Madras curry powder 
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional) 

Directions:

Cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks. Remove the leaves and core from the cauliflower head and cut the cauliflower into 3/4-inch pieces.

In a large, deep fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the fennel seeds and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring frequently and reducing the heat as needed to prevent scorching, until the onion is soft and starting to brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chilies and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the curry powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the potatoes, cauliflower and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat and cook, uncovered, until any remaining liquid is cooked away. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).