Spring Curried Cauliflower Salad (V, GF)

I suppose it’s a matter of habit (my mum used to add yellow curry powder to her cauliflower cheese) but in my mind, there’s something very comforting about the association of sulfur-y cauliflower and fragrant curry powder.

Which might explain why that’s one of the spices I reaches for the most to spice up a dish of the ol’ brassica, and this week was no exception.

Spring curried cauliflower salad recipe || Cake + Whisky

There’s been a teeny-tiny bit of Spring in the air in London this week (please tell me it’s not just wishful thinking?!), so instead of this warming old favourite of mine, I went for a fresher take on the curried cauliflower salad.

Spring curried cauliflower salad recipe || Cake + Whisky

The result was this super easy, versatile curried cauliflower salad. Packed full of healthy ingredients, it makes for a wonderful lunch by itself, but also works wonders served as part of a buffet or as a side to any roast meat.

Spring curried cauliflower salad recipe || Cake + WhiskySpring curried cauliflower salad recipe || Cake + Whisky

All the more reasons for it to become a sunny-weather staple in my kitchen. All that’s left to do is wait not so patiently for Spring to come…

Spring curried cauliflower salad recipe || Cake + Whisky

Spring Curried Cauliflower Salad (Serves 1 – V, GF)
Ingredients:
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • a big handful watercress salad
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (use vegan alternative if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper
Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 6).

2. Steam the cauliflower for about 10 min or until it’s slightly tender but still on the crunchy side.

3. Place the cauliflower and cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Pour the olive oil on top, season generously with salt and pepper and mix. Transfer to an oven-prooved dish and roast for 20 minutes. The cauliflower should get golden but not burn.

4. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, curry powder, chilli flakes and a small pinch of salt.

5. Arrange the watercress, roasted cauliflower and tomatoes on a plate. Drizzle with the curry mayo, sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

N.B. Dry-roast some nuts (walnuts, cashews and sunflower seeds work quite well) in a pan and sprinkle on top right before serving for an even yummier salad! You can also substitute the chives for chopped coriander leaves.

Want more simple & healthy recipes ? Lettuce know!

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Spring Curried Cauliflower Salad (V, GF)

Easy Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

About two offices ago (what do you mean that’s not an accurate way to measure time?), I got introduced to Itsu and its dangerously addictive coconut chicken noodle soup.

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

Needless to say, it became my lunch of choice for those days when I was too lazy/late/disorganised to pack lunch (or I just really, really wanted something warm, spicy, comforting and full of rice noodles for lunch).

Time passed, offices moved and suddently, there was no Itsu nearby for me to get my coconut chicken noodle soup fix.

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, it turns out it’s really easy and quick to make, taking only about 15 minutes from start to finish.

It’s barely any work at all, and yet it delivers a punch of warming, complex flavours. Rich, spicy, tangy, funky all at once. Plus it’s a one pot sort of dish. Less washing up = always a winner in my book.

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

I know it sounds too good to be true, but you definitely want to give it a try, because it’s all pho real!

Easy Thai coconut chicken noodle soup | Cake + Whisky

Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup (serves 1)
Ingredients:
  • 100g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 spring onions, white cut into bite-sized pieces and green thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • small garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • tiny piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 3 tbsp canned chopped tomato
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 200ml chicken broth or water
  • fish sauce to taste
  • 50g rice noodles, prepared according to packaging instructions
  • lime wedge to serve
  • salt, pepper
Method:

1. In a saucepan or wok, heat up the sesame oil until it just starts smoking. Add in the red curry paste, grated garlic and ginger and curry powder and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes.

2. Add in the chicken and spring onion white pieces and cook for a few minutes.

3. Pour in the coconut milk, chopped tomato and chicken broth, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with fish sauce, salt and/or pepper accordingly.

4. Place the prepared rice noodles in a bowl. Top with the coconut chicken broth. Garnish with spring onion greens and a lime wedge and serve immediately.

Easy Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews

‘Tis -almost- the season.

Sorry for all the Scrooge out there, but it’s true!

And though tradition plays an important role in end-of-the-year celebrations, this year, I’ve decided to go slightly off track, break with convention and try something new.

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Not too new though. As I recently explained, the whole idea is to take traditional ingredients and combine them in a creative way to achieve a fresh take on the traditional holiday dinner.

A sort of Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner 2.0 if you will.

Coconut curry roasted cashews

One of my favourite things to make this time of the year are roasted nut.

With salt & rosemary, with soy sauce or with cinnamon, roasted nuts never fail me, and these Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews are no exception.

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Vegan, dairy free AND not boring, sweet, salty, spicy and incredibly more-ish, they are both satisfying and healthy, hence make for an excellent snack and an even better edible gift.

They’re so easy & quick to put together and keep really well, so you can make a big batch & hand out small bags of them to neighbours and visitors…

Or make a big jar for yourself to snack on while writing Christmas cards/wrapping all the presents/convincing your introvert side that it’s excited for all the socializing to come…

I won’t tell if you don’t!

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews (makes one 400ml jar)

Ingredients:

  • 130g raw cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • a good pinch of sea salt
  • zest from 1/2 lime, finely grated

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

2. In a bowl, mix together the cashews and coconut oil until they’re all well coated. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until well the nuts are well coated.

3. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet & sprinkle with a bit more salt.

4. Bake for 15 min or until golden. Leave to cool completely before transfering to an airtight container.

Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews

Curried Cauliflower Salad

When it comes to cauliflower, I go through phases.

I won’t cook it for months and months, and then I have a bit of a cauliflower-frenzy time, when I’ll have it every day, two times a day.

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + WhiskyCurried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

And guess what… Right now, it’s cauliflower time!

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + WhiskyCurried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

While cauliflower cheese is a staple in my house and my absolute favourite way to cook it (I mean, helloooooo, melty, cheesy gratin of dreaaaamz!), cauliflower can also take on some more exotic flavours, as proven by the recent explosion in the number of roasted cauliflower dishes at some of my favourite London restaurants (including The Barbary‘s gorgeous version).

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + WhiskyCurried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

The below recipe for the easiest, most delicious, sweet and savoury Curried Cauliflower Salad is my take on this trend, and a serious contender for my favourite way to eat cauliflower, ever.

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

And since cauliflower is packed full of vitamins (especially the C & K kinds), this salad is basically the perfect way to build up your immune defenses before winter hits up, so you should broccoli try it…

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

Curried Cauliflower Salad (serves 1, with some leftovers)

Ingredients:

  • a small head of cauliflower, carved into small stalks
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 small handful raisins
  • 10g pine nuts
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt (skip for a vegan version, in which case you might want to double the quantity of tahini)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt, black pepper

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (gas mark 7).

2. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower and poach for 3-4 minutes or until cooked but still quite ferm. Drain.

2. In a big mixing bowl, combine the curry powder with the olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Add the cauliflower and mix until evenly coated.

3. Transfer to a roasting tray, sprinkle a little bit more curry powder and bake for 35-40 min or until golden.

4. Heat up a frying pan and roast the pine nuts until slightly golden (about 1min).

5. Combine the tahini & the Greek yoghurt to make the dressing. Season to taste.

6. Arrange the cauliflower on a plate, sprinkle with the pine nuts and raisins, then drizzle with the yoghurt/tahini dressing and eat immediately.

(If you’re having this as a packed lunch, pack the salad and the dressing separately and combine at the very last minute)

What’s your favourite way to cook cauliflower?

PIN FOR LATER:

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

Curried Cauliflower Salad

Roti King, Kings Cross

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Very good general advice, even though its applicability is debatable when it comes to London restaurants.

It is, however, very much true in the case of Roti King.

Roti King, London | Cake + Whisky

Hidden behind a Gentlemen’s Night Club on a small side street near Euston station, in a cramped, shabby basement you can only access by a small, metal staircase, it’s fair to say it’s not the most dreamy of settings.

And yet, there are queues at the door, day in and day out, for both lunch and dinner.

And you know what? Roti King is very much worth the queues.

Roti King, London | Cake + WhiskyRoti King, London | Cake + Whisky

The food they serve might be simple, but it’s stellar in its simplicity.

Especially if you forget about anything listed as a main course and focus all your attention (and appetite) on the staples of Malaysian street food: roti & dhal (sambar).

Roti King, London | Cake + Whisky

The eponymous roti are as good as they could be. Feather-light, soft, thin, buttery and super flaky, they’re any carb-lover dream come true.

Roti King serves a few versions of those, from the traditional Roti Canai (plain roti served with a side of excellent, lightly spiced sambar), to egg, cheese or spinach stuffed versions.

Roti King, London | Cake + Whisky

Get the cheese-stuffed one and a side of sambar, and you’re all set for the best (and cheapest) lunch in a 5-miles radius.

Aaaah, it’s good indeed to be king!

Roti King, 40 Doric Way, Euston, London NW1 1LH  Roti King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Roti King, Kings Cross

Hoppers, Soho

To queue or not to queue.

This is a dilemma many a London restaurant-goer must answer.

Especially if your dinner plans include a visit to one of the JKS restaurants. Including their latest venture, Hoppers.

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Of course you could put your name down and go for (quite a few) cocktail down the street while you wait for your table to be ready.

Or you could do as we did and go at some sort of weird hour. Early, late, or bang-on in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, your call.

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

And if you can time it right, Hoppers is worth the wait.

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

When you eventually make it to your table, you’re going to want to make the most of it and totally over order!

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Mutton rolls with a side of truly excellent sambal.

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Hot Butter Devilled Shrimps

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Super spicy (definitely not one for the faint-hearted!) but absolutely more-ish!

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

And a few different karis/currys to share.

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

With a side of Egg hopper (a pancake made with a fermented rice and coconut milk batter)…

Somewhere at the crossing between a pancake, a crumpet and sourdough and absolutely delicious!

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

And a dose of dosa…

The fish kari, fragrant with coconut milk and spices, was my favourite by far.

We might also have gotten some Roti to whip off the last of the karis, but it was so flaky and irresistible that it didn’t make it on the pictures… (do get it though!)

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

All washed down with some rather beautiful-looking cocktails.

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Kandy Gunpowder (Amrut Single Malt, Passion Fruit, Green Peppercorns, Fino Sherry) had lovely spicy and sour notes. 

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Hoppers, a taste of Sri Lanka in the heart of Soho | Cake + Whisky

Colombo G&T (Colombo No.7 Gin, Fresh Curry Leaves, Cinnamon, Cardamom Tonic), a South Asian take on the British classic.

They don’t do desserts (or at least, we were not offered any…), so I’ll have to give them a naan out of ten (and come back for more of that fisk kari!)

Hoppers, 49 Frith St, London W1D 4SG  Hoppers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hoppers, Soho