So I have recently discovered the miracle that is Harissa paste. Essentially it is a spice paste made from different kinds of peppers, garlic, herbs and other tasty things. Most larger supermarkets sell it these days. I found mine somewhere around the World Foods aisle I think. It really gives a pleasant kick to food without making you feel like you need to down a pint of water just so the feeling in your mouth could at least be described as a slight burning rather than full on screaming agony.
Harissa is great for adding just a bit of extra flavour to roasts and meat that already tastes good on its own but I think it is even better for improving food that otherwise can be a bit bland, hence spicy cauliflower! I actually really like cauliflower as it is, but it is not the world’s most exciting vegetable on its own. So adding some spice is just the thing. This makes a good starter or snack for a group of people and doesn’t feel too unhealthy. Even though it is deep fried it is definitely still one of your five a day! If you are making this in advance you can easily reheat the cauliflower in the oven for when you need it.
For the cauliflower:
1 medium to large cauliflower
3 heaped tbsp plain flour
2 tsp harissa paste
½ tsp salt
½ – 1 tsp chopped parsley
2 chopped garlic cloves
A little black pepper
9 tbsp water (or enough to turn the batter runny but still quite thick)
About 1l vegetable oil for frying
For the dip
A small pot of plain or greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped chives
1. Break or cut your cauliflower into bite sized florets and boil for 3-5 mins. Drain and set aside.
2. Mix together all the ingredients for the batter apart from the water till you have a fairly dry paste.
3. Add water to your batter, a tablespoon at a time, until it is runny and sort of yoghurt-like in consistency.
4. Fill a large pan with about 1-2 inches of oil and heat to roughly 180C. To check if it is hot enough, drop a tiny bit of batter into it. If it starts to sizzle and brown, the oil is ready.
5. Dip your cauliflower into batter so it becomes generously coated and carefully lower into the oil. You will have to do this in batches so it doesn’t all stick together.
6. Fry for about 3 mins till they turn an orangey-gold sort of colour. Remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate covered in kitchen roll.
7. You can keep the cauliflower fritters warm in the oven at a low temperature while you fry the rest.
8. For the dip mix together lemon juice, yoghurt and chives and serve alongside your cauliflower.