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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Cauliflower Sabzi 

This is a fragrant, delicious and mild dish that hits the spot. We will cook it rather unconventionally since we are not using oils, blanching the cauliflower and asparagus crispy-tender, before finishing them with the aromatics and seasonings in the pan. The result is a light, digestible meal that is kinder to the planet and to our waistlines and health.  Every ingredient here carries a very low carbon footprint, especially when served with whole grain alternatives to rice, like black or red sorghum or millet.


Prep 30 minutes  

Cook 30 minutes  

Serves 4 to 6


1 tablespoon coriander seed, lightly dry roasted and ground

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, lightly dry roasted

1 red onion, cut in a medium dice

Sprig of fresh curry leaves

½ to 1 cup no-sodium vegetable broth, maintained at a very low simmer.

1 medium ripe tomato or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in a medium dice

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, cut in 2-inch pieces

1 green or red Thai chilis, chopped, or to taste

1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated

¾ teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste

2 tablespoons arrowroot

Grinds of black pepper

3 tablespoons shiro (mild, white) miso paste or to taste, dissolved in 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water.

Garnish with slivers of scallion greens and cilantro leaves


  • Heat a large skillet over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the coriander seeds. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds. As soon as the seeds become fragrant, transfer them to a small bowl. It is easy to burn spices when you are roasting them dry; their bitterness would ruin the dish so poise your nose over the pan and observe closely. Allow them to cool. Then using a small spice or coffee grinder, or a mortar and pestle grind the coriander into a powder.
  • Fill a very large bowl with ice water. We will blanch the cauliflower and asparagus until they are slightly undercooked, then finish them in the skillet later.
  • Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower florets, blanching them for 90 seconds. Test a piece for doneness. The florets are ready when they are not quite tender. Smaller florets require less time. Use a strainer or skimmer to transfer them immediately to the ice bath.
  • Blanch the asparagus but for just 30 seconds before testing. Thinner stems cook more quickly. When they are still slightly undercooked, transfer them quickly to the ice bath, which will brighten its color and crisp up its texture. When the vegetables are cool, drain and set them aside.
  • Reheat the large skillet over medium heat-low heat. Dry roast the mustard seeds for a minute, stirring or tossing to prevent scorching. Without oil, they may not pop but that’s fine.
  • As soon as they are fragrant, stir in the onions and curry leaves. If the onions begin to adhere to the pan, add a tablespoon or two of broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up the onion sugars with a wooden spoon.
  • Now stir in the chopped Thai chilis, grated garlic and ginger, and the ground turmeric.
  • After a minute add the diced tomatoes and the blanched cauliflower and asparagus. Stir in the ground coriander. Season to taste with cayenne if you desire, a few grinds of black peppers. Taste to correct your seasonings as you like.
  • Add ½ cup of the hot broth if the curry is dry. Cook the curry for about 10 minutes on a low simmer, until the cauliflower and asparagus are just tender.
  • Mix the arrowroot into the remaining ½ cup of broth, stirring it well to dissolve. Pour half of this onto the curry, stirring for a minute until it thickens into a glaze. If the mix is dry, add the rest.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. If you plan to serve all of it at once, season the pan with miso paste to taste, stirring in in well to dissolve it fully. Otherwise, season each individual serving with diluted miso, to taste.
  • Garnish each plate with scallion slivers and cilantro leaves. Serve hot on heated plates along with a whole grain or whole grain roti.


Califlower Sabzi

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