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Cheese Vali Gobi (Cauliflower w/ Cheese) and Garlic Naan

I have been completely enamored by Indian food for the last few months now.  At first it was just the thought of it...and the look of it...so warm and heavily laced with spices!  As I was introduced to more and more Indian bloggers, my desire to see that food materialize in front of me grew stronger.  Then our Cook the Books selection just happened to be Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey (Indian writer, cook, actress) and I was momentarily immersed in her aristocratic, diverse family that drew influences from British, Punjabi, Hindi, Muslim, Buddhist...and even a bit of Western gasp!...among other regions, both in the kitchen and in their daily routine.  Jaffrey has such a way of writing that it draws you in and plops you into the kitchens, markets, and homes of India more than 50 years ago. So, when I found out that I passed through to round 3 of the Project Food Blog competition...in which the challenge was to create a dinner party with exotic (to you) flavors...I knew that was the perfect time to to try out a bunch of the Indian recipes I'd been coveting!  My entry would be  A Taste of India!  Voting is now open for round 3...if you'd be so kind as to give me a vote, you can click HERE!  Without further ado...I'll share a couple of my new favorite Indian dishes with you right now...
Cheese Vali Gobi
(Cauliflower w/ Cheese)
from Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey
serves: 4-6

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1½ lbs. medium-sized cauliflower florets, cut so each has a stem
1¾ c. grated fresh tomatoes
One 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated to a pulp
2 fresh hot green chiles, cut into slim rounds
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbs. ground coriander
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs. heavy cream
¼ c. coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450° F.  Pour oil into a large, non-stick sauté pan over med-high heat.  When hot, add cumin seeds and let sizzle for 10 seconds. Add cauliflower and stir around for 2 minutes. Add tomato, ginger, chile, cayenne, turmeric, coriander and salt. Stir to mix and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until tomatoes are almost absorbed and cauliflower is almost done. Add the cilantro and mix in.

Pour contents of pan into an oven proof dish.  Add cream and mix.  Sprinkle cheese over top.  Put in top third of oven and bake 10-12 mins., or until cheese has melted and developed light brown spots. Serve hot.
This was one of my favorite parts of the whole Indian meal!  Of course, I said that with each bite of a different dish, so... Ha!  It was amazing, though.

Next I'll move on to the Naan.  Garlic Naan to be precise.  My friend Aipi from US Masala is an amazing cook, photographer and blogger and she's been kind enough to "school me" a bit on Indian cuisine.  Everything she makes is mouthwatering and she helped me learn a few of the Indian "classics".  Naan is one of the types of breads that is eaten in India a great deal...with the Garlic Naan being a favorite variation of Aipi's...and I knew before even attempting that it would be a favorite of mine, as well.  I mean....GARLIC!...'nuff said. 
Garlic Naan
from Aipi of US Masala * (<----- click to go to original recipe...THANK YOU!!)
*adapted ever-so-slightly
yield: 8-10 pieces

for the naan:
3½ c. ap flour + a bit more if needed
1 tsp. yeast
1 c. warm water
¼ c. milk, room temp.
¼ c. yogurt, room temp.
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed (or smashed & minced)

for the garlic butter:
1/4 c. butter
~4 garlic cloves, pressed (or smashed & minced)
2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Dissolve yeast in water and add sugar, salt, oil, and milk.  Let sit for ~10 mins.  Stir in flour a bit at a time, with the yogurt, using a wooden spoon at first...then using your hands as it becomes firmer.  It will seem a bit sticky...that's good.  Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and knead for ~3-5 minutes, or until pliable.  Place in an oiled bowl cover with a damp towel.  Let sit ~1 hour, or until doubled in size.  Preheat oven to the highest setting, with a pizza stone on middle shelf when there is ~30 mins. left.

Punch it down, then divide it into 8-10 balls.  Keep the dough balls covered while you're working.  The dough is very soft...but that is what makes it so tender...so no worries.  Sprinkle work surface w/ a bit of flour and roll dough out into a long oval, ~1/8" thin.  Roll some of the garlic into the dough with the rolling pin.  Place one or two ovals of dough onto hot stone and cook for ~2 minutes per side, or until a bit bubbly and golden in spots.

While working with the dough, combine garlic and butter in small pan over low heat and cook until very fragrant.  Stir in cilantro.  Brush over warm naan as they come out of the oven.  SO STINKIN' DELICIOUS.
Watch for more recipes from my PFB Challenge #3 throughout the week!!  And remember to vote for your favorite bloggers to make it through another round...me included...hopefully...fingers crossed...best friends forever...

*This post is linked to:
Hey What's For Dinner MyMeatlessMondays BYOB YeastSpotting