Vermiilion is a Latin-Indian fusion restaurant off Lexington Avenue, near an area in New York City known as "Curry Hill," for obviously all of it's Indian restaurants and stores. I had originally heard of the place while watch The Iron Chef on the Food Network when Vermillion's chef, Maneet Chauhan, battled Iron Chef Morimoto.
I was so intrigued by the fusion because although I've noticed many similarities in the the types of foods Latinos and Indians eat -- I was excited to find out how the flavors would blend.
Anyway, Sara and I enjoyed so much food, literally SO MUCH FOOD including tandoori skirt steak (seared churrasco in a classic indian marinade, plantain chips, garlic spinach), cauliflower portuguese (stewed in a goan gravy + coconut rice), juhu ki pani puri (street indian chaat, flour shells, spiced potato, chili mint water) and my mom had paneer konkani (cheese, oaxacan crepas de huitlacoche/mexican truffle, inca red quinoa). THESE PICTURES DON'T EVEN GIVE JUSTICE TO WHAT WE ATE!!!
Anyway, I was really inspired by the food and I wanted to try making the Cauliflower Portuguese, otherwise known as Goan curry. It's called Goan after an coastal/beach area in India known as Goa. After Portuguese conquistadors came to the area, and some later settled, it has been greatly influenced by Portuguese cuisine. Goan cuisine in general is a mix of spicy and sweet flavors.
Similarly, this dish is sweet with the help of coconut milk and spicy with the help of chilies.
Although many times shredded coconut is blended into the paste, I used coconut milk instead. Also Goan curry is usually accompanied with shrimp, but I made this vegetarian version for the sake of mimicking what I ate at Vermillion -- but using shrimp instead of cauliflower is yummy too!
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 head of cauliflower, stems removed and cut into florets
- 1 tsp of curry paste
- 1 tsp of ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp of garlic minced
- 1 green chili, chopped with seeds
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- Over medium heat, place broth in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Add cauliflower and allow to steam for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.
- Add garlic, ginger and chili to the cauliflower and allow the flavors to blend. Some to all of the broth will boil away.
- Add coconut milk, turmeric and curry paste and allow stew to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add salt or pepper if desired.