I absolutely love carbs, I really do. If it were possible to survive on pasta and potatoes alone, I’d be in my element. Unfortunately, I’d probably also be severely malnourished – there’s a downside to everything (though… I’m tempted to think it might be worth it…).
Sometimes, when I want to step away from the carbs for a while, I like experimenting with low-carb recipes. I’ve done it before – here and here, for example. They usually involve cauliflower, and this low-carb tikka cauliflower rice is no exception. Because cauliflower only has a very mild flavour of its own (read: it can be pretty tasteless), it’s the perfect vehicle for all those flavours you’d usually use on rice or pasta.
This time, I went for a tikka-style flavour combo with cumin, coriander, curry… all those old favourites. Add a few veggies and some cauliflower rice, and you’ve got a tasty low-carb dish. It’s great served as a side dish alongside your favourite curry – half of the batch (which is a very generous portion!) only has 200 calories, so you can definitely get away with adding a nice sauce. Or, throw some protein into the pan (chickpeas, paneer, tofu…?) and turn it into a full meal.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you may not realise that cauliflower rice isn’t actually rice at all, just cauliflower that’s been mashed up to give a rice-like texture. You can do it in a food processor if you’re feeling lazy. I actually prefer to do it the non-lazy way (there’s a first time for everything!) – I use a grater, as it gives a coarser grain. In fact, this way you may even get a few little whole florets sneaking their way into your dish, which I quite like as it gives a bit of a different texture. Up to you!
I used tomatoes and green beans in my tikka cauliflower rice but of course, if you’re not a fan then you can swap these out for whatever you have on hand. The tomatoes do a good job of stopping the dish from feeling dry, but they’re not essential, especially if you’re going to serve it with a saucy curry anyway. Enjoy!
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, sliced or diced
- 120 g green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (~1 cup chopped)
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Black pepper
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved (~ 1 1/2 cups)
- Fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, and add the onion and green beans. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the onion is fairly soft.
Meanwhile, remove the leaves from the cauliflower, and grate the white part (or you can blitz it in a food processor if you prefer). Add the cauliflower rice to the pan, and allow to cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's just starting to turn golden brown.
Add the spices, and season generously. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, and cook for a few more minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to soften. Serve with plenty of fresh coriander (cilantro).
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. The information above is for half the batch – you’ll need even less if serving alongside a hearty curry.