A traditional classic, pilau or, pilaau, as it is locally known, is a less spicier and lighter version of an Indian Biryani. This flavourful, traditionally made with rice dish, is common in most Indian households for a delicious and nutritious one pot protein and starch dish. This is my low carb version of this old favourite – riced cauliflower and minced beef or lamb blend, combined with whole seeds, cooked to perfection and served with my Paleo version of a refreshing, non-dairy raita (which is similar to a Tzatziki, a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Dairy-filled Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes lemon juice, and dill, mint, or parsley).
Guaranteed, those looking for a simple and tasty recipe for zhoosing up boring cauliflower and / or minced beef or lam, will have you making this time and time again. Omit the meat protein, the cauliflower rice, mildly spiced, is a flavoursome side to serve with protein and / or veggies of your choice. It goes well with a curry too!
Take the boring out of a gluten-free lifestyle with this scrumptious cauli-rice dish, easy and quick to prepare, presenting an epic taste in cauliflower
This recipe, serving 2-3 persons, begins with the refreshingly scrumptious Raita or as it is also known, spiced dahi, my personal version, which should be made ahead of the Pilau and chilled – eating it on it’s own, actually presents a spiced, refreshingly savoury Tzatziki, yogurt taste!
FOR THE RAITA OR SPICED DAHI
3-4 tblsp basic Paleo Mayonnaise
1-2 tblsp coconut milk (Preservatives free and sugar free)
¼ cucumber, chopped into bite sized portions
1 tsp cumin seeds (dry roasted in a non-stick frying pan, till aromatic)
½ -1 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 tblsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Himalayan or Sea salt to taste
Optional: Finely chopped green chilli for a pungent flavour
- Dry roast the cumin seeds in a non-stick pan until aromatic and fragrant. Remove to a chopping board or hard surface, and using a rolling pin, roll and crack open the seeds, to release it’s aroma. Keep aside.
- Mix the coconut milk and the mayonnaise well, add in the mint leaves, cucumber, lemon juice, ¾ of the roasted and cracked cumin seeds, and season to taste.
- Sprinkle the remaining cumin seeds over the raita, and chill in the refrigerator until required.
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER – MINCE PILAAU
300-400g cauliflower, riced (florets processed to rice size and texture in a food processor, or with a grater)
250g -300g minced lean beef or lamb
1-2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 medium sized cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
1 medium sized onion, finely sliced
1 green chilli, (Optional)
1-2 tsp fresh garlic and ginger paste
a sprig of curry leaves (Optional)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Optional for garnish: ½ tsp garam masala
Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
- Using a large non-stick frying pan on medium stove-top heat, add in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, cumin and fennel seeds and once they begin spluttering and become aromatic, add in the sliced onion, and if using, green chilli and curry leaves. Braise until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add in the washed beef or lamb mince and allow to brown – this takes about 10 minutes. After the minced meat has browned and there is no trace of uncooked meat, add in the turmeric powder and spoon together well, to combine.
- Now add in the riced cauliflower and mix well to combine the minced meat and spices. Cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, until all the moisture has evaporated and the cauli-mince pilaau is cooked.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of garam masala, if preferred, fresh chopped coriander or parsley, serve with non-dairy Raita / Dahi and a crisp, fresh salad or sambals made from fresh tomato, onion, chilli, lime juice, and seasoning.