The first time I saw a dish made entirely out of cauliflower - a sad-looking "cauliflower steak" - I felt sort of vindicated that I kind of always avoided eating or cooking the vegetable. There are only a few dishes that feature cauliflower in everyday Pakistani cuisine - aloo gobi (potato with cauliflower) or gobi gosht, meat with cauliflower - and I'm only really familiar with the former. Aloo gobi is a good dish. Heck, cooked well, it can even be quite delicious. (Garam masala sprinkled on aloo gobi is all kinds of amazing.)
But cauliflower rice is something else altogether. It took an ingredient I'd only ever associated with South Asian food into a form I'd never thought possible. And while people in the paleo community (and beyond) are making everything with cauliflower - from pizza to breadsticks - cauliflower rice is the real winner in all the paleo-friendly recipes.
What is cauliflower rice? So it is essentially cauliflower chopped up into rice-like grains. And while that may seem like a difficult task to accomplish, it is - even for my lazy cook self - actually not that difficult.
So the internet has many ways of prepping cauliflower rice. Most recipes involve chopping up the cauliflower in a food processor, then squeezing the water dry using cheesecloth, and then cooking it.
I am far too lazy to ever actually do this. Also, I don't own a food processor. Or enough cheesecloth. (Using a grinder can work, but you have to be super careful because it can turn to mush within seconds)
When I have time, I grate a head of cauliflower with a handheld grater. Which is painstaking but produces perfect grains.
When I don't have time, I chop up the florets until they're small enough to be cooked quickly.
This week, I used this method: it involves chopping up a cauliflower, then adding it to a blender with water (!), pulsing the florets, and then draining the water. I'm not even kidding, it produced fine, little grains that will probably cook in seconds. It's in the freezer now, but I can't wait to see how it turns out.
So I usually use this recipe for cauliflower fried rice as a loose guide. I chop up an onion and / or spring onion, garlic, a handful of spinach, and sauté the lot. I add the cauliflower and several liberal dashes of soy sauce and oyster sauce, as well as chopped up green chilies. I also really like adding in an egg - it looks like egg fried rice, but the rice doesn't turn out too eggy because the cauliflower is so dominant. I've also added everything from jalapeño peppers to peas and chicken. It cooks super quick, so it is really the ultimate 'look at what lazy Saba cooked and Instagrammed dish'. It's all the convenience of a stir fry. It's a rice dish that doesn't need a sauce. It tastes great. Like, really great. Just go make some cauliflower rice already.