While creating O Pedro’s menu, we were considering what curries to incorporate. Chef Floyd Cardoz mentioned caldeen, which was made at his home when someone was not feeling well. As it happened, monsoon was giving way to winter and fresh turmeric was in season. I thought it would be great to use it to make caldeen and that’s how the dish was born.
- 150 gm okra
- 50 gm cherry tomato
- 15 gm fresh turmeric
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 3 slit green chillies
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1-inch piece ginger
- 1 turmeric leaf
- 1 can (500 ml) coconut milk
- 1 head cauliflower
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
- Toast all the whole spices separately.
- In a blender, whizz the garlic, ginger, toasted spices and turmeric with 200 ml of coconut milk. Strain through a fine strainer and reserve.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, sweat the onions in 2 tbsp oil on medium heat, making sure they don’t caramelise.
- Pour turmeric liquid into the saucepan and simmer on low heat. Toss in turmeric leaves and let it infuse.
- Simmer till the liquid reduces by half. At this point, add green chillies.
- Follow with the remainder of coconut milk. Simmer for 20 minutes and season.
- Reserve the curry – it tastes better the next day.
- Cut the cauliflower into half.
- Heat a large sauté pan over moderate heat and sear the cut surface of the cauliflower until golden. Finish cooking in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.
- Season the okra with salt and oil and grill on a griddle plate or charcoal grill until soft and cooked.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, reheat the curry. Add the cauliflower, grilled okra and cherry tomatoes.
- Taste, and season with salt, if necessary.