One of Orange County’s first food-hall stars, Adya is a soulful, refined reinterpretation of Indian street food. The Anaheim Packing House restaurant brought dishes like slider-sized pavs (miniature sandwiches loaded like sloppy joes with minced lamb or spiced vegetables), charred kebabs (maybe tandoori shrimp or marinated paneer cheese), and a half-dozen curries (including a rotating vegetable curry of the day) to a wider audience. Naturally, it wasn’t long before chef and co-owner Shachi Mehra became something of a culinary ambassador. Her cooking classes are now an institution for those looking to coax more out of their spice rack or attempt some of their favorite Indian dishes. Her recipe for charred cauliflower steaks with cilantro sauce is everything you could want in a taste of summer comfort: simple, bright, and satisfying as either a hearty side or a vegetarian entrée. By Miles Clements
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into “steaks”
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 serrano chile
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil until shimmering. Bloom cumin seeds in olive oil and immediately follow with minced garlic. When cumin seeds and garlic begin to color, stir in chile flakes and turmeric. Cool oil slightly.
Meanwhile, season cauliflower “steaks” with salt. Brush steaks on both sides with the infused cumin-garlic-chile oil. Grill cauliflower steaks over direct heat (or in a grill pan), about 4 minutes per side, or until charred in places and almost tender.
For cilantro sauce, place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve cilantro sauce over grilled cauliflower, or on the side.