Fried cauli with chipotle aioli

    By Nadine Smith

    Members of your household not partial to the humble cauliflower? This recipe is a surprisingly good twist on the versatile cauliflower and a hit with the young and old. Serves 4 as a starter or a light lunch.

    For the Fried Cauli:

    1 small head of cauliflower, separated into bite size florets, include the delicate leaves and stalks

    • 1 egg
    • 200ml buttermilk
    • 1 cup of flour
    • 2 tsp salt flakes
    • 1 tsp each freshly ground black & white pepper
    • 1 tsp celery seeds
    • 1 tsp dried mustard powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
    • 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves pulled from woody stalk & finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves, finely shredded
    • Grapeseed or Canola Oil, for frying

    For the Chipotle Aioli:

    • 1 cup whole egg mayonnaise
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
    • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
    • 2 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp dried chipotle powder salt flakes, to season


    To make the aioli, combine the mayonnaise with the garlic, lime juice and chilli, season with salt flakes and stir well to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

    Combine the egg and buttermilk in a medium size bowl. Add the cauliflower florets, leaves and stalks, gently toss through to coat in the buttermilk mixture and set aside.

    In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, salt flakes, peppers, mustard, garlic powder, paprika and fresh herbs. Mix well to combine.

    Heat oil in a heavy based, high sided saucepan. You will need the oil deep enough to cover a single layer of the cauli pieces. Piece by piece, remove the cauli from the buttermilk allowing excess to drain and coat with the spiced flour. Tap off excess flour, then carefully place into the hot oil, cooking in batches until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and allow the oil to return to temperature before adding the next batch. Once all the cauli pieces are cooked, serve warm with the chipotle aioli. Enjoy!

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