It is a culinary challenge to combine strongly flavoured brassicas with the subtle seasonal flavour of sweet peas. In the Benares kitchen, however, we are used to challenging the norm, as is evident in this recipe. It’s our version of a classic gobi mutter.

Serves 4

Ingredients

100g cauliflower florets

1 tablespoon sunflower oil, plus extra for deep-frying

200g mangetout

1 small red onion, finely chopped

15g fresh ginger, grated

1 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

Sea salt

Cauliflower purée

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 onion, chopped

15g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

300g cauliflower, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon turmeric

4 tablespoons water

30g butter, softened

2 tablespoons single cream

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon lime juice

Pea cakes

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

A pinch of asafoetida

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

200g frozen peas

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon dried mango powder

300g boiled or baked potatoes, peeled and grated

Plain white flour for dusting

To serve

4 baby plum tomatoes, halved

Finely grated purple and white cauliflower

Chilli Oil (optional)

Pea shoots

Method

Cauliflowerpurée

To make the cauliflower purée, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds and sauté over a medium heat until they crackle. Add the onion and ginger and continue sautéing for 3–5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the raw cauliflower pieces, followed by the ground spices and salt to taste and continue stirring for 1 minute. Add the water and continue sautéing until it evaporates and the cauliflower is tender. Transfer to a blender, add the butter, cream, yogurt andlime juice, and blitz until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and keep hot until required.

Pea Cakes

To make the pea cakes, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and add the asafoetida. When it foams, add the cumin seeds and sauté over a medium heat until they crackle. Stir in the frozen peas, ground spices and salt to taste, and cook until the peas thaw and the water they give off evaporates. Transfer to a blender and crush, using a pulsing action. Add to the potato and mix together. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then shape into 8 small, round cakes and flatten with your palms.Lightly dust each pea cake with plain flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the remaining oil in the cleaned frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pea cakes and fry for about 1 minute on each side until hot and golden brown. Set aside and keep hot.

To serve

Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 190°C. Add the cauliflower florets and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper to remove the excess oil. Set aside.When ready to serve, heat 1 tablespoon sunflower oil in a wok. Add the mangetout, red onion and ginger, and stir-fry over a high heat until the onion is softened. Add the deep-fried cauliflower florets and kecap manis and continue stir-frying until the florets are hot.Divide the stir-fried vegetables among 4 plates and add 2 pea cakes and cauliflower purée to each. Garnish and serve.