|Course||Mezze, street food, sandwich, side dish|
|Main ingredients||Caulflower florets, cooking oil|
Fried cauliflower is a popular dish in many cuisines of the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. It may start from raw or cooked cauliflower; it may be dipped in batter or breading; it may be fried in oil, butter, or other fats. It can be served on its own, as a mezze or side dish, or in a sandwich. It is often seasoned with salt, spices, and a variety of sauces, in the Middle East often based on tahini or strained yogurt.
Cauliflower in general, and fried cauliflower in particular, has become increasingly popular in the United States.
Fried cauliflower may start from raw or cooked cauliflower. The cauliflower is separated into florets then deep-fried. It may be fried plain,; it may be breaded; it may be battered; or it may be simply floured.
The plain version is the crispest, though the oiliest; the breaded and battered versions result in a moister, less crisp interior.
After draining, it may be seasoned or sauced in a variety of ways.
Deep-fried and pan-fried cauliflower is found in many cuisines, and is well documented through the 19th century in Germany, Austria, Britain, and the United States. It is often called by its French name, choufleur frit.
A wide variety of fried cauliflower dishes are found in India.
One Punjabi recipe deep-fries the cauliflower first, then sautés it in spices and yogurt to nap the florets with sauce.
Among the Mizrahi, fried cauliflower was often eaten as a mezze before large meals or in various salads (often dressed with tahini sauce, strained yogurt, or citrus juice). Over time, fried cauliflower was adopted as a street food. With the rise of fine dining in Israel, Israeli chefs have incorporated versions of the dish into their cooking, where it may be an important main dish.
In Israel, fried cauliflower is commonly served at falafel, shawarma, hummus, and sabich stands, often in a sandwich or as part of a salad bar: "Fried cauliflower is a staple of falafel-shop salad bars".
It may be battered or not.
Fried cauliflower from Indian, Israeli, Italian, and Levantine traditions is found in the United States.
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