These vegan cauliflower tempura bites (cauliflower tortitas) in a tomato-chipotle sauce are one of my favorite lent side dishes. Traditionally the tortitas are dropped in an egg batter and fried, but for this version of the batter, I’ve essentially made an eggless tempura batter. The tomato-chipotle sauce gives this dish the acidity and spiciness that pairs very well with the crunchiness of the cauliflower
Every time lent and Easter comes around I get very homesick. Holy Week and Easter are a big deal in Mexico and our family has a set of traditions we practice every year. Every Friday in lent we enjoy comida de cuaresma(lent food) which includes things like tortitas de camaron, lentejas, caldo de mariscos, shrimp cocktails,capirotada, tortitas de coliflor, tortitas de papa, etc. I can’t get those things around here, or at least I haven’t found a place that serves traditional lent food, so I’ve adapted some of these dishes to be vegan.
One of the other traditions that we really enjoy and we can do here is Mexican confetti eggs. I’ve been saving my eggs since February and we’ve already started painting some. It’s so fun to watch the kids smash the eggs on each other’s heads and the colorful confetti jump out every where. Now all I have to do is find a family who will adopt us for Easter since the hubby is working. Sigh.
The Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Tempura Bites in Tomato Chipotle Sauce
Vegan Cauliflower Tempura Bites
1 ½cupsSoda water
1Cauliflower,large, cut into florets
1can (14.5 oz.)Diced tomatoes
1Chipotle pepper in adobo (1 pepper)
Place all the ingredients for the sauce in the blender and process until smooth.
Bring sauce to a simmer in a sauce pot set to medium heat. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Sift the flour and cornstarch into a large bowl. Add the salt and soda water. Whisk until combined. The batter should have the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Add more water as necessary.
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 350°F.
Once the oil is hot, use your hands to drop the cauliflower in the batter and then into the oil. Fry for 2-3 min. on each side or until the batter is crispy and slightly golden.
Remove from oil and place on a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Serve with spicy tomato sauce.
For a healthier version, season the cauliflower with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp. of oil. Roast the cauliflower in the oven at 450F for 20 min.