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Poppy-Seed-Crusted Cauliflower



Grind poppy seeds and chili pieces in a spice or coffee grinder until they form a fine powder; transfer to a small bowl and mix with 6 tablespoons water to form a paste.
Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar; add cauliflower and toss until evenly coated.
Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.
When oil is hot, add cauliflower and stir-fry 4 to 6 minutes, until begins to brown in spots; remove with slotted spoon to baking sheet lined with paper towels.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet over medium heat.
When oil is hot, add nigella seeds, bay leaves, and whole chilies.
Stir-fry 15 seconds, then add poppy seed paste.
Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant; stir in cauliflower and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and sugar until cauliflower is coated.
Add 2/3 cup water; bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 4 to 6 minutes, stirring once or twice, until cauliflower is just tender and sauce is absorbed.