(Photo by Renee Comet; styling by Bonnie S. Benwicl)
Food and Dining Editor

The most popular dish at Rasika, Washington’s temple of modern Indian cooking, is palak chaat, fried spinach drizzled with a tamarind chutney. But a close second is something that’s easier to pull off at home: cauliflower bezule, chef Vikram Sunderam’s vegetarian adaptation of another multi-textured Indian snack.

At both the Penn Quarter and West End locations of Rasika, Sunderam and his team cook the cauliflower twice: They soak it in a chili-spiked batter, dunk it in hot oil until crisp, then toss it in a hot skillet with a tangy-spicy combination of aromatic ingredients.

The only tricky thing for the home cook is the timing. You can give the cauliflower its first frying up to an hour before mealtime, but to get the right texture you’ll want to quickly deep-fry it again just before sauteing and serving. The last-minute work will make you feel like a chef — and your guests like diners at the best Indian restaurant in town.

Recipe: Cauliflower Bezule

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