I told my mother in law that my while my pork vindaloo was cooking inside the box, this cauliflower dish was cooking outside the box. You see, not only had I never made this dish, I also had never cooked cauliflower before, let alone cooked an Indian cauliflower dish.
So I was flying blind to some extent, counting on the vindaloo to rescue me if it all went down the tube.
Luckily that was not needed.
This dish complemented the pungent vindaloo well, as it is a mild dish. The peas–not native to India as I have recently learned, but oh such a perfect and welcome addition to the family–are perfect in this, making me think maybe cauliflower, like potatoes, cry out for peas in Indian cuisine.
You might be tempted to reduce the ghee in this dish. Do not, or at least not by much (or you could try mixing it with oil). Just think of the cauliflower as being served in a butter sauce–the ghee is crucial to the success of the dish. It is the nutty, tasty conduit for the other flavors in the dish.
**Special thanks again to my mother in law for taking all of these photos.**
Gobhi Hari Matar Sabji (Sauteed Cauliflower & Green Peas)
Adapted from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art Of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Yamuna Devi
4 T ghee
1 T minced ginger
1 1/2 t cumin seeds
1 bay leaf (she also suggests curry leaves, since I was out of town the bay leaf was easier)
1 large (about 3 lbs) cauliflower head, trimmed, cored and cut into flowerets
1/2 t turmeric
heaping 1/4 t cayenne or paprika
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, split in half
1 1/2 cups peas (I used frozen, if using fresh add them earlier)
2-4 T water
1/2 t salt, plus more to taste
1/3 cup plain whole fat or low fat yogurt (I used whole fat but I think low fat would work)
Make sure your pot is large enough to comfortably hold the cauliflower–and to be able to stir and toss it. Devi calls for at least a 5 qt pot. Heat the ghee in the pot until it is hot but not smoking. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf and roast them in tho oil until they have darkened and are fragrant. Add the ginger and fry it for about one minute, stirring. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry it, tossing, for a minute. Sprinkle it with the cilantro, turmeric and cayenne/paprika. Stir fry until the cauliflower has lightly browned.
Add the water (and fresh peas if using fresh), cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the frozen peas for the last 4 minutes of cooking. When the cauliflower is tender-crisp, turn off the heat and add the remaining cilantro and the yogurt, and toss. Taste for salt.
Congratulations on cooking cauliflower! Hands down it is Yael’s favorite — you will have to invite her over…. 😉 I love it the Indian way too, especially with peas, and even better with paneer!
oooooo this looks like an Indian dish I could make at home and love!
Looks like a total success–your first time working with cauliflower!! I love the looks of this dish. Man, Indian food is my fav. Great job!! Way to step “outside” the box.
Did you really say you are making this the first time?
This is a winter staple for us, and yours looks perfect.
Susan @ SGCC says
I happen to love cauliflower and I always order this dish at my fave Indian restaurant. You did a great job with it. It looks perfect!
I cannot believe you have NEVER cooked cauliflower before!
noble pig says
Wow, you had never cooked cauliflower! This sounds delicious!
I love Indian food-especially when you can make it at home! Will have to try this!
Robin Sue says
I am slowly getting into Indian cooking and this sounds like sonething I can do. I have all the spices so it would work for me!
Gourmet Mama says
Hey, that looks like something my own boys might want to sink their teeth into. Not to mention mine. And like everyone, I can't believe you've never cooked cauliflower before. You did an amazing job!
This looks great, but there's way too many ingredients for someone as lazy as me. I usually just saute cooked cauliflower florets in a little oil, with thinly sliced onions and crushed red chillies. Cauliflower tastes great sauteed.
Mmm vindaloo sounds yummy. Must look if you've posted a vindaloo recipe! Would love to try that out someday when I'm feeling adventurous!
I've been spying on this recipe for some time now. Tonight I finally made it. My husband actually said, "oh my gosh, this is soooo good." It was SO easy to make. Thanks so much for this tasty recipe!!