Gobi Taka Tak, or Indian Sautéed Cauliflower with Peppers, Tomatoes and Yogurt is an easy, fast and delicious vegetable side dish for any curry, pilaf or main meat! This dish has proved to be a keeper, as I have made it many times since it was originally featured on this post. In November 2015 I decided to update the photos, but I have left some of the original pictures so you can understand why my kids originally fell in love with this dish made with the more colorful broccoflower! Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
I think my kids might hate white vegetables.
Now on the one hand I realize I have little to complain about (although don’t think I don’t work at it, with Alex especially). But on the other hand, given how much they like other white foods (bread, pasta, rice, yogurt), why I cannot get my kids to give potatoes, cauliflower and other white veggies more of a chance is beyond me.
Original photo from August 2010 with broocoflower instead of cauliflower.
Enter the local renovated Kroger’s.
As many of you know I am in love with a Cincinnati grocery store called Jungle Jim’s–which I get to about once a month since I live out a ways. Once a month is not good odds for experimenting with produce, so I tend to stick to what is on my list when I walk into the store. However, the local Kroger’s has been renovated, and suddenly I have a produce smorgasbord available to me 7 minutes away. Nothing too exotic mind you, but great previously unavailable choices.
This is very exciting.
It has led to me trying broccoflower for the first time ever, and the rainbow hued cauliflower (that’s essentially what it is) was a huge hit with my kids. I chose Gobi Taka Tak from Suvir Saran’s fantastic Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes. After filling up on the dish in general, Alex actually picked the remaining broccoflower pieces out of the dish to make sure she ate every last bite. This opens up a very large world of possibilities for us, because I am always scrambling for Indian vegetable dishes–and Indian cuisine and cauliflower make a great match.
Original photo from August 2010 with broccoflower.
This first cauliflower (broccoflower) dish, Gobi Taka Tak, I served with a rice and lentil pilaf, heavy on the lentils. Now let me be clear, all things being equal I would happily serve it with a rice only pilaf. But you remember those heavenly whole spiced potatoes? I was serving them with this meal, so I wanted add more protein without adding too many more carbs. I think it worked out really well. If you love Indian potatoes as much as I love Indian potatoes, I really recommend this as a way to not serve 2 big carbs with your meal.
- vegetable oil to fill the bottom of your wok or fry pan to about 1 inch depth
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (or equivalent broccoflower), cored and cut into small florets
- 1 scant t cumin seeds
- 1 small-medium onion, diced
- salt to taste
- 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced (I had to sub pickled baby ginger, rinsed, and it actually worked great)
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- ½ fresh hot chile pepper, minced, optional (I always leave out bc of Alex)
- 2 t ground cumin
- 2 t garam masala
- ½ t cayenne pepper or paprika, to heat preference
- ⅔ cup plain yogurt, whole fat, preferably Greek yogurt or similarly thickened/strained
- 1 sweet bell pepper, finely chopped (can use green, but I like sweeter colored ones)
- 4 small tomatoes, finely chopped (I used frozen from last summer)
- 1-2 T fresh chopped cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium high heat. When it is shimmering hot, add the cauliflower and stir fry it, pushing and flipping it gently to make sure it is evenly cooked. After about 7 minutes (could be longer if your pieces are bigger), when the cauliflower is tender crisp, remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel (toss the paper towel after a few moments so they do not sit in the drained oil).
- Discard all but a film of the oil and add cumin seeds. Let them darken and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add the onion with a pinch of salt and stir fry for 5 minutes, until the edges of the onions start to turn brown.
- Add the minced ginger, garlic, and optional fresh chile pepper and cook for an additional minute, still stirring. Then add the ground cumin, garam masala, cayenne/paprika, and yogurt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to combine.
- Add the bell pepper, tomatoes and cooked cauliflower and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt with the veggies, and then taste again for salt at the end of the 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with basmati rice or some sort of pilaf.
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed thoroughly and soaked for 30 minutes
- 1½ cups lentil de puy (or some other lentil which holds its shape when cooked)
- pinch of turmeric
- pinch of paprika or cayenne
- pinch of ground cumin
- 4 whole onions, thinly sliced
- 1-2 T vegetable oil
- 1 t dark mustard seeds (could sub cumin seeds)
- salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 275 F.
- Begin by cooking the lentils in a pot with water to cover by about 3 inches plus pinches of ground cumin, turmeric and paprika/cayenne. Cook until tender but still holding their shape--I start checking at around the 20 minute mark. When they are close, add salt to taste and cook until done and then taste for additional salt. Drain and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil while you continue with the recipe.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the mustard seeds and let pop (if you use cumin seeds, watch for darkening and fragrance, about 30-60 seconds). When they have finished popping, add the onions with a pinch of salt. Fry until they are dark brown and caramelized, stirring and adding water as necessary to prevent scorching (add it by the tablespoon). When they are close to being done, reduce the heat the lowest setting and work on the rice, stirring the onions occasionally.
- After the rice has soaked, boil the rice for 2-5 minutes, until it is still firm but it no longer hard or crunchy in the middle. Drain the rice and then add to the onions with the lentils. Mix thoroughly, seal tightly, and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
A collage from November 2010 featuring the Gobi Taka Tak:
I love the color of your gobhi.
And kids are allowed to be irrational! I wouldn't drink "white" milk as a kid, but leap at the same thing once you add some drinking chocolate
I think when it comes to kids, part of the food is all about aesthetics. You could serve them two dishes that looked completely different but tasted exactly the same. And they would hate one and love the other.
This dish looks so flavorful!
this does look so flavorful – I found with kids its all in the delivery – if you say "ick its peanut butter and jelly" when they are young then you are off to a bad start – act enthusiastically and they will too.
Funny about the color thing. Yael will eat all colors of cauliflower, infinitely — but when I buy the purple or orange she is definitely happier. It's like candy food or something!
This dish looks delicious. I should point out that lentils, being beans, are still starchy — but the added protein definitely beefs up the meal! (no pun intended)
I love the colour of your cauliflower and broccoli, it sounds like a wonderful dish. Cauliflower Curry is one of my favourite Cauliflower dishes, so this looks like a great variation. Thanks
I take it your kids are smart enough to know if you dyed a cauliflower with turmeric? Then it wouldn't be white anymore 😉
So colourful, so tasty looking!
wow, what a colorful dish. This looks really good. I'm totally in the mood for something vegetarian, so this is perfect.
Kim - Liv Life says
I’m loving everything about this!! My family usually enjoys anything cauliflower, and I see this as a regular soon at our house too!
Let me know how they like it–and stay tuned! I have another older post with picture updates coming soon with cauliflower!
Laura @MotherWouldKnow says
Are you and I the only people who love exotically colored cauliflower and wild variations on the broccoli/cauliflower theme? If so, I’m OK with that, as long as you keep sharing delicious recipes like this one. Have an orange cauliflower in my fridge now that may end up in gobi taka tak.