“Can we have cauliflower for dinner”….I hear this at least three times a week! And no I don’t cook cauliflower that often….lol! I mean if my hubby had his way, I’d probably be cooking it almost every other day but it’s more of ‘my kitchen, my rules’ kind of a thing with me. Besides, I usually plan the entire weeks menu over the weekend…so, I exactly know when he’ll be having his beloved cauliflower next 🤗
It’s not that I am not fond of this vegetable, it’s just that I can only have it sometimes and it has to be spicy, full of flavour and not in a curry….I feel it looses all it’s flavour when added to a curry…that’s how I feel!
That’s why I am sharing today’s recipe…this has to a be a hands down winner for me when I am eating cauliflower cooked in the Indian way….North Indian to be more specific. This again comes from my Mom’s kitchen…and it’s finger licking good. This is made at least once in a week at my place as my hubby likes this semi-dry version better than a gravy too!
Achaari Aloo Gobhi…. this is a no onion no garlic recipe which needs very little preparation, except that we make a fresh spice mix (masala) to add to this recipe made from whole spices like cloves (laung), cardamom (elaichi), etc. These spices along with other powdered spices adds flavour to the cauliflower and potatoes.
If you like, you can add some green peas and other seasonal veggies to the cauliflower and potatoes as well. Else, add some water and make a gravy of it…enjoy with Tahri (veg rice). We usually enjoy the semi dry version with Laccha Paratha (see step wise pictorial recipe here)….and some Bharwa Hari Mirch (click here for recipe)
Let’s make you some spicy, rustic style Achaari Aloo Gobhi👌🏼..
Yield: serves 2
Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, a slotted spoon, a mortar-pestle or a small blender, measuring cups/ spoons.
300 gms fresh cauliflower florets
2 nos. small potatoes
2 tbsp mustard oil (we use mustard oil, feel free to use regular refined oil. However, the real zing of the achaari flavour comes from mustard oil)
1/2 tsp paanch phoran (click here to see the picture) contains a mix of cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, whole black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp degi mirch powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fresh ginger paste
1/4 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
salt to taste
For the spice mix:
4-5 nos. cloves (laung)
1 nos. black cardamom
1 inch cinnamon stick
7-8 nos. black peppercorns
fresh coriander leaves
Cut, peel and wash the cauliflower florets. Drain all the water completely. Keep the size of each of the florets on the medium side as they must cook well but not turn mushy and disintegrate completely.
Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into medium sized cubes. Again, don’t keep them too small else they’ll just become a mash!
For the spice mix:
Dry roast cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and cinnamon for 4-5 mins. Once they release their aroma, turn off the flame and let them cool down completely. Grind them to a fine powder in the blender or keep them slightly coarse if using a mortar-pestle. The entire quantity of this spice mix won’t be used in this recipe, store the excess in a dry, airtight jar. It stays fresh for upto 20 days. You can use that in any vegetarian or non-vegetarian preparation or even for Biryanis and Pilafs.
Next, heat oil in the wok, once it hot, add the paanch phoran and hing. Let them splatter.
Next, add the cubed potatoes and the cauliflower florets. Add salt to taste and turmeric. Mix these well. Cook for about 5-6 mins on low flame.
Next goes in the ginger paste along with cumin powder, coriander powder, degi mirch, red chilli powder. Mix well so that the spices coat everything. Cook for 5 mins without a lid, then cover the wok with a lid and cook for another 10 mins.
After 10 mins, the potatoes are done and the cauliflower needs about another 5 mins of cooking. At this point add 3/4 tsp of the fresh spice mix and give everything a good toss.
Once again, cover the wok with a lid and let the cauliflower cook out for the next 4-5 mins. If the cauliflower is still undercooked, you can let them cook for another 5 mins but ensure that they do not turn too mushy.
Lastly, add the amchur powder and mix well. Turn off the flame.
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve with piping hot Phulkas and some Dhaba Style Dal Makhani (click here for the recipe). I usually serve all this with an onion salad that has a lot lemon juice, some salt and a bit of freshly cracked black pepper! And we are in bliss….😀
This is something which has to be a part of our ‘soul food’ spreads …. if you are in the mood for rice…then this goes so well with some Dal and Chawal too!