Friday, October 17, 2014

Gobhi Mussallam ( Whole cauliflower barbecued and served in a creamy onion-tomato sauce)

Recently we took our kids apple picking to a farm far far away in Long Island. This farm also had lot of fresh vegetables grown locally at the farm. While I came home with a while bounty of fresh vegetables, I especially came home with these humongous orange( cheddar) and white cauliflowers each of which weighed atleast 10 lbs!! Just to provide you with a mental visual: each cauliflower was as big and heavy as a huge watermelon! I also already had 2 "big" store bought cauliflowers sitting in my refrigerator. What did I do with all these cauliflowers? A whole lot actually!! I made stir-fry with just cauliflowers, made sambar with cauliflower,made vegetable pulao, froze 3 gallon-sized freezer bags and of course made this amazing dish called Gobhi Mussallam. I have been wanting to make this dish for the longest now. I always thought that the dish was too tedious to make! But it is not! I  had some sauce put away in my freezer, so, I just marinated the cauliflower,baked it in the oven, heated up and modified the frozen sauce, served the cauliflower in this sauce with some nice peas Pulao. Yummy!!! The cauliflower was nice and crunchy in the smooth velvety sauce. Do give it a try. It will be a novel experience!

Recipe source: Neeta Kumar

Servings: 4-6


Cauliflower: 1 whole medium head.

For marination:

Greek yogurt: 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tsp
Tandoori masala: 3 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste

For the sauce:

Oil: 2tbsp
Onions: 2 medium chopped
Ginger: 1 inch, minced
garlic :  4-5 cloves, minced
Tomato paste : 1 can
Green chillies: 4 medium
Cashews: 6-8 ( optional)
Almonds : 4-6 ( optional)
Haldi( turmeric powder):1tsp
Coriander powder: 1tbsp
Cumin powder: 1tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi ( dried fenugreek leaves): 1 tsp
Heavy cream: 1/2 cup( can be substituted with almond milk/ coconut milk)
Cilantro leaves: 1 tbsp chopped fine
Sugar:1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste

The Gobhi ( cauliflower):

Clean the cauliflower.

Blanch the cauliflower by keeping it in hot water that has a pinch of salt in it for 5 minutes. Or just keep it in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Now marinate it with all the ingredients under 'for marination'. Mix well and keep it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Line a baking tray with foil, place the cauliflower on it and bake it for 30-45 mins at 350 degrees in the oven turning once in between.

You know it is done when you can cut it easily with a fork. The cauliflower will be crisp ( not mushy).

You could stop at this stage, cut it into slices and serve as cauliflower "steak" with some rice or bread.

The sauce:

Make the sauce while you are waiting for the cauliflower to be cooked.

Soak the cashew nuts and almonds in water for at least 2 hours.Make a paste in the blender and keep aside.

In a sauté pan/ wok heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté chopped garlic, ginger,onion until it starts to wilt. Add the green chillies and sauté for a minute. Switch off the flame and let it cool. Once cooled, put it in a blender  and make a paste.

Heat the same wok/ sauté pan again, add remaining oil. Keep the flame on low.

Now add the  ground onion-garlic-ginger-green chilli paste to it and sauté until it  turns a little golden brown. 

Add the tomato paste and sauté until it begins to leave oil. 

Now add the haldi powder, coraiander and cumin powders and sauté for 30 seconds. 

Add red chilli powder and garam masala and sauté for another 20 seconds. 

Add the cashew-almond paste and  1/2 cup water to thin the sauce. Let it simmer. 

Add Kasoori methi, salt and pinch of sugar and mix well. 

Add the 1/2 cup heavy cream, let it simmer for 1-2 mins.

Putting it together:

To the above sauce, add the baked/ grilled whole cauliflower. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes for it to all come together.

Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Carve a slice of the cauliflower and serve it with a little sauce.

Serve hot with plain rice/ jeera/ rice/ peas-carrot pulao or just with some kind of roti/naan/bread.


I am bringing this to the weekly fun-filled party at Angie's Fiesta Friday! Yay! Hilda and Julianna are co-hosting again this weekend! Yay again!!

Cooking made easy:

I tend to make onion- ginger-garlic- green chilli paste and freeze it in batches. Whenever I need it, I take a portion, thaw it, add tomato paste, the spices and whatever vegetable/ chicken/ paneer. Weeknight dinner is ready!

You can also make the whole sauce and freeze it in batches, thawing an using it as needed.

Tip for healthy living:

If you have a cold/cough/sore throat drinking ginger-honey-lemon tea will help soothe it. This you can do by boiling 1 inch ginger that is grated into 2 cups water, reducing it to one cup. Turn off the flame, squeeze quarter of a lemon and a teaspoon of  honey.

Food for thought:

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing. Salvador Dali

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