Thursday, 1 April 2010
Gobi Mutter (Cauliflower and Peas) in a creamy sauce
Cauliflower is a vegetable from the cruciferous family just like broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Vegetables in this family are well known for their cancer preventing abilities. I am made to understand that atleast one serving of cruciferous vegetables every week help prevent prostate cancer in men. The phytochemicals in these vegetables are also said to help detoxify the body especially the liver and also help the body fight against carcinogens. They are also believed to reverse some damage done to cardiovascular system in diabetics. It is these phytochemicals that make them release sulphurous odour while being heated and this only gets worse with cooking time. As repulsive as the odour may be, I have always been a fan of cauliflower. Broccoli on the other hand, I find quite bland and does not even manage to take the flavours from the rest of the ingredients. I usually stick to cauliflower to tap the benefits of the cruciferous vegetables. If all these reasons are not good enough, I am sure the taste and flavours in this recipe will lure you to eat this wonderful vegetable.
I do remember that we used to get it in India only during ’winter’ but as I realised during my recent visit we get it throughout the year these days. As it is my dad’s favourite veggie, I made this dish for him but spared the creamy bit of it. While picking cauliflower, get a clean creamy white flower. If the leaves cover the flower well, even better. Cut the cauliflower florets into required size and put them in hot water for few minutes so you get rid of any insects or worms in it. Never depend on strict stir frying to fully cook the cauliflower as it will take eternity. Before I get into the actual recipe I should mention I used to do this with cream but in view of reducing fat I wanted to find an alternate and bingo – soya milk. Soya milk was a successful replacement for cream and added to the nutritive value of the food. I will elaborate on goodness of soya in a later post, now for the recipe.
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup green peas
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup tomato puree
2-3 green chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
1 inch ginger piece minced
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 teaspoon chilli powder (adjust quantity according to your taste)
2-3 pinch turmeric powder
1 cup soya milk
Salt as required
Bring water to boil in a pan and add the cauliflowers and peas. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remember not to overcook cauliflower as they become soggy and mushy.
In a deep dish add 1 teaspoon oil and cumin seeds. Once they turn brown, add turmeric powder and fry the onions, garlic, ginger, chillies
Add tomato puree and cook until it turns pulpy.
Take a hand mixie (grinder) and coarsely grind this mixture. (If prefer not to grind, you may omit this step)
Allow to boil and the mixture come to the centre leaving the oil in the outer. Add chilli powder
Add the cooked cauliflower and peas and season with salt. I usually do until this stage in the morning and leave it until night so the vegetables absorb all the flavours. I finish off the dish with steps below just before dinner)
Add kasoori methi and simmer for 3-4 minutes. The longer it simmers for, the tastier it is.
Add the soya milk and simmer for few minutes. Adjust the quantity of soya milk according to the desired consistency of the gravy. If you want to indulge, use cream instead of soya milk. You may even want to use some milk instead.
Garnish with coriander if desired but not necessary as kasoorimethi is added. Serves best with rice, chapattis, naans,kulchas