Gobhi Mussallam is a wonderfully delectable dish that once again comes from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Heartwarming and delicious, this recipe is typically made in the winter as its stars are winter vegetables. Both cauliflower and peas, today available around the year, were to be found in the sprawling vegetables markets of the north only in winter. In fact, when peas did make an appearance out of season, people rarely purchased them, as they would often have a bitter aftertaste. Winter peas were always sweet!!
Gobhi Mussallam can be a really very rich dish that can be served with rice, pulao, naan, tandoori roti, or even just plain parathas or phulkas!! Typically the cauliflower is deep fried and then immersed in the marinade, then cooked in the curry for maximum flavour. I skipped the frying stage and instead blanched the cauliflower - there was no loss in the taste. In fact I felt that the vegetable absorbed the marinade and the curry better after a gentle blanching.
1 large cauliflower
1 cup green peas
2 medium onions, sliced
1" piece ginger, peeled
2 tomatoes, blanched and peels removed
1 tbsp khus khus (poppy seeds)
8-10 cashew nuts
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
1/2 tsp lal mirch (red chili powder)
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp zeera (cumin seeds)
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan and cook the sliced onions till they begin to brown Remove and cool.
- Coarsely chop the tomato and ginger. Place with the onions in a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend the buttermilk, salt, remaining haldi and red chili powder. This will be the marinade for the cauliflower.
- Dry roast the poppy seeds and the cashews and grind to a fine powder.
- Separate the cauliflower florets. Wash well. In a large sauce boil water with half a teaspoon of salt.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon haldi and the the cauliflower florets. Cook till tender. Drain.
- Put the cooked cauliflower florets into the bowl with the marinade. Gently mix to ensure that all the florets are well covered with the marinade.
- Let the cauliflower sit in the marinade for at least half and hour.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and then the onion-tomato paste.
- Stir and cook for 5-7 minutes, then add the cashew-poppy seed powder. Cook this until the oil begins to separate.
- Now add the marinated cauliflower with any remaining marinade. Throw in the green peas.
- Stir, cover and cook on a low heat for at least half an hour. Turn off the heat and allow the cooked cauliflower to sit in its juices for another 10 minutes.
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