As a child, one of my most despised vegetables was the cauliflower. This was because the ONLY way my Mom ever cooked it was a traditional Aloo Gobhi – which I’m not at all fond of, even to this day. Had she even tried to serve it in any other way, say maybe this Achari Gobhi style, then I may have opened up to it much, much earlier. But alas!
I remember the first day after Hubby Dear and I got married. His family had made a nice welcome lunch for me. Being vegetarians, they cooked a variety of traditional North Indian vegetarian delicacies, and among all that was being served, there it was sitting right there mocking me. The dreaded Aloo Gobhi! Needless to say, the family quickly found out that would have to keep cauliflower away from me at all costs.
Fast forward to a couple of years later when I started working on my first cookbook, I realized that I had to make peace with this cruciferous vegetable if I wanted to provide my readers with a diverse collection of Indian home-cooked recipes. And that was when I started experimenting.
I’ve created a few successful cauliflower recipes over the years, but this Achari Gobhi definitely tops the list. So much so, that it is quite often requested at my dinner parties by friends and family. It has also become a regular on my Diwali menu and goes extremely well served alongside piping hot puris and some cool refreshing Raita. This lip-smacking tangy Achari Gobhi is a quick and easy way to cook cauliflower with the most basic spices on hand.
Our Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with the sudden drop in temperatures lately, this recipe for Achari Gobhi will be a treat for your vegan/vegetarian guests. Even if there are only meat-eaters at your table this year, serve this as a sie with your turkey, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Achari Gobhi (Spiced Cauliflower – Indian-style)
- 3 tbsp light cooking oil
- 2 tsp paanch phoron mix*
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp amchoor powder
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into small florets
- water as needed
- salt to taste
- finely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a large non-stick pan on medium high heat and add in the panch phoron mix. Once they start to sizzle, add in onions, ginger and garlic and fry for a few minutes till onions soften and lightly brown.
- Stir in the spices and tomato paste and mix well. Now add in the cauliflower florets and mix to coat well with the spice mixture. Cover the par and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally till the cauliflower is cooked through.
- If you feel the spice blend is too dry and starts to stick to the pan, add a splash of water and mix well. Season with salt and give it a final stir.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm.
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