It’s a treat for me to have my mother’s cooking. Since I only get to have it every few months, she always makes whatever I request. No matter what else I ask her to cook, this gobi is always part of the menu. It’s my absolute favorite Indian vegetarian dish, and unlike a lot of versions which use onions and tomatoes, the beauty of her version is its simplicity. Indian cooks never have recipes for their creations since they cook by feel, but I’ve watched my mom make this so many times now and have a version that is pretty close to hers. The secret is the addition of a Bengali five-spice mix called punch pudan which is blend of mustard, nigella, fenugreek, fennel and cumin seeds. You can blend the seeds together and make it yourself, buy it from any Indian store or online from Kalustyan’s. I’m not a big fan of filling my cabinets with unnecessary spices, but this one is worth your while since you can also use it in many other Indian dishes. So mom, this recipe is in honor of you. I don’t have your hand, but I’ve done my best imitation! ~Shivani
1 head of cauliflower cut into bite-size florets
2 to 3 tablespoons of punch pudan (see note above)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons of canola or olive oil
Salt, to taste
Cilantro for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a medium size non-stick pan over medium to high heat.
Add in cauliflower, spices, salt and water.
Mix well, cover and cook on medium until done (around 20 minutes). Gobi should be soft but not overly mushy.
Top with cilantro.
Gobi can be scooped up with a whole wheat or brown rice tortilla. For protein, go for any style of lentil, tandoori chicken or spiced fish fillet. Susan’s channa masala from last week is the perfect pairing.