The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, October 29, 2000
What's cooking?

Get creative with cauliflower
By Geetu

No menu is complete without a vegetable dish and the importance of vegetables in our daily diet has been proved beyond doubt. A lot has been said about the beneficial qualities of veggies. Seasonal vegetables lend a variation to the menu. Come October and everyone wants to break free from the bhindi, torai and bittergourd routine and venture into the world of sarson ka saag, radish, carrots, peas, cabbage and cauliflower. The warmth of the winter sun melting butter on sarson ka saag or mooli paranthas during lunch in the backyard is enough to tempt anyone to shun weight-watching for sometime.

Cauliflower is a major attraction of the seasonal bounty of vegetables. Apart from the flower, the leaves and stems are also used for making delicious dishes. Cauliflower stems cooked in masala with a dash of mango powder can any day give a tough competition to a non-veg dish. This dish goes very well with naan and tandoori roti. Leaves of cauliflower can be added to sarson saag and these make the saag softer. These are also used for salad decorations. When added to mixed vegetable soup, not only do these lend their nutritive value to it but also leave a distincive flavour.

The flower, as such, is versatile and can be added to a number of dishes and combined with other vegetables.If it is added to rice, it gives richness to the pulao.

If you are bored with the usual aloo-ghobhi or ghobhi bhurji then try these variations with cauliflower to tickle their tastebuds.


Cauliflower koftas


1 medium-sized cauliflowerCauliflower can be cooked in a variety of ways

250 gm cottage cheese (paneer)

2 slices bread

2 tbsp maida

tsp garam masala

tsp coriander powder

1 tsp salt

tsp chilli powder

tsp amchoor

1 tsp refined oil

Oil for frying

For gravy:

2 tbsp refined oil

A pinch of asafoetida

100 gm curd

tsp turmeric powder

tsp chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp ginger paste

Salt to taste

1 tsp garam masala

few drops of saffron essence


Grate cauliflower finely. Heat 1 tsp refined oil. Add grated cauliflower and stir until moisture evaporates. When it is cool enough to handle, add grated paneer, bread slices soaked in water and squeezed dry, salt and spices. Mix well to make a dough. Take small portions and make lemon-sized balls. Roll in maida and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Keep aside.

For the gravy:

Heat refined oil in a karahi. Add asafoetida. Beat the curd and add all spices except garam masala and saffron essence. Stir fry till oil surfaces. Add 1 cups of water and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes on a low flame. To serve: Place koftas in a dish and pour hot gravy on these. Add saffron essence and garnish with whipped cream and coriander.

Gobhi Exotica


2 medium cauliflowers

8-10 baby corns

10-15 mushrooms

1tbsp butter

3 slices of bread

1/4 cup grate cheese

1 cup chopped coriander and mint leaves

Refined oil

For the sauce

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup cream

2 tbsp maida

1/4 tsp chilli powder

2 cups milk

tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

cup grated cheese


Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Boil in salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and put in cold water. Keep these aside. Halve mushrooms and parboil mushrooms and baby corns till tender. Heat butter, add chopped coriander and mint leaves and cauliflorets, mushrooms and baby corns. Toss for 2-3 minutes and set aside.

For making sauce:

Melt butter in a pan and add maida. Roast maida on a low fire and add milk slowly to avoid lumps. Keep stirring till the mixture comes to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add cheese and remove from fire. Mix well.

Mix all vegetables in the sauce and put in a baking dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese on top. Keep in a pre-heated oven and bake at 180 C for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Gobhi phirni


1 litre full cream milk

1 kg cauliflower

150 gm sugar

1 tbsp ghee or white butter

kewra flavour - 3-4 drops

chopped pistachio - 1 tbsp

Silver leaf


Grate cauliflower. Heat butter in a pan and saute over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Cool and blend in a mixer add a little milk to make a smooth paste.

Boil milk in a thick-bottomed pan. Add cauliflower paste and sugar and let is simmer. Stir continually so that there are no lumps as the mixture thickens. Boil till it is reduced by one-third. Add kewra flavour.

For serving: Take small earthen bowls and put a little bit of phirni in each. Decorate with chopped pistachios and silver leaf. Keep these bowls in the freezer and serve the phirni chilled.

Baked cauliflower with sauce


1 medium sized cauliflower

4-5 tomatoes

1 tsp - ginger paste

2 tbsp - refined oil

1 tsp garlic paste

1 cup grated cheese

2 green chillies (chopped)

2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garam masala

tsp chilli powder

1 tsp salt


Keep the cauliflower whole. Cut the stem as close to the flower as possible. Give a crosswise cut on the base of the cauliflower. Wash and dry it. Mixed ginger and garlic paste and add chillies, garam masala powder and lime juice. Insert the paste between the florets. Place the cauliflower in a bowl, keep the stem downwards. Transfer this to a trivet in the pressure cooker. Add 3/4 glass of water and steam for 2-3 minutes at full pressure. Grease a baking dish. Put the cauliflower in it and pour the sauce on it. Pierce the cauliflower with a fork lightly. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C in a pre-heated oven. Sprinkle garam masala powder and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

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