Cauliflower with pea and potatoes in a brown gravy
I labored over this dish a bit but the results were worth it. There are some dishes worth laboring over and a good gravy for a vegetable dish is worth it. Brown gravies work very well with sturdy vegetables like cauliflower. Labour a bit over the browning of the onions which can take you as long as fifteen minutes but I can assure you this is a dish worth putting on any table.
The dish needs be a deep brown colour. Make sure you brown the onions in a tea spoon of oil stirring it constantly on high flame.
Here is a way to cheat with creating a deep brown colour. Take a tea bag and boil it in a cup of water. Add this to the dish after the masala goes into the pot. Don’t worry your dish wont taste like tea. This is a great hack
I used chole masala which I had bought before the lock down. It’s a good one from a company called Table Spoon ™ – Delhi Chole Masala. I found this a bit pricy at Rs 79 for 100 grams but very good in quality. Alternatively use any Chole masala you have.
Break the cauliflower into bite sized florets and let it soak for ten minutes in salted water. This takes care of any creepy crawlies that are hidden in the cauliflower
Cauliflower – 500 grams (after cleaning) and broken into medium sized florets
Onions – Two very large or four medium sized, sliced thinly and evenly. Do not be stingy!
Tomatoes – Two very large, chopped finely
Peas – 100 grams
Potatoes – 250 grams, chopped as large as the florets of the cauliflower
Green chillies – two, chopped
Turmeric -1/2 teaspoon
Ginger and garlic paste – one teaspoon
Chole Masala – 3 teaspoons( see tips below)
Fresh coriander – a hand full
Oil and salt as desired.
In a teaspoon of oil fry the finely sliced onions till they are evenly brown. This may take you as long as fifteen minutes but this is worth it. Now add the chopped chillies and tomatoes and cook this till the tomatoes are rendered down. Now add the turmeric, ginger garlic paste and the chole masala and cook this; first for half a minute with the onions and tomatoes and then adding ¼ cup of water and cooking it till it is dry again. Take the mixture off the heat and spread on a plate to cool down.
Put this mixture into a blender and blend it for a minute. You don’t need to add water at all. In the same pot which you friend the onions, tomatoes and masala, add a little oil and fry the chopped potatoes. Let them develop a nice brown colour from the outside but don’t allow it to cook fully. Now add the ground paste and about two cups of water and salt to taste.
Remember that water or if you have vegetable stock is added to form a gravy. Make sure that the gravy consistency does not look like cauliflower was hit by a flood; floating in water. Cook this for five minutes and then add the cauliflower and continue the cooking process for two minutes. Now add the peas and coriander and turn off the gas. If the peas are fresh add it at the time of adding the cauliflower. If frozen add it as the time suggested above. Let the vegetables cook in the heat of the gravy. For heaven sake stop over cooking vegetables and stop calling a dish of crunchy vegetables raw! We have murdered our vegetables and think that’s the way to cook it.
Bon appetite and do write in your comments. Remember it takes time to share all of this from my end and may take you only a minute for our comments but they help and encourage.
Fr. Warner D'Souza is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay. He has served in the parishes of St Michael's (Mahim), St Paul's (Dadar East), Our Lady of Mount Carmel, (Bandra), a ten year stint as priest-in-charge at St Jude Church (Malad East) and at present is the Parish Priest at St Stephen's Church (Cumballa Hill). He is also the Director of the Archdiocesan Heritage Museum and is the co-ordinator of the Committee for the Promotion and Preservation of the Artistic and Historic Patrimony of the Church.