Cauliflower is my favourite vegetable and this dry spicy version is one I make really often. It is perfect for a Sunday brunch paired with parathas and works equally well as a side dish in an elaborate lunch. I have also used this same recipe as a stuffing for samosas with spectacular results.
I don't claim this to be a traditional Bengali recipe or that it is authentic, but it is more or less, what I have been eating since my childhood with minor variations. This is my version.
Aloo, Motorshunti diye Phulkopi
1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 handful green peas
1 large tomato, chopped
a green chilli or two
5 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
garam masala powder (I use Everest)
2 small bay leaves
mustard oil or your oil of choice
Heat the mustard oil in your kadai or wok and chuck in the whole spices - bay leaves, cloves and cardamom. Add the cauliflower florets and fry well. Throw in the cubed potatoes when the florets start to turn slightly brown. Turn the heat down to medium and cover the wok. Stir every 3 -4 minutes so the veggies fry evenly.
Once the potatoes look half cooked move the veggies to make a well in the centre. Let the oil trickle into the middle and drop the split green chillies in. I do this in an attempt to use less oil. It hasn't affected the taste adversely at all!
Make a paste with the garlic and ginger. Or use a tablespoon of ready made paste.
Now add the tomatoes and the ginger garlic paste along with the dry powdered spices and salt. Mix well and throw in the peas too. Add about a quarter of a cup of water, cover the wok and let it cook.
You can add more water to have a wetter gravy version or leave it absolutely dry - it's up to you. Both taste great. Serve with rotis, parathas or even puris or luchis.
29 December 2013