Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gobi Musallam / Whole Cauliflower Stuffed with Gravy

My learning to make Gobi Mussalum is a Comedy Of Errors. I first tried this recipe from Women's Era long time ago when I was in India before my marriage. The cauliflower took a long time to cook as I had not steamed it as mentioned in the recipe. The next time I tried, the cauliflower florets broke when I was stuffing the masala into the cauliflower. I guess I had over cooked the cauliflower. Another time, the masala was very runny and it did not stick to the cauliflower. After many failed attempts I learnt how to make the perfect Gobi Mussalam. I like this recipe as it is easy to make (if made correctly) and it is a great change from the regular gobi sabzi. I also make part of the recipe (masala) earlier, say in the morning and then integrate it and bake it just before dinner or lunch. It also keeps well for a day and tastes even better the next day. We usually buy baby cauliflowers from farmer's market and they are in season currently. Using baby cauliflowers makes it easier to stuff the small cauliflowers with the masala as opposed to larger ones.

5-6 baby cauliflowers
2 medium onion
2 tablespoon tomato paste or 3 tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup milk
2-3 green chilies
4 tablespoon coriander leaves or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon amchur powder or dry mango powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
7 cashew nuts
salt for taste

Remove the stalk's of the cauliflowers and boil them in cooker for 8 minutes. Don't put the whistle or weight on the cooker. Drain all the water by placing them on a kitchen paper. Put a teaspoon oil in a flat pan and roast the cauliflowers till the heads are brown. Make small slits on the cauliflower with a knife head to stuff the masala. Keep aside.

Chop the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Saute for a minute. Add chopped ginger, garlic and chopped green chilies. Add onion and fry till the raw smell of the onion is eliminated. Add cashew nuts and saute for a minute. Grind all the fried ingredients into a fine thick paste with milk. Put the paste into the same pan in which the onions were fried. Saute for around 4 minutes on medium flame. If you are using tomatoes, then chop them finely and cook them in a pan till the water has evaporated and then grind it into a fine paste. Add tomato paste and saute till the tomato paste has completely dissolve into the paste. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala powder, amchur powder and salt. Stir till a thick paste is formed. Add a little more salt and chili powder taking into consideration that the cauliflower is bland.
I take 3 tablespoon of this paste and add a little milk to make it liquid-ish. Put this liquid into the cauliflower bottoms to coat the interiors of the cauliflower with the masala. Now use all the thick masala and coat it on the bottoms and tops of the cauliflower and also push the masala into the slits. Line the cauliflowers in a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees. Check after 20 minutes to see if the masala on the top has browned. If not cook for approximately 20 more minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. I did not garnish it as I ran out of coriander leaves today:). Serve hot with roti.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 3-4

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