The best part about Indian cuisine is the use of veggies in such an easy and beautiful way that eating vegetarian or vegan is not painful! Use of spices can uplift any basic food and add unimaginable levels of flavor to it. Same goes with cauliflower. Its mostly eaten as a cauli rice or maybe for soups or salads, how about a very easy dry sabji with great flavors. This dish can be prepared in 20 mins and needs hardly any prep.
Pickles are a very accompaniments in Indian Thali (complete meal). It uses a unique combination of spices along with fruit or veggie to be pickled. The same spice mix ‘Achari Mix’ is used here for a quick cauliflower curry. This recipe can be replicated with chicken or fish as well. I use mustard oil when making this cauliflower dish which gives it a gorgeous pungent flavor and hint of deep color, but of course you can always cook it using sunflower oil as well for a milder taste. This dish brings across all different flavors like spice, sweet, savory, pungent and tangyness (which is added by the Amchoor Powder added at the end). This brings a great balance of spices and flavors. It is a dry dish and is often served with roti or naan.
Achari Gobi Masala
Add the cumin, mustard seeds, fenugreek, fennel and nigella seeds to a mixer and grind to a coarse mix. (this prepares the pickling spices - same mixture used for making Indian pickles).
Separately add the green chillies with a pinch of salt with garlic and ginger to a paste with a splash of water and set aside. You could use a pestel mortar for this as well.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan over a medium flame. Add the pinch of asafoetida and the coarsely ground spice mix. Ensure that the flame is not too high else the entire curry will have a burnt taste.
Fry the spices for 20 seconds and add the onions cook them for 7 - 10 minutes (or till they turn slighly brownish) stirring well. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a minute.
Add the turmeric powder, stir well and add the cauliflower florets along with the coriander powder. Add salt to taste.
Stir this for 3 to 4 minutes. Add green chilli to the pan and later add half a cup of water.
Stir well and cook over a low to medium flame with a lid on for 15 minutes. Stir a couple of times through the cooking but not too vigorously.
Add amchoor powder and sugar continue cooking for a minute. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve warm with roti, naan or pulao.
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