(subzi subtitle: whatever becomes of the cauliflower.)
Actually, it's "phool-gobhi" ( फूलगोभी), quite literally "cabbage (gobhi) flower (phool)" but if you keep the "phool" and mention just "gobhi" in Indian cuisine, most of the time, people will assume you're talking about cauliflower instead of cabbage.
Months back, Aloo Gobhi (potatoes & cauliflower) reared its pretty little head here, but I didn't provide a decent description or recipe then, and am back to remedy that. I'm no authority, but there are loads of ways to prepare cauliflower with potatoes and they will still be legitimately named "aloo gobhi", but I'll just concentrate on the recipe that I like best, based on this one, with a few tips and tweaks.
How to (for 4): Break up half a cauliflower into evenly-sized florets and boil for about 4 minutes. Flush cauliflower with cold water so that the florets don't oxydise and darken.
I stuck to the first ingredient list, but my spice paste varied according to what I had in the fridge, and goes like this:
several tbsp of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup chopped green onion
4 green chillis
1/2 tsp grated ginger
4 plump cloves of garlic
about 4 - 5 small spring onions
The rest of the steps are just as in the recipe. Notice how they didn't mention salt? Yeah, I always get tricked in this way when making curries! With so many ingredients to juggle, who ever remembers the salt?
Variations: I see the same spice paste working well with cabbage or peas but the name will not be the same...
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I've never been to Calcutta but by the grace of Google, could not remain ignorant of this intriguing fusion dish called Gobhi Manchurian... I gathered from various sources that seeking an authentic recipe for this will merely set one up for major disappointment, and that the gist of it is to marry Indian and Chinese flavours, so here's my own contribution to the mass of recipes out there:
How to (for 4): Break up half a cauliflower into evenly-sized florets and boil for about 4 minutes. Flush cauliflower with cold water so that the florets don't oxydise and darken (sounds familiar? heh heh).
Make a thick batter with wheat & rice flours (3 parts to one?), salt, turmeric, baking soda and water to get preferred consistency. Heat oil for deep-frying, dip florets in batter and deep fry. Set aside.
Sauce - Finely chop 1 onion, 2 green + 2 red chillis and 4 cloves of garlic, grate ginger to get 1/2 a tsp and snip some green onions to get half a cup. Heat 2 tbsps each of sesame oil and corn oil and fry onion, garlic and ginger until the onion softens and the raw smell of the ginger fades. Add 1/2 cup of ketchup and a few splashes of soya sauce and stir well. Add in green onions.
These cauliflower fritters mollify very quickly, so it's best to eat them fast. I did, however, bake them after deep-frying them, and they stayed crispy though only for a very brief while...
You can serve gobhi manchurian either with the sauce as a chunky dip on the side:
or mix everything together - soggy satisfaction guaranteed!
Variations: Batter - add chilli powder for more zing, cumin for more fragrance, corn flour and/or besan instead of rice flour for more bite. Sauce - fish sauce instead of soya, peanut oil instead of sesame, chopped coriander instead of green onions.
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