Saturday, 6 October 2012

Malai Gobi (Cauliflower in creamy white sauce)

Malai Gobi
A lazy Saturday once again. Hubby had office which meant I was no where going near to the kitchen and was meant to spend the entire day reading travel blogs, food or photography. But I was a woman on a mission today. I had to study for Advanced Software Testing Exam. I sat focused for half an hour then I I felt I had studied a lot and need to take a short break. I though maybe I will just log on to the net for 10-15 mins and take a look at the options available for a North Bengal Trip that we were planning and then back to studies. So I did a wee bit of searching here and there read a travelogue on Lava and then thought maybe I will just take a look at what was going on in my blog any new comments, visitors or anything else. And then I thought while I the blog page loads why don't I just in parallel load the last weekend trip to Lonavala pics on Facebook. Thus soon I found myself working on two browser windows and 10 opened tabs. It was also an important task you see, I mean I hardly get time to upload pics, checkout whats happening in the blog forums, say hi to my friends on FB and so on. So I kept nudging the fat text book to one corner of the bed as I settled myself comfortably with my laptop and a packet of Aliva Milk Minis Apple Delight biscuits. Let me tell you here that I am totally in love with this little goodies that I accidentally found in the supermarket last weekend. They are yum and crispy sweet little things. Almost takes me back to the days when Little hearts Biscuit made its appearance into the market and stirred up a storm. Every time dad went to the market I would tell him to get me a packet of those sugar drizzled heart shaped biscuits that would actually melt in the mouth leaving behind a sweet trail and more longing. Somehow I felt in the later days the biscuit lost its charm, it no longer melted in the mouth and was a bit hard. Maybe my conception but it felt that way or maybe the initial euphoria had died down. But when I chanced upon these milk minis they made me very nostalgic. Today I gorged on the last packet and was wondering why I didn't get more of it. Anyway I will pick it up sometime next week again. All this time while I was at the net I had forgotten about time. When I looked at the clock it was already 12 pm. I had decided to have Maggie in lunch hence there was no hurry (mind it I was going to have Maggie after 3 months almost, so it's not a staple for me whenever hubby is out :P). I only had to take a shower and cook Maggie and laze around for the rest of the day. But then I started thinking of what I will be making for dinner. Something easy and quick of course. I thought why not make the vegetable right now, so that I will have a free evening as well. I looked into the freezer and a nice white cauliflower and a few capsicums stared back. Oops I had totally forgotten Saturday is my vegetable shopping day! Ok, so it was already late and I only had a lone cauliflower at my disposal. I took out the milk, curd and the cauliflower out of the fridge and prepared the easiest dish possible with them. Have a look at the recipe I'm sure you are going to love it.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Cuisine: Bengali

  • Cauliflower (Medium sized) - Half (cut into bite sized florets)
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Yogurt- 1/4 cup
  • Amul Fresh Cream - 1tbsp (you can skip this if you are more calorie concious)
  •  Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cardamoms - 2
  • Cinnamon Stick - 1"
  • Bay Leaf - 1
  • Mace - 3 strands
  • Nutmeg - less than 1/4 spoon (just to enhance flavor)
  • Green Chillies - 2 (slit through middle)
  • Salt to taste ( This is a sweet predominant dish hence salt is added just to balance the taste)
Cauliflower in a creamy rich sauce


1.Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets. Keep a bowl of water and add a spoon of salt to it. Keep tossing in the florets into the salt water as you cut. The salt water helps to get any insects or worms out of the cauliflower. This was a step followed by my mom and granny, since back then we used to get organic produce which were prone to worms. But now most of the round-the-year-available fresh looking produce are hybrid hence devoid of worms usually. Select your cauliflower well while buying which leans the chances of having any worms. But still this is a prevention step. You may skip it if you are sure about the flower's freshness.

2. Wash and keep the florets aside. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the florets till a mild browning is observed. Mind that you don't burn them. This is supposed to be a white colored preparation, hence burning the florets would spoil the color.

3. Take all the spice (cinnamon, clove, mace, nutmeg, cardamom) and grind coarsely with a morter and pestle.

  This is specially helpful if you hate biting into the whole spices while having food. Grinding the spices brings out the flavor easily as well as it doesn't come into your mouth while eating.
 4. In a small mixing bowl add the milk, yogurt and cream. Beat to a uniform consistency. We will call it the white sauce.

5. Heat oil in a wok and add the sugar. Don't increase the flame much as it may burn the sugar. All we need is a nice caramelized sugar.

6. Once the sugar takes on a brownish hue add the grounded spices and bay leaf.

7. Let the aroma come then take the wok out of the heat and let it cool down a bit to avoid the milk from curdling.

8. Once its cool, add the white sauce. Mix well.

  If you want a richer texture you can add poppy seed paste and cashew paste to it as well. But since the recipe already has cream, I preferred it without them.

9.  Put the gas on medium and put the wok back. While stirring it add the shallow fried florets into the white sauce.

  Even if the milk curdles its doesn't matter. At the end it will become thick and creamy.

10. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the slitted green chillies.

11. Add salt.

12. Cover and cook till the florets are soft. Cooking will take 15 minutes.

13. Remove the cover and keep stirring the florets in the sauce till the extra water dries up and the gravy is of thick consistency (it will stick to the florets).

Savor this rich creamy preparation with plain or flavoured rice or with Indian flat bread/tortillas.

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