gobi musallam (coconut curried cauliflower)

Hello readers! Sorry i have been on a hiatus, lots of moving and cleaning going on in my end. Last week I made this cauliflower dish that I have been eyeing/wanting to make for a while and it came out splendidly. Served with rice, a side of pita, some baba ghanoush, and fries (which I will be posting the recipe for shortly) it was the perfect meal and very filling dinner (although this cauliflower does look like a brain). Gobi means “cauliflower” and musallam means “whole” or “perfect.” It is served with a makhani gravy (generally made with butter and gravy but in this case it is made with coconut).

I found this recipe on Vegan Richa, one of my new favorite vegan sites, filled with plenty of Indian cuisine recipes. The blanched and baked cauliflower came out very tender and went nicely with the creamy, sweet and flavorful gravy, due to the mixture of coconut milk and other spices.

Cauliflower is a great and versatile vegetable, as it is not extremely flavorful and absorbs the the flavors of its seasoning. I also recently made spicy buffalo cauliflower bites (recipe soon to come) and it tasted very similar to buffalo chicken bites, much to my delight. Cauliflower is very low in calories (only 29 calories per 1 cup) and contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, B-vitamins, and other minerals. There are connections to cauliflower in cancer prevention, detox support by antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits from vitamin K, and digestive benefits from fiber.

Also a side note, this recipe requires you to “blanch” the cauliflower, something I have never done before. Blanching means placing the vegetable in boiling water for a few minutes and then placing the vegetable in iced water to “shock it” and stop the cooking process, in order to remove some of the bitterness of the cauliflower.

Recipe (adapted from Vegan Richa):

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower head with leaves and stems removed
  • Water to blanch
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For Gravy/Curry:

  • 2 teaspoons oil (olive or canola)
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped (I used white onion)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala ( I didn’t have any so I used curry powder, but it is normally a blend of traditional Indian spices and you can make it yourself here.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk, from can
  • 1/4 cup ground cashew (I didn’t have any so I used 1/4 cup coconut/non-dairy yogurt)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Boil water and immerse, fully, the head of cauliflower, cooking for 4 minutes.
  2. Add salt, turmeric, chili and blanch cauliflower.
  3. Set aside and place on an oiled pan and preheat oven to 400 F.
  4. Heat pan, with oil, on medium heat and add onion, sautéing until translucent/golden.
  5. Add ginger, garlic, and chili and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, salt, and sugar and cook for 8-10 minutes, mashing them when tender.
  7.  Cool slightly before adding coconut milk and cashews/yogurt and blend into a thick puree.
  8. Set aside 1/3 of the gravy and slowly drop the remaining gravy all over the cauliflower head.
  9. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes until gravy is thick and dried on and around the cauliflower.
  10. Heat up the gravy that was set aside and serve with the cauliflower and rice and/or pita.

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