Cauliflower in Yogurt Gravy / Dahi Wali Gobhi

My travel tales generally have a strong association with food. As a child, I used to travel to North India for vacations. I clearly remember yogurt was extensively used to make the gravy for side dishes that go along with rotis. Cauliflower is a vegetable that blends easily into any form and is generally liked by everyone. The yogurt gravy in this recipe adds a tangy flavour along with the kick of the spices. The florets soak in the spicy essence of the gravy and end up being a delight on the taste buds.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients :

  • 400 gms cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 cup yogurt/dahi
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp gram flour/besan
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander to garnish

Cauliflower in yogurt gravy

Cauliflower in yogurt gravy


Method:

  • Wash the cauliflower and cut them into small florets. Use the picture below as a size guide.
  • Washed cauliflower florets

    Washed cauliflower florets

  • Soak the florets in warm salted water for about 15 mins. After 15 mins, drain away the water to remove impurities. Lay the florets out on a kitchen towel so that excess water is absorbed.
  • Heat oil in a pan and let it warm a bit. Then add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add in the cumin seeds.
  • Add the grated ginger and saute well.
  • Now add in the cauliflower florets and turmeric powder and mix them well so that the yellow colour spreads evenly.
  • Next, add the green peas, salt and 2 cups of water and cover with a lid after mixing well. Cook this stage on a low flame.
  • While this is cooking, take a bowl add the curd, a bit of salt and gram flour and mix well. I used Greek yogurt which is a bit thicker than homemade yogurt. Adjust the consistency of yogurt as you see fit.
  • After the florets have cooked through, remove the lid and add in the yogurt mixture to the pan. Also add the garam masala powder.
  • Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let this cook for another 5 mins. You need not cover the pan at this stage.
  • Switch off the flame and serve hot with rotis. Also goes great with steamed white rice.

Tips:

  • Don’t overcook the cauliflower. You want them to retain their shape.
  • Depending on the thickness of your yogurt, you may need to add some water to thin the gravy.
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Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Soups are one of the best ways to cut back on calories without losing out on taste. After having cauliflower soup quite a few times in 3-course meals at restaurants, I decided to make it at home. This dish needs some low and slow cooking, but is worth it for the end result of a creamy and full-flavored soup. Cauliflower lends a velvety texture and is easy to prep as the florets just have to be separated. The addition of turmeric powder gives a beautiful yellow colour. The spices add a touch of heat and contrast to the soup base. This is a filling and heavy soup, so you are literally one bowl away from trying out a healthy recipe!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cauliflower, chopped in florets (roughly the same size)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Ground black pepper (for garnish)
  • Salt to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup


Method:

  • In a soup pot, heat the oil on a low flame and put in the bay leaf. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red pepper flakes along with onions. Sweat the onions till they turn translucent. This will take around 4-5 mins. Then add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in the cauliflower florets and vegetable stock to the soup pot. Stir to combine, and ensure that all florets are immersed in the stock.
  • Cauliflower soup prep

    Cauliflower soup prep

  • Cover, and let the florets cook for 15 mins on low flame till they become tender.
  • Switch off the flame and let the liquid cool for 15 mins. Remove the bay leaf at this stage.
  • Then transfer this cooled mixture into a blender and blend on high till the mixture is silky and smooth.
  • Serve hot, with a sprinkle of ground black pepper on top. I served a quinoa bread along with the soup.

Tips:

  • Stir the florets from time to time to ensure even cooking.
  • You can also garish with coriander leaves or red chili flakes.
  • For those staying in Singapore, I paired this soup with lightly toasted ‘Spelt, Quinoa and Purple Wheat Loaf’ by Gardenia from NTUC.

Cauliflower with Halloumi cheese in fennel gravy

During one of my visits to a Mediterranean restaurant, I had the opportunity to taste halloumi cheese. It was an ingredient in a wrap and I found it quite different from the other types of cheese that I had tasted before. When I read about it, I learned that it is widely used in grilling. Texture-wise, it is firmer than feta and also has an inherent salty taste. When cooked, it melts slowly and adds a creamy richness to gravy based dishes. The advantage with cauliflower is that the florets end up absorbing the gravy perfectly and the whole dish has a vibrant taste. I chanced upon this recipe online and had bookmarked it to try cooking halloumi some day. I tweaked the recipe a bit and the dish turned out to be delicious.

Cauliflower with halloumi ingredients

Cauliflower with halloumi ingredients

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 200 gms Hallloumi cheese, cut in thick slabs (shown in pic above)
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 can of tomato purée
  • 500 ml of boiling water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

Cauliflower with halluomi in fennel gravy

Cauliflower with halloumi in fennel gravy


Method:

  • Soak the fennel seeds in a bowl of hot water for around 40 mins till the stock is fully infused with the seeds.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sweat the onions with salt till they are translucent.
  • Add the cauliflower to the pan and mix them well. Sauté them till they turn into a light golden colour.
  • Once the cauliflower is slightly golden, add the halloumi.
  • As the halloumi starts to colour and melt, add in the tomato purée. Mix them well such that all cauliflower florets are nicely coated in the gravy.
  • Add the fennel stock without the seeds and let the gravy simmer on low heat for around 15 mins till the cauliflower is fully cooked. Serve it with nicely toasted bread.

Tips :

  • Do not overcook the cauliflower. Start with slightly larger florets.
  • Personally, I like to cook the gravy low and slow till all the halloumi is melted into the sauce. You can choose to hold some of it back and add it in later if you want cheese chunks in the gravy.

This recipe is inspired from a lovely blog by Deena http://www.deenakakaya.com/2014/02/13/cauliflower-halloumi-tomatoes-fennel-stock-saffron/