Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Badami Phulkopir Roast (Cauliflower slow-cooked in an almond-cashew gravy)

Yesterday I joined my mother and aunt for an afternoon adda session. My mother, as usual, was complaining about me, how I wreck havoc with the kitchen and how she hates to enter the kitchen ever since I have started my blog. Nothing is in its place. It was her birthday so I kept quiet, even promised to be more careful. However, the conversation soon drifted back to my childhood. How I would make weird stuff with raw vegetables and flour, mix them with water and garnish them with leaves from any flower pot I could reach. The worst part..I often forced my masterpieces down people's throat. In fact, just it was my aunt who fell prey to my infantile culinary experiments. I was devil personified it seems.

I do remember slipping into the kitchen whenever Ma wasn't looking and pestering the cooks. I would ask for flour and oil and vegetables. And I remember my joy when they would give me that cube of potato, a cauliflower floret, a spoonful of flour, a pinch of turmeric....it was my treasure and I would spent all afternoon creating gastronomic delight. I rolled my first chapati at 4 you know, a perfect round one my aunts tell me. But then sometime through the years I forgot how to roll one. I am yet to get my skill back. 

Ah the memories..

Anyway, I made this dish, cauliflower slow-cooked in an almond-cashew gravy, for mommy darling yesterday. It is my adaptation of a family recipe. And Ma loves it. I believe you guys will love it too.

 Spice mix 


Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
Mace - 2
Shah Jeera or Black cumin - 3/4 tsp
Shah Marich (white peppercorns) - 1tsp
Black cardamom - 1 (just the seeds of course)


Dry roast them and grind together.

 Badami Phulkopir Roast


Cauliflower - 1 whole (medium)
Cardamom - 3-4 
Cloves - 3-4
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch
Bay leaves - 2
Spice mix - 3/4 tsp
Whole dried red chilies - 5-6
Whole black peppers - 1tsp
Onion paste - 1 cup
Garlic paste - 1tsp
Ginger paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Tomato puree - 100g
Almond - 60g
Cashew nuts- 40g
Raisins - a fistful
Coriander powder - 11/2 tbsp
Cumin powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1tsp
Sugar - 2tbsp
Fresh cream - 4-5 tbsp 


Make a paste with the almond and cashew nuts and keep aside.

Heat 2-3 tbsp ghee in a kadhai and toss in the cauliflower florets with a pinch of salt. Fry the cauliflowers until light golden and keep aside.

In another pan heat 4-5 tbsp ghee and add the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, whole dried red chilies and the spice mix. Once the aroma fills your nostrils add the onion paste.

Fry the onion on low heat until soft and oil separates. Then add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for some more time. Once done add the tomato puree, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Fry the masala until oil separates.

Now add the almond-cashew paste and keep stirring rigorously on low heat.

Toss in the raisins and peppercorns, and add water (about a litre). Add salt and sugar, bring to boil, lower heat and cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Remove cover and let the gravy reduce a little. Add the cauliflower. Let it cook on low heat until cauliflower is done and the gravy reduces and attains a creamy texture.Remember to stir every once in a while, carefully. The gravy shouldn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Finally adjust seasoning, add fresh cream and remove from heat.

Serve with rotis or paranthas.