Hello there! Hope the week has started on a good note for all of you. This week, there are a few simple light daily vegetarian recipes coming your way to relieve all of you, my dear Sheroes, of those what-to cook days when you have a fridge full of vegetables, but have totally run out of ideas of how to cook them or cannot bear to eat the same stuff one more time.
Despite being a supposedly bland vegetable, Cauliflower is quite versatile & hence allows itself to be converted into both-a delicious cheesy kind of continental creamy baked dish as well as a delectable Indian style preparation, stir-fried with a variety of spices, often even smoked or grilled from top as a whole.
While I started out as a picky eater, over the years, I have enjoyed learning different styles of cooking Indian food, so diverse in their use of spices, tempering, use of onion-garlic & type of cooking oil used. I now keep a variety of cooking oils at home to allow for more authenticity in style, with the North Indian dishes being prepared in mustard oil, especially during winters and coconut & Gingelly (sesame) oil for specific South Indian preparations. Maharashtra and Gujarat use more groundnut oil in their food which largely leans towards a sweet-sour-spicy type of food.
This recipe that I’m about to share with you is made Bengali style with a unique tempering known as Panchphoran, essentially meaning 5 ingredients traditionally tempered in mustard oil. These five are used in equal quantity & lend a wonderful flavour to any dish when roasted lightly without burning.
Little florets of cauliflower lightly stir fried to a golden brown, then added to a saucepan containing the unique aromatic Panchphoran tempering & an exotic combination of Indian spices and condiments.
Do try this out even if using your regular cooking oil and even if you do not have all 5 ingredients, it is ok. Great for packing your family’s lunch boxes for the day, it also works great as a side when you have a main meat dish or simply for a light dinner with dal, rotis and curd.
Do let me know what you think of it, cause this is quite popular with my family.
Recipe for Quick Bangali Style Phulkopir Roast
- 1 medium size cauliflower, cut into florets & blanched
- ½ cup green peas, frozen or fresh
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder / jeera powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder / dhania powder
- ½ teaspoon homemade garam masala powder
- ¼ teaspoon dry mango powder /amchur powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 3 tablespoons oil (I like using mustard oil for Bengali cooking)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Salt as per your taste
- 1 handful chopped fresh coriander leaves
For tempering (also known as Bengali Panchphoron or 5 ingredients in equal quantity ) excl chilli)
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek / methi seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds / rai
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds / saunf
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera seeds
- ¼ teaspoon nigella seeds / kalonji
- 1 dried red chilli
To grind into a smooth paste:
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
- 1 inch ginger, sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (Optional)
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped
- Blanch the cauliflower florets in boiling water with ½ teaspoon salt for 2-3 minutes. Drain totally & cool. Marinate with ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder for few minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, lightly shallow fry the cauliflower till golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium heat, add the dried red chilli and stir 1 second.
- Without burning, on low heat, add all the other tempering ingredients & allow them to splutter, stirring constantly.
- Add the onion paste & 2 tablespoons water and saute on medium heat, stirring constantly until the oil begins to separate from the sides.
- Now add the powdered spices namely, sugar, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric, dhania-jeera, amchur powder & salt and fry well for few minutes.
- Add in the fried cauliflower florets & peas along with 3/4 cup of water and cook covered on low heat till the cauliflower is cooked through.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with dal-rice or rotis & pickle.