Before I plunged into food blogging, cooking was not an ordeal, I had some plans everyday and I knew exactly what was the menu, ironically all that changed as soon as I started a blog and life revolved around cooking, clicking and discussing food. So many recipes would flash before my eyes and it would be chaotic to choose.As we are reading recipes from around the world, everything was a possibility . Am yet to get a grip on myself nowadays while choosing the menu for the day.Happily I haven't repeated anything since I started blogging. It is all worth it at the end of the day when you produce a finger lickng dish that vanishes in a trice.No question of left overs. That is the most satisfying part.
I had a chocful of fresh veggies staring at me in the refrigerator, yet here I was trying to decide on the dish .
Some fresh tender Cauliflowers were ready and I knew they had to be used up as the heat in our city was unbearable and they would wilt soon the fridge notwithstanding.
Sooner I had zeroed in on the veggies for the day, the next dilemma began, was it a gravy, a dry curry, a spicy one or a creamy one . Kadhis, Gravies,raitas, seemed to be an option that I was a tad tired of. .Oh God I began to wish life was simpler.Chiding myself I decided to prepare the cauliflower florets in a spiced opulent creamy sauce with the whites of the florets and the jeweled green peas swimming together, it would be visually appealing. The florets would marinate wonderfully in the creaminess of the sauce , yet remained in shape, whole. As this is a white creamy sauce for the gravy , we do not add turmeric powder, garam masala or any other powders. The spike from the green chillies and the creaminess from the almonds and coconut is all that is necessary to finish the dish.
I rarely make the white creamy sauces as it would entail the liberal use of either the coconut milk, or paste and the creamy paste from cashews , the full fat milk cream or malai as it is called, totally restaurateur style.
I made this gravy dish as creamy as possible with very little use of fats and we will see how in the recipe given below.
Apart from all the melodrama , this was the perfect dish to rustle up quickly as the florets are tender and so are the green peas and you have a great restaurant style dish in minutes on the table ready to go down with your rotis or rice. This is a lovely warm homespun dish with all enticing spicy elements .
- 2 cups of fresh cauliflower florets not cut too fine., You want the florets to have the shape .
- 1/2 cup of fresh green peas.
- 1 or 2 small green chillis.
- 1 tsp of fennel powder or fennel seeds
- 1 or 2 pods of garlic or more if you prefer a garlicky taste.
- some generously chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp cornflour.
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 tbsp of fresh coconut gratings/ or coconut milk or coconut milk powder ( you decide on the creaminess and use appropriately for those wishing to use this . ( I substituted with 1/2 cup of skim milk instead of using coconut gratings or coconut milk. Leave the choice to you but using coconut milk or gratings is definitely creamy and tasty.
- 2 tsp of oil for seasoning.
Wash and cut the cauliflower in to medium sized florets
In a broad pan heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and slit the green chillies and add it to the pan. (Add the green chillis at this stage if you do no plan to use coconut paste and prefer to use skim milk)
Drop the bay leaves and toss all the florets with the fresh green peas.
Add some salt and ad little water enough to cook the veggies.
While the veggies are cooking you can grind to a coarse paste the coconut gratings with green chillies, garlic and fennel seeds/powder with the almonds.
When the veggies are done to a nice soft texture without making them too mushy , add the ground paste and the corn flour mixed with little water to the gravy to thicken.
Do not keep on the gas for long after adding the coconut ground paste. When the gravy thickens , it is done and you can garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
If you wish to skip adding the coconut gratings and prefer to use skim milk to give the necessary creamy texture to the gravy then there is no grinding involved and you can add the fennel seed powder, almond paste and green chillies and garlic paste straight away after seasoning and whilst the veggies are cooking. Skim milk is added along with corn flour in the end to thicken and to enhance the creamy texture.
If you like to use coconut , then add the coconut gratings with chillies, garlic and fennel seed powder with almonds and grind to a slightly coarse paste.
This dish definitely has an upper edge when coconut and spice paste is used . As we are limiting the use of coconut and cashews in our cooking I have substituted .
Where fresh coconut is not available, use coconut milk , or coconut milk powder.
This makes a great looking and flavorful dish with specks of spice and creamy goodness for rotis, naans or even plain rice.