This delicious cauliflower dish is based on a famous Indian recipe which my dad reinterpreted. My dad likes to call this dish "Aloo Gobi without the Aloo." That literally means potato-cauliflower without the potato. I'm not quite sure why he ended up removing the potato from an otherwise iconic Indian dish, but I sure am glad that he did so. The delicious flavor of the cauliflower really stands out with the deliciously tomato base it is cooked in. The Lion and I are trying to eat a healthier diet and incorporate more vegetables into our daily diets. This deliciously simple Indian dish is perfect for that!
The recipe is an incredibly simple dish and packs a punch in terms of Indian flavor. It highlights some of the basic techniques of Indian cuisine. It is made with ingredients easily available at almost any grocery store. As you cook more and more Indian dishes, you'll quickly realize how easy the steps are in most of the recipes. I think the most important part of Indian cuisine is the mise en place-or having everything prepared before the cooking begins. When cooking Indian food, each subsequent step happens quickly much like a stir fry. If you keep everything ready, you'll save yourself a lot of time and anxiety and the dish will come together in a snap. If you'd like to add more Indian food to your repertoire, try this dish! It is a delicious way to eat cauliflower!
Note: If you do make this and have the time, please make my great-great grandmother's garam masala. It will make the dish so much more delicious!
1 medium sized head of cauliflower, cut into medium-large florets
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1 heaping tsp. crushed serrano chilis
1 heaping tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1 Tbsp. oil
Salt to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large saucepan or a wok over medium heat. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, and cloves and heat until aromatic. Swirl the oil while the spices are heating in order to ensure that the oil picks up all of the flavors of the spices and so that they don't burn.
Once the spices are aromatic, add the tomatoes to the pan and stir to coat well with the oil. Add the serrano chilis, garlic, ginger, salt, and turmeric to the pan and stir well. Cook the tomatoes with the pan covered, uncovering occasionally to stir, until they breakdown. (look at the picture above to see the proper consistency of the tomatoes)
Once the tomatoes have broken down, add the cauliflower to the pan. Stir well, allowing the cauliflower to be coated with the tomato. I refer to this as a "dry tomato sauce" because there is just enough tomato to completely coat the cauliflower and fully flavor it. Once the cauliflower is well coated, cover the pan, lower the heat, and let the cauliflower cook. Every few minutes, uncover the pan and give the cauliflower a stir. Cook until the cauliflower is fully cooked, a fork should be able to pierce the cauliflower easily. Remove from the heat, and let sit, covered for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Enjoy!