I am thinking to kick of 2020 with a dish that everyone can eat and enjoy. Some wholesome meatless meal, plant based so my vegetarian and even vegan friends will want to make it again and again. These cauliflower florets and peas are coated with a delicious masala, or sauce, of onions, tomatoes and other great Indian stuff you can scrounge up in your pantry. Get ready to whip up one of the most popular vegetable entrées from your favorite Indian restaurant!!
If you ask me, it’s very easy to be vegetarian or vegan in India. We make the most boring vegetables interesting with the mind boggling flavors from our herbs and spices. With every single bite, be it with rotis, naan or some rice and dal, you wouldn’t even miss your meat. There are lots and lots of easy vegetarian meals coming your way this year, just stay tuned and subscribe to GypsyPlate.
What is Cauliflower Peas Masala (Gobi Matar)?
I chose my favorite cauliflower peas (Gobi matar) to start off my vegetarian series this year. I simply love these succulent cauliflower florets that soak up the dry masala, created in a few very easy steps, sprinkled with the sweetness of peas. This is a popular north Indian dish, which uses some basic Indian spices. You can make it dry or saucier, and anywhere from mild to medium to spicy, according to your taste. However you customize it, you will love the tangy sweet sauce created from your onion and tomato base. Eating sauteéd vegetables like these is an everyday affair in any Indian household.
How do we eat this?
- Grab some naan bread, pitas or wraps from the grocery store and wrap it up. Stay tuned to Gypsyplate, I just might teach you how to cook your very own homemade rotis one of these days!
- Make a bowl of white or brown rice, or or even any of your favorite grains or pearled couscous. Then top with a heap of these vegetables and my Tomato Cucumber Raita… yum!
- Going low carb? No problem! Serve it up over over cauliflower rice… yup, cauliflower over cauliflower… or even just on its own. You can polish it off just like that.
- Cauliflower – Washed and cut into medium sized florets.
- Peas – Fresh if you can find any. That’s how they eat in India, everything fresh, but frozen works as well.
- Onion – You need plenty to make the base of the sauce. When it caramelizes it gives sweet notes to your masala.
- Tomatoes – For tanginess.
- Garlic – Lots of it!
- Ginger – That goes hand in hand with garlic in every Indian dish.
- Turmeric – Good for you.
- Red chili powder – try to find Kashmiri red chili powder, but in a pinch replace it with paprika.
- Coriander powder – My favorite Indian spice.
- Green chilies – Either serranos or jalepenõs. Optional, depending on if you like a little heat.
- Cumin seeds (jeera) – We love cumin in Indian dishes.
- Whole garam masala spices – Cloves, whole black pepper and few small cinnamon sticks. You don’t eat them but they add lots of flavor… but don’t worry if you skip it.
- Cilantro – For garnish.
You will need one head of cauliflower. I like my florets a little chunkier, so they aren’t just mush after cooking. Cut, wash and set aside.
Finely chop onions and tomatoes. Chop 1 green serrano chili (optional). Make rough paste of garlic and ginger.I use plenty of these two to get that Indian flavor going. I like my mortar and pestle to make this rough paste.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and when it’s hot add a few whole black peppers, cloves and small chunks of cinnamon, along with few cumin seeds (jeera). Sauté these spices for a few seconds. We do this just to get the aromas and flavors from the whole spices. Remember, we don’t eat these, except for the cumin seeds. You might take them out before serving your guests.
Add your chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add tomatoes and green chilies, salt to taste. Now in goes your spice powders; turmeric, red chili powder and coriander powder. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Add ginger and garlic paste and stir this mixture until everything is well combined. Keep on stirring until you end up with a nice sauce and the tomatoes break down and oil starts separating a little from this mixture. This process should not take more than 10 minutes.
Now it’s time to add those cauliflower florets and stir well. Put your stove to medium low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. You can add 1/2 cup of water if your mixture starts sticking to bottom.
When the cauliflower is getting tender, you can add the frozen peas. If you are using fresh peas, you need to add them tad bit earlier, as they need to cook too.
And that’s it. When your vegetables are cooked, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve it up.
Some people like it saucier, and that’s easy achieved by adding more water. I like my cauliflower peas dry, where the sauce is nicely coating all the vegetables. Just writing all this makes me want to make it again. Try it, my friends, this New Year and I bet you are gonna get hooked to the Indian style of eating veggies. There is a whole new world of flavors waiting for you!!
People often ask
This refrigerates very nicely for 2-3 days in a sealed container. Just heat up your leftovers on the stove top or in the microwave. You can also freeze in an airtight container for up to one month.
Certainly! The most common addition is potatoes (in which case we call it Aloo Gobi Matar). Carrots and okra also go well. Be creative and let me know what variations you come up with!
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Cauliflower Peas Masala (Gobi Matar), on my Gypsy Plate… Enjoy!!!
- 1 medium sized cauliflower
- 1.5 cups peas, fresh or frozen
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil
- 3 medium onions
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 7-8 garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 3-4 cloves
- 5-6 whole peppercorns
- 1-2 small cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 jalepenõ or serrano (optional)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- Salt, to taste
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, to garnish
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and wash .Chop onions, tomatoes and green chili. Make a rough paste of ginger and garlic.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add whole spices like cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon, along with cumin seeds and sauté for a few seconds. When the aromas starts coming out of spices, add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add tomatoes and sauté for few minutes. Add salt to taste, along with Kashimri red chili powder (or paprika), turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix well. Stir in ginger garlic paste and sauté until you get nice homogenous mixture. Continue stirring until you see the oil separating from this mixture.
- Add the cauliflower florets and cook covered, checking every few minutes. Make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom. To avoid burning, you can add some water. I like minimum water, about 1/2 cup just to avoid burning. Some prefer a saucier vegetable. In that case you can add more water.
- When cauliflower is getting tender, add peas and cook until they are cooked to your desired tenderness.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve it with rotis, naan bread or rice. Goes great with my Tomato Cucumber Raita!
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 232Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 0mgSodium 196mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 10gSugar 13gProtein 8g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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