A whole head of cauliflower cooked covered with a keema masala dry curry. This recipe can be baked if using a bigger cauliflower or you need many cauliflower heads to serve a gathering. This was a small head and was just enough for two servings so i cooked it in a deep pan so all the steps of cooking can be done in a single utensil and it saves time too. So this is kadai cooked gobi musallam covered with mutton mince(keema). Cauliflower acquires a new dimension of taste in this recipe as the juices from mutton mince get absorbed really well . This is one dish which remains always in demand and doesn't demand much work to be done, although slow cooking is the best way to get a great tasting gobi musallam. Slow cooking will not be a problem if you keep on working on the next steps of the recipe while frying the cauliflower and then working on the side dishes later when it takes it's time on the stove top.
You can always cook broken florets of cauliflowers with the keema masala following the same recipe if you find it difficult to wrap the masala around cauliflower , or to core the cauliflower the way it is done here. The taste of the small florets remains the same if you cook them the same way but a musallam packs in a surprise element. The keema masala covers the cauliflower completely and it doesn't look like a vegetable hiding under the spicy looking rich masala. It's only when you cut through it like a pie when the cauliflower is revealed...
And don't worry about the oil/fat content of the recipe. The picture is the proof, there is no oil on the plate can you see...
(2 large servings)
one medium sized cauliflower (this one was 400 gm)
one large onion (half of it diced finely and half cut in bigger chunks for the paste)
garlic cloves 5-6 fat ones
ginger peeled and diced 1-2 tbsp(to suit your taste)
dry red chillies 3-4 or to taste
every day curry powder 2 tsp
special garam masala 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
freshly made tomato paste1/2 cup
salt to taste
mustard oil 3 tbsp or any other oil you use
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep pan, tip in a tsp of salt in the oil directly to avoid any splattering of oil and fry the cauliflower turning it all the sides to make it brown like this.
Keeping the flame medium low and turning the cauliflower every few minutes is the key to even browning but do not worry if it brown unevenly. Just that it should be browned all around.
Now add all the powdered spices and 2 tbsp of water to make them into a paste and bhuno again for a couple of minutes or till the spices get nicely aromatic.
Add the ground meat or keema and keep stirring till it gets cooked , takes about 8-10 minutes on low flame. You can cook it covered after mixing it nicely , but check for the water content to prevent burning in the bottom.
Add the tomato paste, mix and cook for a couple more minutes.
Now, using your spatula, shift all the fried masala paste to one side of the pan and place the fried cauliflower in the center of the pan. And scoop all the masala paste all over the cauliflower to cover it completely.
There will be some watery fluid around the cauliflower due to the tomatoes , add some water if the tomatoes have dried up. Cook covered on very low flame so the cauliflower soaks up all the flavors while cooking together. All the fluids are dried up when cooking is complete. Otherwise cook without lid for a while so it becomes dry.
Transfer carefully to a platter and garnish with onion rings and coriander greens if you wish.
Use a pie spatula to cut through the cauliflower and to serve it . I actually thought there would be some leftovers but the two of us polished it off with plain whole wheat chapatis.
Onion rings are great with a spicy dish like this, although pickled onions or onions rings doused with lime juice will be better if you make the gobi musallam hot and spicy. This recipe made a very mild spicy musallam and the kick provided by the red onions was a great accompaniment to it.
A raita can be served as a side with chapatis and/or rice with it . We like it so much i never make a side dish with it if i am making it just for the two of us. A much repeated recipe during winter months, we eat seasonal vegetables only and eat minimal meats during summer months.
I have another recipe of keema with a summer vegetable which is our favorite too and i make it whenever our plain simple meals of summer need a kick. Stay tuned in for the summer keema special.
This gobi musallam doesn't promise a quick meal but it's worth all the time it takes by slow cooking it for about 30 minutes. You can always make your chapatis, any other kind of breads or rice to go with it on the side as slow cooking gives quite some space to multitask.
How about a slice of a tree vegetable loaded with some meat ? And no , there are no vegetarian versions of this musallam.
Gobi musallam with just the spices is another thing....may be i make that soon take pictures and post it here :-)
After all that version is a childhood favorite while this one is something i improvised...to my taste...and it has won hearts. What about you?