Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gobi Palak (Cauliflower in Spinach Gravy)

I always have baby spinach at home. Its something that I add to most of the stuff that is cooked at home. Its a part of dal, omelettes, palak raita, alu palak, corn palak, even the humble alu gobi becomes palak wala alu gobi. I even add pureed spinach to my chappati dough to get palak rotis. Palak Paneer is a favorite - but, paneer is too heavy to be consumed on a regular basis so its like a delicacy enjoyed occasionally.
Potatoes are not loved at our home. If its a part of a vegetable preparation or if it is int eh form of alu paratha then it is fine.
So, the other day I saw I had two huge tubs of baby spinach in my fridge and the only other vegetable there was cauliflower. Since I had a lot of time on hand, I decided to make this dish as it would look lovely and feel like a royal meal. Little Miss A loved it and so did Mr. A. So we have another spinach preparation in our menu cards.


1 caulifower head - it gave me 4 cups florets (i/2 inch pieces)
4 cups spinach
1 onion - finely chopped
1 tomato
9 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger piece
2 tablespoons grated coconut
1 black cardamom
3 green cardamoms
4 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 green chilis (add more or less as per preference)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon oil
salt as per taste


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the cauliflower florets very well. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 2 gloves of garlic grated and a pinch of salt and toss it all together with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Lay the cauliflower florets on a cookie sheet in a single layer and get them nice and crisp but still still tender in the oven. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, remove it from the oven and let it sit.
In the meantime - blanch the spinach in boiling water for 5 minutes and then put it in ice cold water. Drain spinach and get a puree done.
In the same grinder, add the tomato, remaining garlic cloves, ginger, green chilis, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, bay leaf, remaining turmeric powder, grated coconut and grind to a very fine paste.
In a saucepan, add the ghee. When it gets hot, add the chopped onions and fry them till they turn a golden brown. Then add the masala paste and mix well. Let it cook on medium heat till oil starts to leave the sides. Then add the pureed spinach and 1/2 cup water and salt to taste. Mix well and let it all come to a boil - be careful as the mixture has a tendency to splatter. Once it boils, lower the heat to a medium low and add the roasted cauliflower. Gently mix it so that the cauliflower is coated with the spinach mixture.
Serve with tandoori roti, naan or fulkas or even with steamed rice.

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