Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gobi Jalfrezi: Spicy Indian Cauliflower with Tangy Tomato Sauce

This tangy Indian cauliflower recipe is vegetarian, and you can make it vegan if you cook it with oil instead of ghee (Indian clarified butter). For the vegan version, I recommend a "neutral" oil like safflower, canola or vegetable oil.

If you like hot and spicy food, use hot red chili peppers -- I used red ripe jalapenos -- and if you prefer a milder dish, use sweet mini red peppers or a small red bell pepper. Or, you can use those fiery dried red chilies found in Asian markets:  Add them to the hot oil or ghee with the spices at the beginning, and remember not to eat the dried chilies (unless you really do want to experience their searing heat).

1 cauliflower (approx 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb)
4 small hot red chili peppers,e.g., ripe jalapenos or fresno chiles
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 Tbs ghee or mild oil
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs ginger paste OR minced or pureed ginger*
2 Tbs garlic paste OR minced or pureed garlic*
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs chopped cilantro or parsley, plus a little more for garnish

*You can find ready-made ginger paste and garlic paste at Indian markets, or you can make garlic past & ginger paste at home quite easily.

Cut the cauliflower into small florets and chop the thicker stems into small pieces. Remove seeds from peppers and cut into long strips. Heat oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add bay leaves, ginger, garlic, cumin, cloves & cardamom and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant and the seeds start to crackle.  Add cauliflower, chili peppers, salt & ground pepper, stir until the cauliflower is evenly coated with the fat & spices, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring just once or twice, until cauliflower begins to soften a bit, about 10 minutes. Uncover, stir in tomatoes and vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook at a low simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and stir: If the mixture is not fairly dry, increase heat and cook a little longer to evaporate most of the liquid. Serve hot "as is" or over cooked rice. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company


  1. G'day Gloria!
    Thank you with your recipe for "inspiring" GREAT!
    Here is the "slightly adapted" version I made today and a photo for you to see!
    What's On The List?
    Look forward to being "inspired" by more of your recipes in the future too! :)

    1. Howdy Joanne!
      I'm so glad to have inspired you again, and thanks for sharing the link to your version which looks lovely and sounds quite yummy, too :-) Thanks also for taking the time to comment, and I look forward to more of your culinary creativity.
      Zestfully yours,