Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gobi Mussallam..

Whole head of cauliflower, steamed, fried and then baked!

And no, this is not a 'daily dish' and neither have I made it before...but this was a special dinner for a couple of good friends. It happened to be the only 'special' dish with Jeera Rice, served  alongwith the comfort and ease of leftovers in single serve-portions: Jeera Aloo, Sauted Red Chard, pepper rasam! Shameless moi! But yes, the cauliflower did make a nice center piece! .... and caught attention, and not for all right reasons! ;-)
Someone saw the knife by the side and thought that it was tiny turkey!
The process was made tiresome by the fact that  one did not manage time efficiently..
The endeavour was to make an Italian style baked cauliflower sprinkled with Indian flavours. So started off by steaming the cauliflower and then found that one  did not have time to bake it before running an errand, so fried it head down for 15-20 minutes turning on the sides...Frying the whole cauliflower head with the core still on, to provide the 'grip' for the tongs to turn it on the sides too.
Frying the whole head of cauliflower with the core still on.
The fried Cauliflower resting on the iron tawa, for the oil to drain off!!
The Cauliflower looked good but then found out that there was not enough time to make sure that the frying process really 'cooked' it through! Then came the question of how to incorporate flavours since the florets were all tightly packed.

This took the recipe to an entirely new direction, from the Italian to the somewhat more traditional Mughlai style...more like the Mussallam recipes! And one ended up making a rich sauce with cream, an onion-tomato base and whole spices and then baking it so that the flavours permeated the cauliflower! But before basting/marinating with the cooked sauce, carefully cut off the core, making sure the florets remain intact. A final garnish with lightly cooked green peas and finely chopped corainder made it complete!

Baked it uncovered with the sauce in a glass pie pan, but our friends suggested that covering it with foil will soften the texture a little more and allow the sauces to really permeate and I would follow it next time.

The base was fried tomato, sauted onion-ginger-garlic with turmeric, red chilli powder, paprika [instead of the traditional saffron for color] and a home-made Garam Masala that had black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise with just a touch of coriander and cummin. Have to re-do it, note down measurements and then post the recipe.
Notes: Plenty of  sunlight streaming in, the photographs were all in a rush...


  1. Oh wow. awesome and so tempting. great and photos looks great

  2. Oh My !! Haven't tried something like this..gorgeous !!

  3. Thanks Gulmohar!
    It is back to basics for a few days now!:-)

  4. hi always liked to visit ur space for the pics. I like ur simple and minimal approach in photography.. Very elegant shots!.

    Hope u wudnt mind if i share my opinion... I think white was a better back drop than the new one .. made ur pics look more beautiful!.

  5. its beautiful...i have heard abt this but got to see and know abt it now

  6. Thanks Sushma and Nandini!

    Blush! Blush!
    Thank you Nandini for your suggestion; have been toying with changing the format and the colors but have not been able to put it through; will have to wait until after Spring break!

  7. I have been tagged you under Tag award. Please see more on my blog.

  8. I too love your pictures and my sis was beside me and told her that she would see beautiful photos of wonderful recipes (She is on a visit frm . Kerala).and you didn't disappoint her.

  9. Dear Q
    This dish is awesome and photo of course as per your standard, just out of the world.
    I like the whole Gobi, at least the presentation on a table.
    happy cooking

  10. Thank you Ushnishda, Madhuri and Chitra!

  11. How did I miss this one out? This is a winner...great clicks to go with the yummy recipe.

  12. Wow... something very new to us... and it was fun reading thru the post... really enjoyed the recipe... will try to make it once...

  13. Hi, thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving behind the informative comment..I didn't know that a bottle brush is also known as cat's tail....thanks for sharing that the Tritoma is also known as the Red hot Poker Plant...get in touch dear....

    BTW....u have a wonderful space here....I was looking for a baked gobi recipe(indian style) since a long time.....but didn't get any after my lastly thanks to u i got it here...and I am so glad that u moved to the mughlai dish instead the italian...:)...adding u in my blog list to get in touch with u....have a wonderful day....

  14. love that whole cauliflower in it!! i didnt know thats how you make gobi mussallam..

  15. hi, can you pls tell me about the baking time and temperature???

  16. I was looking for Cauliflower recipes when stumbled upon this one. Good recipe indeed...

    Am glad to be your new follower here.... hop over my Blog if gets time..

    Nupur, UK Rasoi

    1. Thanks for dropping by Nupur!
      Will do. :-)


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