I have a tough life you know. After I have done my days share and fed the kid, read to her and am almost dozing off to sleep, she nudges me.
“Hmmmmmm”, I say
“Do you know what I want to be when I grow up?” the little one chirps.
I have no clue and this is not a good time to discuss career options I think, but who am I to decide anything
“I want to be a Painter, a Doctor, the One with the Hammer and also the Cleaning lady” she says very enthusiastically
Interesting combo I think and why not, this is a free country let her be whatever she wants to
“That’s nice”, I say and shut my eyes tighter only to be nudged again
“What do you want to be when You grow up?” she questions
I am being given a second chance here and what I really want to be is a billionaire lazing in a private island and enjoying good food and blogging about my high-falutin life maybe.
But that’s not what you tell a kid if you are the mother
“Painter”, I say deciding on a safer option
“But I am already going to be a Painter”, she argues
“Then You decide” I say, hoping to resolve the problem quickly
“You can be the Base Ball Player”, she suggests
Not my cup of tea that, so I say “But I don’t know to play Base Ball”
“You just have to wear a white cap and hit a ball with a bat, it’s easy, you can do it if you try” she says very knowledgeably
So I dream of how famous I am going to be hitting that ball and doze off to sleep thinking of Fame, Fortune and Fulkopi. Fulkopi in Bengali, Cauliflower in English and Gobi in Hindi that's G for Nupur’s “A – Z of Indian Vegetables” this week. Now don’t ask me why Fame & Fortune led me to dream of Fulkopi, ask Freud.
Chaal Kopi Or Cauliflower cooked in spices with a smattering of Rice is a very tasty and different dish. The rice is just that little bit and it’s the Cauliflower that dominates the taste. This recipe is from my Bengali Recipe Book and my Ma never made this. The dish is dry and goes well with rice or Chapati.
What You Need
Cauliflower ~ 1 cut into large sized florets. The large is the key here, do not chop into small fine pieces else they will turn mushy, see the pic.
Potato ~ 1 large cut into large longitudinal pieces
Tomato ~ 1 medium chopped into small pieces, you can also used canned whole tomatoes
Green Chillies ~ 3 chopped or slit
Green Peas ~ 1/3 cup
Cumin Powder ~ 2 tsp
Ginger paste ~ 3 tsp
Turmeric Powder ~ 1tsp
For Phoron or Tempering
Tej Pata or Bay Leaves ~ 3
Elaichi or Cardamom ~ 4
Cinnamon sticks ~1/2”
Coarsely pound the above Whole Garam Masala
Whole Jeera or Whole Cumin Seeds ~ ½ tsp
Basmati Rice ~ 1/3 cup soaked in water
Peanuts ~ 1/3 cups
Raisins ~ 10/15
Sugar ~ 1/2 tsp
Ghee ~ 1 tsp
How I Did It
Cut the cauliflower in florets as shown in pic
Chop potatoes and dunk in water, chop tomatoes & green chillies real small. use canned tomatoes if you want to skip the effort
Heat Oil in Kadhai/Frying Pan
Sauté the cauliflower florets with a little turmeric till they take on a light golden hue. Remove and keep aside
Sauté the potatoes till they too turn a light golden and remove and keep aside
Sauté the rice and the peanuts and when you get that nice smell, remove and keep aside
To the hot oil add the phoron i.e. the Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cinnamon Sticks (coarsely pound the cardamom & cinnamon sticks) and the whole jeera
When they start sputtering add the tomatoes & green chillies and sauté till the tomatoes are well done and are mushy
Add the Cumin Powder and the Ginger paste and fry the masala till you see the oil separating from the masala
Add the peas and potatoes and mix well. Next, add the cauliflower florets and mix well so that the masala coats all the veggies
Now add the rice and the peanuts and mix
Add salt and ½ tsp of sugar and the raisins
Add water. I added about 1 and ½ cup to start with. Basically the veggies etc. should be partly immersed in the water, as they along with the rice need to be cooked. But since you do not want the cauliflower to overcook, be careful with the water and start with less to be cautious
Cook covered on medium heat and check in between, if needed add a little more water
Check to see that rice, and the veggies are cooked. If done add ½ tsp of Ghee. The recipe called for 1 tsp but I added only ½ tsp
The end result should be dry but do not overcook to dry off the water, so I again reiterate add water consciously
Sprinkle a little Garam Masala Powder if the cauliflower is not the freshest one and has a slightly pungent smell
Note for the Busy Mom: If you are cooking on a busy weekday, cut all the vegetables in this recipe before hand as in the previous day when you have no cooking chores. Remember to soak chopped potatoes in water else they develop a ugly black spot
Trivia:This dish has a prominent role in the movie Bend It Like Beckham—the film's DVD contains a featurette titled How to cook Aloo gobi., with the film's director making the dish. This led to the pickup line 'Why cook aloo gobi, when you can Bend It Like Beckham".