Friday, December 04, 2009

Doi Fulkopi -- Cauliflower in Yogurt Sauce

This Thanksgiving we were spending time with friends. Friends from days way back and it was a wonderful time spent with great food, company and total relaxation if you can relax with 3 kids shouting and screaming under one roof that is.

The morning of the day we were to drive back, we went to a nearby state park. The drive from their home to the park was beautiful. Amidst rolling green fields and farms, the street meandered. You know it was that idyllic kind of thing, with cute farms and red barns and healthy cows and shiny horses.

As is my nature, I said "One day I want to have a farm like that". Immediately the friend said "Yeah this is the kind of work I would like to do, raising hens and planting seeds and growing trees".Then the other said " In a couple of years I am going to leave my job, I am so tired of it and I would love to buy a farm"

Now all of us here discussing buying and living in a farm have never ever roughed it out in a farm. All we have done is planted petunias and daisies, maybe a Japanese maple or two and grown tomatoes and okra in summer. We have no clue what it takes to raise a hen, to grow enough crop to sustain, to milk a cow, to live a life determined by the seasons. We just think it is wonderful and quaint.

What is it that makes farm life so glamorous? Or is it people like me who thinks it is glorified ? I am like that, for a while after a trip to Goa, I thought having a shanty shop selling tea and omlette at the bend of curve is the best thing to do.

Maybe for you it is the life of the Wall Street Banker eating sushi and doing power yoga on the move that is most glamorous. So what kind of life attracts you ?

What kind of a life do you dream of when you are dreaming or are you rooted to the present and think you have already gotten that perfect life.

Tell me, I am all ears.

Now to the cauliflower. Cauliflower is one of my best loved veggies. I just don't understand when people say cauliflower smells or it is bland. I am sure they are picking up the wrong kind. This cauliflower in yogurt sauce or Doi Fulkopi is something both my Ma and Ma-in-law makes. Flavored with whole spices like cloves and cinnamon, it has a rich fragrance. There is almost no other spices used than the Garam masala and wrapped in this fragrance doi fulkopi is the perfect winter dish to heat up a cold evening.


Doi Fulkopi

Chop 1 medium sized cauliflower in big florets. Wash well and soak in warm water with a little salt for 15-20 mins. Remove from water after 20 mins.

In a big bowl add
1 cup of yogurt,
1 tsp of Ginger paste ,
1 tsp Garlic Paste,
1 tsp Red Chili powder,
1 tsp Biryani Masala/Garam masala
and salt
. Mix well till smooth.

Add the cauliflower florets to the above and mix so that the marinade coats each floret. Keep aside for 30 minutes

Heat white oil in a Kadhai/Saute Pan

Temper the oil with
1-2 small Bay leaf/TejPatta,
1"Cinnamon stick/Dalchini,
4 Cardamom/Elaichi,
4 Clove/Laung

When the spices sputter add 1 fat clove of garlic minced and paste of 1 onion. I make a rough paste of 1 red onion in the blender, you don't need a smooth paste

Fry with a sprinkle of sugar(optional) till the onion turns a pinkish brown

Add 1" ginger peeled and grated and saute

Add 1/2 tsp of Paprika for color and 1/2 tsp of R. Chili powder for heat. Adjust chilli powder to taste. Mix well

Pick the cauliflower florets from the marinade with a slotted spoon (or use your hands) and add to the above masala in the saute pan. Don't dunk the marinade at this time and keep it aside.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp or more of Turmeric powder and fry the cauliflower

Once the cauliflower takes on some color, golden yellow with tinges of brown, lower heat and add the marinade

Cook the masala for a few minutes

Add salt about 1/3 cup of water and mix well

Cook till the cauliflower is just done. If you need to add more water to cook the cauliflower add some but this dish does not have a flowing gravy so be aware. Taste for seasonings and adjust.

Sprinkle 1/2-1 tsp of Garam Masala on the cauliflower, mix well and let it sit to absorb the flavors. Serve hot with Roti or rice. This tastes best when cooked on the same day as serving.

Trivia: Mark Twain called cauliflower "nothing but cabbage with a college education." I say it has been well educated to move up.



  1. Hi hi shanty shop in Goa, go girl then i will be there in a jiffy to eat the omlette, for me the spicy omelette please :-)

    Last week we were in this small coffee shop runned by 2 sisters and while hubby and I was enjoying our coffee, i was telling to him that is what i would like to have one day a small coffee shop where i can sell the food i cook and then earn money .

  2. Sandeepa, funny you mention this topic because I had been thinking about this 2 days ago. The fact that I had to stay back late at work and not being able to spend enough time with DS trigged me to think about this. If we did not have to worry about money, home, mortgage, education then I would settle down being a school teacher. School teacher for kids age between 1-5 (notice the age restriction?).Love that age when the kids are so innocent, have little minds of their own, they are not judgemental, hypocritical etc.

    Life of a Wall streeter, is a big NO for me. I cannot handle that kind of stress or ups and down's. Not sure about life on the farm either.

    I enjoy cauliflower too and loved the addition og yogurt in it.

  3. You always bring back the flavors of home..Love this one too :) :)

  4. Sandeepa, that is my dream too, ow. I have seen farm life, close quarters and it is definitely not easy to make a living. It is hard tough work. Farm life is quaint and peaceful if you make a living/have a living through other means.

  5. All four of us adore cauliflower and yours looks so lovely.

    As for the idyllic setting, at the moment, I'm quite happy as I am, I think, touchwood!

  6. How about having a strictly 9-5 job at Waikiki beach at Hawaii! ;)

    by the way ur gobhi looks delicious!hubby hates any thing with yogurt gravy, this might be a gud one to make him change his mind..

  7. I have always dreamed of living in a farmhouse surrounded by greenery! And the gobi looks yummy with the yougurt sauce.

  8. Yummy gobhi!!
    I am happy with the life I am leading now. Will be happier if there were no money issues and NO health problems.

  9. Farm life seems glorious but not true- I don't think it will work out for our kids! Wall street definetly stressful needs Yoga for long run! After all no limit for dreaming huh? I am happy where I am.
    The gobi with biryani masala sounds cool!

  10. Sandeepa, this is helpful had a cauliflower at home and my maid and i were wondering what to do with it. Curd marinade right at the end right? Most of my curd dishes curdle :(

    My dream, to live in Goa, spend the mornings by the sea, walk the market in the evening, write, maybe have a Bengali fresh water fish restaurant at Baga (Goa), occasionally travel the world to do food and travel shows

  11. I think farm life is glamorous only from a distance - the scenery, the pastoral scene, at close quarters, you've gotta smell poop of hen, cow, etc, work amidst all that, clean it every day. Movies and books make it seem that way too. I'm not sure how many of us would last.

    I dream of a life where I don't have to work for a living but have enough to live a life of luxury and travel - doesn't matter if it's countryside or city, I need bathrooms and transport.

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  13. Summer or winter, i am glad that i get to enjoy cauliflower year round here :). I make a similar preparation with dahi. I must try it with whole spices, that would be one richly aromatic dish!

  14. my dream would be to live in a buzzy city, chill on a farm on the weekends and travel every month to exotic locales ( and never having to worry about paying for it all!)

    Doi fulkopi looks sumptuous!

  15. well my dream changes from time to time...but the main flavor remains the same...having a life around my family. recently i went to chikmagalur and stayed at a beautiful resort from then onwards i want to open my own where i would do organic farming, will have a small pond...coconut orchard...and so many things. thats something close to me heart to live amidst nature with all my loved ones...lets see what future have in store...

    cauliflowers are lovely veggies to cherish during winter. this recipe sounds and looks good too.

  16. my mother prepares this too,..about life well i am happy as i am i guess things can be better thn this,..;-)

  17. Cauliflower in yogurts is a totally new recipe...sounds yummm.

    b/n shared an award with you...please feel free to collect them.

  18. like in a farm? nah..not for me....i love the buzz of city life...
    btw great recipe...

  19. tried this dish yday, turned out yum.

  20. I love cauliflowers, however it is prepared!! never tried with yoghurt though, this is a new way of preparation for me!! very nice recipe!!

    When we went to India last time and as soon as we came back ( while we're still in that homesick mood), we say why not start a small real-estate agency and settle down there, with a small and happy life, no need for luxuries etc.., when we go to the mountains, my husband says why not settle down here amidst the scenic views with a small farm...(I have to precise that I can hardly imagine him milk the cows & running around the hens & ducks, heheh a comic scene)

    this is so crazy because wherever we go for holidays,(because we're away from the work/stress/routine) we (my h & I) tend to bring back some dreams with us, we can do this, we can do that.....but after few months we come back to the reality and say this is not as easy as we think, let us continue and content with what we have......I think it all depends on what we seek, and what we expect "happiness" to be .....:):)

    phew, your post makes me think deep over things.. have a nice day!!

  21. Tried it out today. Wonderful recipe using curd and cauliflower and tasted so different from the normal phulkopir curry.

  22. hi! nice curry, I might just take the marinated cauliflower and put them on skewers and roast it.

  23. BTW, drop by sometime

  24. Hi Sandeepa,

    I agree with you. Fulkopi is one of my favourite veggie too. Your recipe looks yummy and easy, will try it out tonight. BTW i love to live in smaller towns. At present I live in Mount Abu and i feel that i don't miss the hustle bustle of bigger cities. I am content sitting in my spacious garden with my pet at my feet. I do not feel the need to run and earn.

  25. Hi Sandeepa,

    I tried doi fulkopi recipe. I did a small variation to it, added little poppy seed paste and fried the cauliflower before cooking. It tasted good. I tried many other recipes from your blog. Thanks for posting such nice dishes. You are too good!


  26. Hi Sandeepa,

    I tried your Fulkopi today, it came out very nice. I added a little bit of tandoori masala and my homemade biriyani masala. Forgot the bay leaf but overall it was very tasty. I don't like fulkopi here in the US, so any interesting recipe is a great help.

    Thanks a lot,


  27. Sandeepa, please do not feel bad. I followed your steps but I could not eat. I ate doi fulkopi before so I know how it tastes...
    I used garam masala ... it tasted like burned masala.

  28. Anon

    That is ok. It happens :) Why did the Garam Masala taste like burned ?
    Did you make your own ?

  29. Hey, tried your recipe today. The husband couldn't sop gushing about it. Thanks!!

  30. Hi, Been following your blog for a while and love the dishes I made so far. Do you think I could use frozen cauliflower florets instead of fresh for this recipe? Do I need to make any changes due to that?

    1. Hi Anon

      I have never used frozen cauliflower florets except the ones which come as a mix with other veggies and never in this dish.
      Why don't you try and see ?

  31. My mum usedl to make this dish thank u so much

  32. i can share my friend's view on this .. er theke kolkata jabo .. goru pushbo .. tao bhalo :) .. hope you get the level of frustration

  33. The recipe is quite interest Ing sure to try it.

  34. Sandeepa, likhte khub dukhkho hochche je amar doi fulkopi ta bhalo holo na .. ashole marination e ektu beshi shomoy theke gechilo .. tai ki kopi gulo shedddho holo na kichutei ? Pls suggest .. aage boil kore tarpor ki gravy te debo ? .. am feeling sorry :(

    1. E baba keno holo na ? Marination joto beshi toto bhalo to, ami majhe majhe overnight o rakhi !!! Ei step gulo ki korechile, otei to sheddho hobar kotha

      Pick the cauliflower florets from the marinade with a slotted spoon (or use your hands) and add to the above masala in the saute pan. Don't dunk the marinade at this time and keep it aside.
      Sprinkle 1/4 tsp or more of Turmeric powder and fry the cauliflower -- Ete khanik bhaja hobe

      Once the cauliflower takes on some color, golden yellow with tinges of brown, lower heat and add the marinade -- jemon kopir dalnay hoy seirokom kopi ta lagbe

      Cook the masala for a few minutes

      Add salt about 1/3 cup of water and mix well

      Cook till the cauliflower is just done.If you need to add more water to cook the cauliflower add some but this dish does not have a flowing gravy so be aware. Taste for seasonings and adjust.
      -- Ei step ta to jotokhon kopi ta hoy totokhon korte hobe. Otei to cauliflower sheddho hobe

      Ar bhajar stage ta bhalo hole ei last step ta taratari hobe. Noyto dhaka diye cook koro.

  35. shob step korechilam .. dekhi abar try korbo .. recipe ta bhishon intersting and gravy tao bhalo hoyechilo khete .. mone hoy bombay r kopi guloi paaji .. thanks for your reply

    arekta kotha .. ma ke tomar rannar ar lekhar golpo kori khub .. ekhon abar ranna kore, khete diye ma amake jiggesh kore " ki re Sandeepa r moto hoyeche ? ".. :) u r part of my family now

  36. I prefer the Doi phulkopi without the garlic paste. Puro nirimishi. A white gravy would also be a welcome change. Then we'll need to use whole gram masala, not the powder and replace the red chilli wwith split green ones. Cashew paste for a richer gravy. One interesting point to note is that the Bengali version of gram masala is quite different from the packaged ones like Everest. Check the package for ingredients and you'llll know:-)

    1. Amrita, thanks. your version is great too.

      BTW if you are a long time reader of my blog, or if you cared to click on the link "GaramMasala" in the post, you would know that I use homemade ones :-)

  37. Sandeepa, I tried this recipe - once with cauli and once with broccoli, both came out really well. I fried the onions before making a paste (I remember you mentioned it somewhere that it gets bitter otherwise?). Hubby was sad when the dish got over, so definitely a hit recipe! Thank you for sharing.

  38. Sandeepa, I LOVE your blog!
    I am a grad student and this being the third year away from home, I often crave authentic bong cuisine...I love your style and your spices and your stories...Keep writing...Keep cooking...keep posting...
    Thank you! :)

  39. thank u for sharing this simple and tasty recipe....i m planning to cook this today for dinner. :)

  40. Hi Sandeepa,

    I am pretty late here but I have been following your recipes for few posts and I love the way the recipes turn out by following exactly all the details :) thanks for being here for all authentic bengali style recipes, close to what your mom and grandmom will make .. that is what I look for by going through your posts.
    I want to do this recipe but was wondering if this will be good if I added prawn/shrimp? Also its summer now am planning this for lunch with Hilsa bhaape, mutton curry moong dal, and rice.



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