Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joy's GBM - Gobhi Butter Masala



"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." ~Virginia Woolf

Totally agree with Virginia on that one! Now you tell me what your biggest challenge with food is and I'll tell you mine right now. When one is left no choice but to become 99.97 % vegetarian in a place that does not provide ample variety of vegetables, what do you do? And to make matters worse there are dietary restrictions in this vegetarian diet too! So my challenge is to do different things with the available vegetables in such a way that the whole family accepts it, and I am saved from cooking two...three..different dishes to satisfy everyone.

Gobhi (Cauliflower) is one of the veggies that's often on the table.  Last night I had to make a "cauliflower something" to go with lachcha parathas. I had exhausted most of the Indian dishes and nothing appealed to my taste buds. At such times I relax my mind by watching thrillers/dramas/mystery on the TV. So, I sat down with a cup of green tea and watched Castle and 24! The result was GBM: Gobhi Butter Masala. It was a hit with the family. It was teamed with a Paneer Bhurji. Dinner was finger-lickin' good!


Ingredients:

For Marinade:

Yoghurt (thick).................................2 heaped tsps.
Kashmiri Red Chilli.........................1/4 tsp or acc to taste
Turmeric..........................................1/4 tsp
Salt...................................................1/4 tsp



Cauliflower......................................abt 1/2 kg, I had 14-15 good sized flowerets
Green chilli......................................acc to taste
Garlic...............................................3 cloves (big variety garlic)
Ginger..............................................3/4"
Onion................................................1 medium (preferably white variety)
Tomato.............................................1 medium, skin removed
Coriander pwdr................................1tsp
Cumin pwdr......................................1/4 tsp
Butter...............................................30-40 gms (two heaped tsps. of unmelted butter)
Extra Virgin olive oil.......................2 tbsps.
Cinnamon stick................................1 (2") broken in two
Bay leaf............................................2
Green coriander (cilantro)..............for garnish
Milk.................................................1'n' 1/2 cup.
Oil for frying


Separate the flowerets of the cauliflower, halve the ones that are too big. Wash and drain out water completely.
Mix the red chilli, turmeric and salt in the thick yogurt and smear over the flowerets, so all are covered well. Keep aside for about 25-30 minutes.



While that stands, dice the onion finely. Remove 2 tbsps. and keep aside for tempering.
Peel the skin off the tomato. If you want you can par boil it and remove the skin. Personally, I find it easier and quicker to peel it off with a sharp knife, when there are only one or two to do.
Dice the garlic, ginger, slit the green chilli.
Add the garlic, ginger, tomato, green chilli and remaining onions in a mixer and paste. Do not use water.



This is what you should get. Not totally a pasty mash and not too coarse.



If the cauliflower has been marinating for the required time, it's time to grill/shallow fry it.
Grilling would be a healthier idea, but as I didn't have many flowerets to do and more work clearing out the oven, which is loaded with all the baking paraphernalia, I opted for shallow frying in a non-stick pan.
The cauliflower has to be lightly fried, retaining it's white colour with tinges of brown.
Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick fry pan, and fry the flowerets without crowding. Each floweret has to be turned over two or three times so that they don't over-brown and over-cook. You don't want your flowerets breaking up in the dish or while it is being served; neither do you want a crunch in the bite! Your expertise lies in doing it just right and that's why your GBM is going to be yum. Thumbs up to you!




Heat 2 tbsps. of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. After a couple of minutes add the 2 tbsps. of chopped onions you had kept aside earlier.



When the onions become translucent and are just beginning to brown at the edges, lower the heat.
Add the masala paste. Stir it in with the onions. Now add the coriander, cumin. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring the masala from time to time. It will start to reduce.



You can see from pic 1 to pic 3 how it reduces and starts to leave the sides of the pan. In pic 3, the masala leaves the pan cleanly. Now it is time to put in those two dollops of butter.



As you mix in the butter, you will find the thick masala begins to loosen and spread. Continue with the bhuno process on low heat for a minute, then add the fried/grilled cauliflower.
Mix it well but gently, so the masala coats the flowerets completely.

When the cauliflower is covered with masala, raise the heat, pour in the milk, and stir to meld the whole. Lower heat to medium and when you see it start to bubble, lower heat, check for salt. Cover and let simmer for about 35-40 seconds.



If you are serving it immediately, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with lachcha parathas or roti or plain parathas.
If it has to stand for some time, it would possibly thicken over some time. If that happens, and you feel it is too thick, wait till you reheat. If after reheating it is still thicker than how you want it, add a bit of milk and simmer for a couple of seconds and take off the stove.


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