All of you who have experienced the summers of North and West India will agree that it is one of the most dreaded season. The scorching heat accompanied by hot winds make it a season that is increasingly becoming intense and unbearable. One of the most frequent complaint we all have is loss of appetite and our aversion to spicy food. Foods that are less spicy, are fruit based or include yogurt are preferred during the long season. There is no doubt that aamras (mango puree) holds prime position on the daily menu but, the intense love we have for mangoes totally dejects the glory of the accompanying foods in the meal. As such there are very few vegetables that are available during the season, when those are frowned upon means the meal planner faces an uphill task of appeasing all. I have believed that giving the everyday shaak a bit of a twist helps ease the challenge. Also spending more time is the furness hot kitchens is also a dreaded scenario.The recipe I share with you today takes care of number of this issue. The Cauliflower in milk curry is a simple preparation of humble cauliflower that is cooked in milk and spiced with sliced chili. Thats it.
The recipe I share is almost a century old and I have had the opportunity to enjoy it many a times at my Masiba’s (maternal aunt) home in Surat. This is how her mother-in-law (an extraordinary home-cook) chose to prepare vegetables when the family wanted to avoid overly spiced food which, was usually the case in summers or in winters when the previous or next meal was going to be a spicy affair. The idea was to balance the meals of the day and such vegetables that were extremely mellow on the heat index provided the refreshing alternate. The recipe is simple because in those days food was kept simple and honest, the freshness of the ingredients did the talking rather than the complexity of the recipe. Also Surat, the place from where this recipe originates is know for its vegetables and farm produce. The veggies have an inherent sweetness and flavors hence taste the way vegetables should!!
Try giving Cauliflower in milk curry a shot this summer. Enjoy it with hot rotli, salad and aamras. Believe me you will be making it again and it will become a permeant fixture on your recipe repertoire.
Cauliflower in Milk CurryPrint Recipe
- 3 cups cauliflower, finely chopped
- 1 cup milk ( 1/4 cup more if needed)
- 1 green chili, sliced
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Pinch of hing/asafetida
- Salt to taste
- Finely chopped coriander to garnish
Clean the cauliflower by cutting in in large chunks and soaking it in some slated water for 10-15 minutes.
Once the chunks have soaked for mentioned time, rinse with tap water and finely chop the chunks of cauliflower. I prefer to break the tiny florets by hands rather than a knife. This way I get pleasant looking shaak.
Place a kadhai on medium flame.
Add a teaspoon of oil to the kadhai.
Once the oil has heated up add the rai and hing.
Allow the rai to splutter up and once they begin to splutter add the chopped cauliflower.
Give it a mix and add the milk.
Remember to keep the flame of sim/simmer.
Allow the cauliflower to cook in the milk.
While the cauliflower is cooking add the sliced chili and salt.
If your cauliflower is not tender enough, it might require some more time and milk.
We are looking for shaak/subzi that is not mushy but where the florets hold their shape. If you want gravy add some more milk or else let the milk evaporate to required consistency.
Turn off the flame once the consistency is achieved.
The cauliflower cooks very fast in milk, so keep an eye so that you do not overcook.
Serve garnished with chopped coriander.
This shaak is best enjoyed with garam rotli/paper thin gujarati roti.