Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Caulifower and Peas in Coconut Sauce

Indian food and clothes have held fascination for a lot of people. These two are topics that are easy to handle and I think I have just about enough knowledge to handle these questions and provide information most of the time. But of late I have been getting some serious questions that stump me. A lady once asked me to talk about Yoga, since India is the birth place of Yoga and I being an Indian should have an answer. This was about 5 years ago, all I could manage was "Yoga is more popular outside of India than it is in India and I do not have formal training". Now that awareness of India has been steadily increasing people have been posing more nuanced questions.

Questions about why I wear a red spot on my forehead, if arranged marriages are still practised and if mine was one are all gone when finally I have devised smart answers to all these questions. A few weeks ago on a lunch with some of my ex-colleagues one question really stumped me. One of them asked me if the behavior(usually obnoxious and bossy) of a certain Indian employee stemmed from the fact she belonged to a certain caste. All I could do was open and close my mouth like a fish out of water.

Idli Success
I had success with making Idli batter with the rice that is available. Thanks Nirmala, Shn, Nupur and Kay. I used a combination of the techniques suggested and came close to what I used to do in those early days when all we got was long grain rice. Before I started with long grain rice and tried to include par boiled rice which is a big no no and what was the major problem. The batter was bloby and slimy and unsuited for dosai or idli. With the new technique, the proportion that worked for me was 1 cup - urad dal, 4 cups - sona masuri rice, 2 cups - cream of rice. I had some lovely idlis and picture perfect dosai. I craved for idli but did not realize the kids craved for them as much as I did.

There are a few cauliflower recipes that I cook very often. One is Aloo Gobi, the other is this cauliflower curry for lack of a better name. This time along with a head of cauliflower also had some fresh shelled green peas and wanted to make something with both. I used onion and coconut for the masala paste, onion can be omitted by increasing the quantity of coconut. Also reduce the water level depending upon the consistency preferred, my family likes slurpy slightly watery gravy to go with the rotis.


Serves: 4-6
1. 1 small head of cauliflower cut into bit sized pieces
2. 1 cup of Green Peas (fresh or frozen)
3. 1/4 onion chopped
4. 1 juicy red tomato
5. seasoning : cumin and curry leaves
6. Salt to taste

For the Paste
1. 1/2 medium sized red onion cut into chunks
2. 2 tbsp of fresh/frozen grated cocounut (increase to 4 if not using onion)
3. 6 red chilies (i used a combination of round red chilies and Kashmiri chilies)
4. 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
5. 2 tsp of poppy seeds (soak in warm water for a few minutes)

Saute the onions, red chilies,fennel seeds and towards the end slightly warm the coconut as well. Now mix and blend to a paste.

1. In a pan heat oil add the cumin and saute the onions till translucent
2. Add the tomatoes and a dash of salt and saute till soft.
3. Now add the cauliflower and peas and saute for a few more minutes.
4. *Add the blended paste with a cup of water, salt and let them cook till the cauliflower is soft.

* Alternately blanch the cauliflower and peas and reduce the water to 1/4 of a cup
** Do not close the lid while cooking, it makes the coconut curdle

Serve with rotis


  1. gravy looks inviting especially for a cauliflower fan like me.

  2. Wow wat a yummy drooling over them...

  3. Never tried with coconut milk. A must try recipie as thislooks yummy delicious.
    Yeah i too get these questions very often.

  4. This looks a kurma of sorts. Cauliflower and peas are amongst my daughter's favourite veggies.

    When I was in high school, I used to get questions some what like this and it caused to me look inward and do some questioning myself.:)
    Not laways easy to answer some, though.

  5. yayyy! so gla dyour idli experiments turned out to be a great success!!! :)

    I love the cauliflower curry!

  6. Curry looks delicious. I like cauliflower we get in India, the ones we get here are tooo soft when cooked. The taste is not good too.

    Besides Yoga, Ayurveda is gaining popularity and I might have to get some knowdelge on that as well.

  7. Thanks for playing around with the idli batter and for this foolproof method.

    The coconut is nice touch to this cauliflower curry.

  8. All of us at home love cauliflower and peas..the combo in a curry would be truly great.. :)
    (plus coconut for me) :)..
    Good recipe.Will surely give a shot :)

  9. looks so good, somehow Ive never tried cauliflower with coconut milk... will have to try it soon :)

  10. Anything with coocnut milk I am sold. I like this combo and we too like watery gravies. Nice to know that u're idli cravings are satiated.

  11. I too have something similar to this in my archive,urs sounds awesome!

  12. Hello, ISG!

    It's been too long since I took a stroll around the blog-world and I have dearly missed your insightful and witty "daily musings". Your blog truly lives up to its name.

    Just when I was wondering how to use the last of three cauliflowers (I couldn't resist, on sale before Thanksgiving!), here you are with another delicious gravy. I miss the red tomatoes from the backyard, and the delicious brinjals... :)

    Sorry to ramble on... hope you're all doing well and hugs to you!

  13. Some people with nasty comments just makes me mad. I choose to forget them anyway.

    I like your coconut gravy, using fennel seeds and onion. I need some deviation from usual masala that I make.

  14. It was delicious with rice. We finished it in one go. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. PaakaPriya, I am really glad to hear that. Thanks again for stopping by and letting me know. Have a great holiday and Happy New Year!


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