Gobi Musallam or Baked Whole Cauliflower can be the centrepiece of any dinner party using the minimum cream and butter.
Gobi Musallam is the vegetarian option of Murgh Musallam. For a vegan version avoid the cream, butter and milk.
The other names for this delicious dish are gobi butter masala, gobhi musallam, Gobi in makhani gravy.
I have made gobi musallam often in the past. But since I did not like the images or we did not like the recipe I did not post. This time hubby liked it, we ate it for 2 days in a row once with pav(Goan bread) other time with rotis. This is a low-fat version and I wanted to record it for posterity.
The second reason is this Foodie Monday Bloghop, Sasmita has suggested we cook Winter Veggies available in India so we are having #219 Winter Veggie Affair. Sasmita blogs at First Timer Cook and she has a host of delicious recipes, her recent recipe is my long-time todo Kaju Katli. Thanks to Sasmita this time I could make and perfect this delicious Gobi Musallam.
Just where the story begins is, of course, the Mughal kitchen…
Murgh Musallam is the original dish in the Mughal kitchen it means “a whole chicken” as well as “well done”. So you have a well-cooked whole chicken.
The whole chicken was stuffed in the Awadhi Cuisine with mava and nuts and in the Delhi Sultanate with mince and eggs among exotic spices like saffron etc. Well marinated and cooked dry or in sauce being a royal dish it was decorated with silver wark and nuts too.
So does that imply that if you are a vegetarian you cannot enjoy Musallam?
You already do for the in Gobi Musallam the gravy is the makhani gravy the only addition is the whole cauliflower. You must already be using the makhani gravy for paneer, boiled eggs, mushrooms, peas, mixed vegetables. I have used it for fresh cashew nuts too in the past.
So what are the main ingredients for Gobi Butter Masala?
The main ingredient of Gobi Musallam is as the name suggests is gobi, gobhi, fulgobi or cauliflower.
For the makhani gravy as the name suggests the main ingredients is Makhan or butter. But the sidekicks in the drama are is onion, ginger garlic, chillies, tomatoes, cream, yogurt (curds), sugar, cashew nuts.
To make a no garlic, no onion version leave out the onion and garlic use a little more tomato.
The variations I have made due to diet restrictions are
- Used little butter but felt I can leave it out next time.
- The fresh cream, straight from the milk I had heated, was about 1/4 cup and about 1 cup milk and no curds.
Let us begin preparing our ingredients for Gobhi Musallum
Soak the cashew nuts in warm water.
Wash the cauliflower I generally soak the cauliflower for about 10 minutes in salted water. This is to get rid of any pesticides, remember the cauliflowers are sprayed often to get rid of pests. Drain out all water and rinse again.
Dip in the cauliflower 2-3 cups of water, add 1/2 tsp salt and boil on both sides for 5 minutes. Yes, turn over the cauliflower carefully and boil on the other side.
As the cauliflower boils start making the gravy
Grind the onions(if using), chillies, ginger, garlic to a fine paste.
Grind the tomatoes to a fine paste.
Grind the cashew nuts to a fine paste use as little water as possible.
Heat the kauri methi and crush the leaves. Set aside.
Meanwhile, your cauliflower is boiled remove it from the water and set it in an oven-proof dish. Reserve the water you can add it to your gravy, dal etc.
To make the Gobi in Makhani Gravy
Heat a thick bottomed pan and add the garam masala and onions until the oil oozes out after frying. Since I use little oil once the gravy dries out and I see a few bubbles around the onions I add my next ingredient. (the main thing is your ingredients in the pan should not scald.)
Next, add the tomato puree and stir fry until you see the oil.
Add the cashew nut paste and stir fry until you see the oil.
Now add the coriander powder, turmeric, red chill powder, garam masala, kauri methi.
Add the cream and milk, salt and sugar. Your gravy is ready.
As I baked the dish in the oven I did it just before we ate. Till then gravy and the cauliflower stayed out on the kitchen platform. For my weather, it is a great achievement everything needs to be refrigerated else the smell changes.
Gobi Musallam|Baked Whole Cauliflower
- Spoons and Ladles
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 2 onions roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 3 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 green chillies
- 3 tbsp coriander leaves
- 4 tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts soaked in warm water
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp jeera
- 1 badi elichi/black cardamom
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 inch cinnamon
- 6-7 kali mirch/ black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander seed powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder adjust as per taste
- 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
- 2 tsp kauri methi
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp butter
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Wash and soak the cauliflower for about 10 minutes in salted water. Drain out all water and rinse again.
- In a vessel that is big enough to hold the cauliflower add about 2 tsp salt and 2-3 cups of water. Dip the cauliflower head first and bring to boil for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes turn over the cauliflower and boil for another 5 minutes or till the knife inserted in the centre just passes in.
- Let the water cool a little reserve the water and drain the cauliflower.
- As the cauliflower boils crush the onions, ginger garlic paste with green chillies, and the stalks of coriander. Set aside.
- Grind the tomatoes to a fine paste. Use 2 -3 tbsp of water if needed. Set aside.
- Grind the cashew nuts to a fine paste, use water to make the paste. Set aside.
- In a thick bottomed pan heat oil add jeera, add turmeric powder, coriander seeds and the whole masala.
- Add the onion paste and fry till the oil separates.
- Next, add the tomato paste and stir fry till the oil separates.
- Add the cashew nut paste and again stir fry till the oil separates.
- Add the cream and the milk. Stir occasionally and bring to boil. The amount of oil you see separating will be more.
- Add 1 cup water once the water starts boiling add garam masala, salt, chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander leaves, sugar, kauri methi. Mix well. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile in an ovenproof dish place the cauliflower. Spoon the masala over the cauliflower, reserve about a bowlful.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius/ 350F garnished with the remains coriander leaves.
- The time needed to bake will differ from oven to oven I needed 30 minutes the best way to check is when your kitchen is filled with the aroma of the Gobi Masallum or when the knife easily passes in the centre of the cauliflower.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack after about 5 minutes cut the cauliflower in wedges. Add a little of the gravy from the bowl to the plate place the cauliflower on it. Serve with naan, jeera rice, peas pulao or Pav.
- If you do not want to bake, place the cauliflower in the kadhai/wok and spoon the makhani gravy on the cauliflower. Cover and cook till the knife can pass through the cauliflower.
- To reduce your cooking time and also make it easier to serve you can make florets of the cauliflower and follow the rest of the recipe.
Now, the variations are
- To reduce your cooking time and also make it easier to serve you can make florets of the cauliflower.
- But in case you need make the gobi without baking you can make it in a thick-bottomed kadhai/wok. Place the cauliflower in the kadhai/wok, spoon the makhani gravy on the cauliflower. Cover and cook till the knife can pass through the cauliflower.