11 December 2006

Gobhi Mutter - Try something Indian

gobhi mutter

Indian food isn't the same as BALTI cuisine. Born and brought up in India and staying here nearly all my years, I haven't heard of this term 'Balti' ever. Imagine my shock on landing in the US and seeing Balti this and Balti that as a part of the menu in the so-called Indian restaurants. I realised later that Balti was Bangladeshi cuisine but was merged into Indian cuisine so that it could easily partake some of the limelight. With due respect to all cuisines, it is hurtful when someone tries to club the whole nine yards of glorious Indian food into something Asian or Middle Eastern or Oriental.

When Rihanna of Garlic Breath from France wrote to me about her totally Indian Thanksgiving menu , I was so thrilled. Just like how excited we are to hear someone else speak our mother tongue, it is exactly that elation I experience when I see Americans, Europeans and so many others take an avid interest in Indian cuisine. Barbara, Emma and Susan, are some of those wonderful people who aren't afraid of the variety of Indian spices. On the contrary, go all out and embrace the various colours, flavours and textures of the great Indian food fabric. Food blogs have made it so convenient to get straight into the kitchens of the world and take a page out of their family traditions of food.

I can't imagine a more diverse cuisine where a single country's cuisine is sub divided into some 20 other varieties, each one as dissimilar as chalk from cheese.

This simple vegetable side dish is dedicated to all the people of the world who are totally in love with Indian food.

Cauliflower and peas sauteed in Indian spices

Time taken - 20 minutes
Category - Indian vegetables, Side, Low fat, Antioxidant rich

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and cumin seeds
4-5 cloves garlic, mashed
300-400 gm Cauliflower cut into small florets - stems discarded
Handful of fresh green peas
Pinch turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander cumin powder (can use curry powder)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp or more salt
1-2 tsp of cooking oil

Putting them together

Wash the cauliflower florets thoroughly in salted water and drain. Keep aside.

In a kadai / wok, take 1-2 tsp of vegetable oil. Splutter the mustard and cumin seeds. Throw in the mashed garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Don't brown / burn it.

Put in the florets and green peas, along with the spices and salt. Cover the wok with a fitting deep dish (thali) and pour a cup of water over the dish. This will dry cook the vegetables without adding water into the wok and the steam generated will also keep them from sticking to the bottom of the wok or burning.

After 10 minutes, carefully lift up the covering dish with a pair of tongs and check if the veggies are cooked. 10 minutes are enough for the dish to be cooked well, if the vegetables are fresh.
Check for salt and remove into a bowl. You may garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with chapatis or as a side dish with meat.

This is I'd put together for you at Saffron Trail for a totally Indian Christmas

Whet your appetite with Masala Mor (spicy buttermilk).
Start with the crunchy, delicately flavoured C
arrot Peanut salad.
Serve rice cooked in a stock flavoured with Indian spices like cinnamon, clove and star anise along with the bold
Lasooni Dal Palak (Garlicky Lentils with spinach).
End your meal with a distinctly South Indian food-for-Gods kinda
Cashewnut Payasam (Sweetened milk with cashewnut paste).

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Some related interesting links -

Discovering Indian cuisine
Demystifying Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine cookbooks

And then something to laugh about here.

A good cup of Masala chai felt like bliss in this slightly chilly December afternoon, while I was writing this post.


Anonymous said...

Oh great! I love it when I am the first one to comment which is not often. Nandita, I make exactly the same gobi aloo and i lov it too. Dev takes it to school rolled up in a paratha. Its these simple dishes that bring great comfort to the body and soul.
i too was shocked when i saw the balti prefix attached to all the dishes in an indian restaurant in the UK

The TriniGourmet said...

thanks for explaining about the balti title. I never knew it until I was in the UK and everything was balti this and balti that :) Our Indian food is its own genre now (I'm posting more on it soon) but I could see no similarities between it and this balti stuff. The recipes you post are more recognizable to me :D

Thanks for sharing the Gobhi Mutter :D I never had a name for it before :)

I agree that it is hurtful when one's cuisine is not appreciated individually and on its own merit!

kamath said...

Yummy --- do you cater to the west coast?

Its strange --- i have never come across the word Balti. Its probably because i'm in California -- which is more like an extension of Mexico and India and where the Americans feel like foreigners.

Krithika said...

I make gobhi matar too and I dont discard the stems. Remove the tough exterior and inner soft stem can be used. Perfect with phulkas.

Riana said...

Yuuum, what should I bring? A nice bottle of wine? I wish I could have a Noel dinner like that!

Anonymous said...

Balti is Bangladeshi? I thot it was related to Afghan or something ilke that..hehehe . Thanks

white_poplar said...

I love Indian food although sometimes it is very spicy for me... Truly admire the blend of spices that Indian cuisine has!

Anonymous said...

Could you have meant the UK instead of the US where you saw the preponderance of "Balti" cuisines? Long resident in the US I too was surprised when I landed in the UK and saw the popularity of Balti/Bangladeshi "curry houses" there. They are cheap, quite flavorful, and frankly a lot close to "Indian" food than some of the restaurants in the US that call themselves Indian.

Snehal Roy said...

I first got interested in the Baltic form of cuisine when I came across a book "The Balti Cookbook" by Shehzad Husain several years ago in Singapore. Actually Balti food is not Bangladeshi. It is from a region called 'Baltistan' in the Himalayan ranges also called Little Tibet, although many references refute it and say that Balti cuisine originated in UK a decade ago more as a fusion cuisine to bring the flavours of India's north/Pakistan to England. That version is quite accurate too. Balti cuisine derives its flavours from Punjabi and Kashmiri cooking. I have been cooking traditional Balti dishes for a few years now [mostly meat dishes] in a traditional kadai [a trademark of Balti Cuisine] and the food is yummy. It is quite similar to the 'dum' taste prevalent in Hyderabadi/Awadh cooking. So although not widespread in India [I never knew about it while I was in India for 23 years], Balti cuisine is quite Indian :)

Priya S&S said...

The close-up shot of the curry looks FABULOUS !!!

Nice spread for a Indian Christmas ! Tried you lasooni dal palak again today, used masoor instead of moong. Tasted good, but loved the toor and moong combo.

Nandita said...

Anupama - this is quite a staple in our home esp in winters when we get white filled up cauliflowers.

Sarina - so now you know the name, you cna make several variations, by substituting peas with other starchy vegetables.

Kamath- Ooops, I don't cater!

Krithika - I use the delicate stems too, just discard the woody bits, they are quite tasteless. A friend's mom actually makes a pickle with the thick cauliflower stems. Nothing to waste.

Rianna - Hey thanks for the virtual French wine dear friend! Im sure such a menu is very much within reach, much faster to cook than most other elaborate cusines.

Injipennu- I must admit that my knowledge about Balti was from hearsay and not any research, so I could be wrong, see Snehal's comment above. She seems to be familiar with the truth abt that cuisine.

Poplar - Its not spicy as in HOT, but just spicy as in fragrant and tasteful :)

Snehal - Thanks for correcting me. While Balti cuisine may be Indian - all of Indian isnt Balti, thats what I meant. :)

Priya - thanks dear! That dal recipe is so popular, I must convey it to the chef at Marriott - because it was their recipe

Anonymous said...

Gobhi-matar...reminds me of my mom's cooking. She is a wonderful cook. I really like the snaps of your gobhi-matar. Good job... :-)

Thanks, Nidhi.

Anonymous said...

That looks so yummy! Did you use fresh green peas? It looks nice and green.

SusanV said...

Hi Nandita! Thanks for mentioning me. I truly love Indian food, though there are so many different regions and varities that it will take me a lifetime to explore it all.

I have to admit that I bought some "Balti Seasoning" from Penzey's spice store (online) just because I was curious. I hadn't ever heard of it before, and maybe I didn't use it correctly but I wasn't impressed. I guess I shouldn't be surprised -- premixed seasonings are never as good as mixing the spices yourself, as your excellent recipes prove.

Anonymous said...

Nandita, I too feel astonished and happy whenever I encounter some non indian cooking Indian.Then my better half says " well, don't u cook non indian so much?" Nice subji.. i used to like alu mutter gobi together..So u can sing.. alu mutter gobi, ....(any name) ki topi..

Anonymous said...

Hi Nandita, great recipe, I make it often. Your picture really captures the flavour of the dish beautifully. Thanks for sharing….~smile~

Nandita said...

Nidhi- Welcome to saffron trail and thanks for the nice words

RP- yes fresh green peas - absolutely in season in India at this time of the year and less than 50 cents for a Kilo :D

Susan - I admire you gals for getting into the depths of cuisines other than your own - hence the heartfelt mention. Thanks!

Shaheen - nice song Hehehe

Dilip - sorry if you were bugged posting and reposting comment, comment moderation is enabled and hence you couldn't see yours immediately on posting. Welcome to this space and hope to see you around. Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the theme for this month's WBB to be announced. Is it happening or is it on break for holidays?

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

I'm always happy to try something Indian, especially when it comes recommended by you.

Anonymous said...

nice blog. great going. wish u all the best.

are there any sites for
1. indian names (6languages at least or it isn't indian!!! :) )for veg, spices etc
2. nutritional value of local veg, and regular recipes of day to day use..

hope u put up this info on the blog if available...


Pooja said...

Hi nandita,
Nice recipe with our traditional gobi mutter, :) , feels like making it just now. :)) .
well , just wanted to ask if i miss to see any post of yours for the next WBB event. if so, just do me a favor and let me know whats the theme is.

eva said...

Thank you for the explanations ... and the nice vegetarian recepy.
In France, a lot of new "BOLLYWOOD" cookbooks were recently released ... nothing traditional but very flashy as the LILLE 3000 celebrations !

nilu said...

made gobhi mutter just now.. turned out fabulous. I was having chopped up aloo at hand.. so added that as well. Thanks!

tanuka said...

I just made Gobi mutter it took me just fifteen minutes and it tastes so good! Thanks so much I am gonna follow your link now more often. Keep posting more recipes such as these! Its great for amateur cooks like me :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...