Thursday, June 23, 2011

Deliciously Simple to Simply Delicious: Pindi Anardana Gobhi

I realize that the time I spend per week on this blog has gone up tremendously these past two months. (My bro rubbed this fact in yesterday when I talked to him- some things never change. I mean annoying siblings- let me not distract you however). But then I have a past as an obsessive journal writer.... As a kid, when I kept my daily journal, I wrote; oblivious to exams or laborious home works. Even getting punished for missed bed times didn't deter me. It was a beautiful navy blue leather-bound diary that I wrote in. And I tied it up with a rubber band and hid it under my pillow. The second one was brown leather. Then one day, my bro found them. And read them. And told everyone (my parents, that is, AND his buddies) my secrets from in there (see the relevance here- same annoying younger bro...). That was way too much exposure for a shy, melt-in-the-background tween/teen like me. I never wrote again. My dad tried, but I didn't. I think I burned my diaries in  an anti-sibling protest......

This blog started privately as well. Then I invited a few friends to take a peek at it via Facebook. I am not sure why I made it public- but in all honesty; I'm loving the attention now! I guess it 's a tiny step from being an introvert to becoming an exhibitionist! (Right back at ya, bro). This last weekend we were at a picnic. And I overheard a couple of friends discussing my Watergate salad. One was describing how it was a hit with her family. The other, who had also loved this dish at my home that day wanted the recipe. And the first one said, 'The recipe's online now- I'll send you that link'. And a few more ladies chipped in and asked for the link as well. I have no words to explain how big that blew my ego-bubble. I had to prick a tiny hole in it by reminding myself that Watergate salad isn't really mine- it was bookmarked from elsewhere. Or I'd have burst into smithereens by now!

But, an ego-trip is all-encompassing. I have been really itching to tell you all about a recipe that I made up myself; and was a huge mouthwatering, show stopper (even if I say so myself)! Can you start the drum roll please....here comes my Pindi Anardana Gobhi.....

Pindi Anardana Gobhi
(Cauliflower flavored with dried pomegranate seeds)


Cauliflower florets from half a head of cauliflower
Salt 1 and 1/2tsp (suit to taste)
Green chillies 3-4
Ginger 1 inch piece (optional)
Red chilli powder 1/4tsp
Amchoor/ dried mango powder 1/2tsp
Anardana/dried pomegranate seeds 2tsp (generous)
Dhania/ Coriander seeds 1tsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds 1tsp
Oil 2 Tbsp

  1. There's a couple of prep stops in this recipe. First of all, make a coarse paste of green chillies and ginger (I use my mini chopper).
  2. Wash the cauliflowers florets and allow to drain through a colander. 
  3. Dry roast the anardana and corainder seeds in a skillet over medium flame (separately). Allow to cool, and then coarse-grind them together (I do it in a mortar and pestle).
  4. Now heat the oil in a kadai/wok. Add jeera into the hot oil and allow to splutter.Then add the ginger chilli paste and cook for 1-2 min.
  5. Add the cauliflower, salt and red chilli powder; give it all a thorough stir, and cover the wok. Set the stove down to low/medium-low. Allow to cook it in its own juices and check for 'done- ness' periodically. Stir occasionally. Should take about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Finally add the amchoor powder-anardana-dhania powder. Stir to mix. Turn up the heat to high and cook uncovered for 2-3 min.
My two cents: This side was concocted out of boredom- we can never use up a whole head of cauliflower at one time, and I was sort of bored with my regular version. But thiswas so good.  The tanginess comes from both amchoor and anardana...similar, yet remarkably different. You'll be able to savor both flavors here. I kept the florets slightly 'less-done' and didn't use any coloring (like haldi). 

This uses a little more oil than I usually allow for my everyday cooking; but it is definitely worth it. Again, no onions, tomato or garlic. If you omit ginger...will definitely qualify as another Jain recipe.

And finally, I made up the name as well....an extrapolation from Pindi chana. Now am I clever or not!!

A good-to-know tip: Add the sour/tangy flavors (lemon, amchoor, anardaana) after the dish is completely done and not on the stove. They increase stove-top cooking time, and also tend to not stay fresh if heated through for long time.

Linked to:
Cooking without onion & Garlic hosted at Ammaji's recipes
Dish name starts with a P at Akila's