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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Niramish Fulkopir Torkari ('Veg' Cauliflower curry)

The cauliflower or 'fulkopi' as we know it in Bengali, is a nutritious vegetable which plays a very important part in Indian cuisine.It has been widely adopted by various regional cuisines in India itself,let alone the cuisines of other cultures.


In some cuisines,the stalks and green leaves are also used,but for Bengali cooking,that is a strict no-no.Cauliflower is extremely rich in fiber,water and Vitamin C which makes it a very low-fat and nutritious vegetable.The most important aspect that deserves mention though,is that,it possesses certain anti-cancer compounds which have known to work very well in staving off tumours.


Having delved into the pedantic aspects of the 'fulkopi',we now move over to the real world where to me,the cauliflower is one vegetable which is astoundingly easy to cook.Apparently,the skill in cooking a fulkopi and making it tasty lies in cutting it up skillfully.If you have loved to have 'alu fulkopi koraishuti bhaja' or julienned and fried potato,cauliflower florets and peas,you would have realised that the skill lies in keeping the florets with stalk and keeping it from being mushly.
The first thing to do would be to extricate the white flower and get rid of the green stalks and leaves.Next thing to do would be to chop off the thick white base.Now cut the cauliflower into half with a very sharp knife.A closer look will reveal that the flower is designed such,that a cluster of florets emerge from one base.Now cutting off the base will let loose another cluster of flowers and so on.It is always good to leave a good part of the stalk on.That will not only look good when the vegetable is cooked but will prevent the curry from going mushy.

Also linking this to 'Healing foods - Cauliflower' event at Vardhini's wonderful place!


Niramish Fulkopir Torkari
This curry will be purely veg in the sense that no onion is involved(Onion is sometimes considered 'Amish' or non-veg).
You will need:
A whole cauliflower - cut into medium sized florets in the fashion described.The stalks should be left on.
Potatoes - 2-3(if small);Peeled and diced into cubes
Tomato - 1 whole chopped;In case of Tomato Puree,3-4 tablespoonfuls
Ginger - About an inch and half will do(if whole) chopped;In case of Ginger paste,2 heaped teaspoons

Spices:
Whole Cumin seeds (Gota Jeera) - About 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder (Haldi) - About 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder (Jeera) - About 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder (Dhania) - About half a teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - A pinch or as per taste
Salt and sugar
Oil - Mustard;Canola or any other refined oil will also do
Garam masala (for seasoning) - About 1 teaspoon
Coriander and green chillies (for garnish) - optional

How to cook:
1.To get started,wash the cauliflower florets very well in lukewarm or normal water.Keep aside to drain off the water and when dry,sprinkle a pinch of turmeric powder and salt and mix well.

2.Heat about one and a half tablespoon of oil in the wok.Cauliflower usually takes a bit more oil to get fried.Less oil may leave the florets charred or half done.When the oil is hot,add the spiced cauliflower and fry well till the florets take on a golden tinge.Remove from oil when done and place on a kitchen napkin to drain the excess oil.

3.Next add turmeric and salt to the diced potatoes in the same manner and fry them in the same oil.The potatoes may be covered intermittently to speed up the frying process.However,take care not to char them.When lighly fried with a golden brown tinge,remove and drain on a kitchen napkin.

4.At this stage,check the oil to see if what remains is enough to cook the curry.If needed,another tablespoon of oil may be added.

5.The oil needs to be hot enough when the whole cumin seeds are next added.When the cumin starts to splutter,add the ginger paste or chopped ginger,whichever is being used.Fry the ginger for about 2 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes or tomato puree.Mix the masala well.

6.Now add the turmeric powder,cumin powder,coriander powder and red chilli powder to the masala.Add a teaspoon of sugar and about one and a half teaspoon salt to the masala.When the masala is well-fried(you will see the juices from the tomato gradually absorbed), the masala will loose its flowiness and turn into a spicy ambery mush (the yellow form the haldi and red from the tomato will fuse together).

7.At this point,add in the fried cauliflower florets and the potatoes to the spice and mix well to coat the vegetables with the cooked spice.The whole concoction will turn a tad dry,but nothing to worry as we will add water.

8.After the veggies are well-coated,lower the flame and add about 2 medium-sized cups of water.The water should be enough to just immerse the veggies and help them cook.Now cover the lid of the wok and let it come to a boil.

9.Once the gravy comes to a boil,remove the lid and prod a piece of potato with your spoon.If the potato breaks at the slighest prod and reveals a soft texture,be sure to have your curry ready!
10.Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala on top.You may garnish with chopped coriander leaves and green chillies.


I have been quite verbose,at time even quite unecessarily,while explaining the method.But this verbosity is just an attempt to give a very step-by-step and clear picture of each stage,so that even the first-time cook can judge whether the curry is actually turning out to be as intended!Please rush me your comments and any recommended improvisations!So long...happy cooking!

6 thoughtful musings left behind...:

Bong Mom said...

HI WWW
Thanks for your kind words. You have a lovely blog and what a coincidence that you too had posted Malpoa for Holi :)

Welcome to the blogworld

Wit,wok and wisdom said...

Hello Bong Mom!
Thanks for visiting my blog!I'm glad you liked it!:)The Malpoa was indeed a happy coincidence but I must tell you,I rue that fact that your Malpoa looks more like what my Ma used to make and so I would rather go for yours than mine,given a choice;)And as always,the embellishments were awesome!

PreeOccupied said...

Very nicely written out. I do this the same way, except that I get greedy about peas and add lotsa green peas in my dalna. I have also started adding kancha lonka bata with the ginger paste. It adds a great flavor to the curry.

Medifast Coupons said...

Great curry recipe, can't wait to try.

Wit,wok and wisdom said...

PreeOccupied,
Thanks for visiting my blog and glad that you liked the recipe!:)Kancha lonka bata definitely has a lovely resounding flavor...would love to add it to my curry someday!

Medifast,
Thanks for your kind words...glad that you like it!

Vardhini said...

Another cauliflower delight .. one of my favorite veggie. Yummy dish. Thx for linking to the event.

Vardhini
Event: New "U" - Healthy Eats
Event: Healing Foods - Cauliflower

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