There are some oils (like refined oils) that just cook your food, adding nothing whatsoever to the flavour, aroma, colour and texture of the final dish. And then there are traditional time-tested cooking oils like Mustard Oil and Desi Ghee that form an integral part of the final flavour. Here’s a traditional Cauliflower recipe from Punjab that underlines the point we are making here. If you were to take this recipe and replace the Mustard Oil with safflower, soya or rice bran oil… it just won’t taste the same. Don’t waste your time, effort and ingredients on testing this proposition – just go with Mustard Oil.
Let’s get started. The ingredients that you will require are:
Cauliflower (Gobi): One, medium-sized, cut into florets
Potato: 2, medium-sized, peeled and diced
Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
Coriander (Dhania): 2 tablespoon, freshly chopped
Carom (Ajwain): 2 teaspoon
Green Chilli: 4, chopped
Ginger: One small piece, grated
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Just a pinch
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice (fresh): Half a teaspoon
Salt: to taste
Take salt water in a pan – heat on high flame. Add the diced potatoes and boil them till they are half-cooked. Remove the potatoes and keep aside. Use the same boiling salt water to blanch the cauliflower pieces. Remove and keep aside.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a separate pan; heat on high flame until the oil reaches its smoking point. Reduce the flame to medium heat. Add the turmeric powder and the Ajwain to the hot oil – the Ajwain will pop and splutter. Next, add the ginger and sauté it. You need to do all this quickly to ensure that the spices do not get burnt.
Now add the Green Chillies and sauté. Turn the flame up to High and add the potatoes; fry till they are done. Next, add the cauliflower and continue frying till the potato pieces and cauliflower florets are crisp.
Add the Garam Masala and the Coriander – mix well. Finally, add the lemon juice and give the mixture one more stir and then remove the pan from the flame.
Your Cauliflower dish is now ready to be served. In Punjab, this is usually eaten with hot Chapatti or Roti.