Monday, May 4, 2009

A Gobi by any other name...

As I venture into the land of Indian cuisine, I feel as if I have my chefs hat on, a wooden spoon in my back pocket and an apron on, in a dark room, fumbling around in a state of disorientation. I have made one or two things before but I am such a newbie. If there was an Indian Cooking Club I would join it just for the sheer adventure. And the amazing learning curve that I would be on. I have ventured into other cuisines in similar fashion emerging somewhat triumphant. At the very least able to eat my meals with others and enjoy it. I call that success. Like my venture into Mexican at the hands of friends and boyfriends. Or the venture into Mediterannean with the help of an Egyptian boss and Lebanese coworkers... and restaurants.

After a while I learned that Mexican was not so very different from Italian, a few spices different and maybe a few techniques but tomatoes dominate both cuisines. You start to see similarities after a while. Mediterranean that also has its similarities but there were a whole bunch of spices I didn't know about, like za'tar and dukkah. Of course I continue to learn but at least there is light in the room.

Now, here I am, with some asofatida (hing) in my pantry and some curry leaves in my freezer and thats about as far as I got. Well, beside the garam masala and curry of course but they have become quite a bit more mainstream than they were before. (and try as I might I will never like fenugreek. Maybe but right now, not so much).

All this to say that I name this dish unsure of how accurate I am here. I think I know gobi is cauliflower, right? So if you know more than I about Indian food, which really is not a far stretch, given my newbie-ness, let me know if my title is inaccurate.

Gobi Masala
a newbie take

1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch of asofatida
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups tomatoes, I used grape tomaotes as that is what I had on hand
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
3/4 cup peas
1 head cauliflower roasted

Chop a head of cauliflower into small pieces. Lay on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Roast in the oven at 450 until golden. Remove and set aside.

In a dry saute pan, place spices and let them dry roast until they become fragrant. Add tomatoes and water. Let the tomatoes cook down a bit until they begin to fall apart. Add peas and finally cauliflower. Remove from heat and enjoy.


Julia said...

I love venturing into a new cuisine -- I feel like a mad scientist... not really knowing how all the spices and seasonings work together. Your roasted cauliflower looks terrific, but I have no idea if your recipe name is accurate or not.

kat said...

Indian food is such a new territory for me too but I love playing with the flavors. The roasted cauliflower looks so good.

Mary said...

What does Gobi mean?

Lori said...

gobi... I think is cauliflower. I put it in my post. Thanks Mary- I guess I left that out.

The Blonde Duck said...

I had never heard of a gobi in my life. I thought you were quoting Roald Dahl!

Trish said...

You are correct...gobi is cauliflower and I make aloo gobi or potato and cauliflower curry. Gosh...I have not made curry for a while but you are making me hungry. Good on you for venturing into new territory! I am too...grin. Venturing into my past and heritage foods mostly. But now...I am thinking curry is a must once again. Hey...I came by here by way of another blog but I shall return. I like to see someone have fun with their cooking.

Selba said...

Wow.. an indian dish! Yummy...

Grace said...

indian food is full of flavors i'm only beginning to find enjoyable. i do love cauliflower, though, so i deem this recipe definitely worth a shot!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Roasted cauliflower is very nice. i wonder why my mom didn't roast vegetables more. Well, it was a cultural thing I think - and I have to say as a TCK I prefer grilling and roasting vegetables to eating them any other way. :)

Lori said...

Julia- me too! I have likened myself to a mad scientist too. How funny.

Kat- It is fun to play with the flavors.

Mary- cauliflower. I added that to my post. Thanks for pointing that out.

Blonde Duck- That is the great thing about the internet its full of interesting stuff. I just learned about gobi recently.

Trish- thank you for the info. So glad you stopped by.

Selba- thank you.

Grace- I know it is a new world for me too. I thought I didnt like it. And funny the more I am learning and trying the more I am discovering I so like it!
It was really the fenugreek/methi that turned me off.

Murasaki- Roasted is so wonderful. My Mom too, everthing was fried or boiled.