Cauliflower Greens or Leaves And Stalk Bhaji (Dry Curry)
Gobhi Patte & Danthal ki Sabji
This is a dish that you don't see in restaurants. It uses the leaves and stalks of cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli that are normally discarded. It is especially useful for people who grow their own vegetables and have access to fresh leaves and stalks. In North India and Punjab, it is considered quite a delicacy and stalks are sold as a vegetable in their own right. You can add a few chopped potatoes, no more than 30-40%, if you do not have enough stalks and greens. Experiment with other additions like peas, small pieces of meat or even fish. Serves 3-4
500 gm. cauliflower leaves and stalks
3 tbsp. mustard oil
1 1/2 tsp. panch-pooran (Panch Pooran
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. chilli powder (more if you like food hot)
1 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 tbsp. (half, if lemon is very big)
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
Note: You can add 1-2 tsp. of lime/lemon, garlic or chilli or mango pickle to this dish towards the end and stir fry it in. This gives it a pickle like taste. I often add a bit of pickle to dry vegetable bhajies.
Slice the very hard outer skin and leaf ends off the stalks. Chop stalks lengthways into finger thick batons and cut leaves finely. Wash well and keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi.
Add panch-pooran and asafoetida, allow seeds to splutter. It is better to keep the lid on. This stops them from jumping into the corners of your kitchen you didn't know existed.
Add vegetables and all the spices. Mix well.
Cook covered on medium to low heat, stirring gently from time to time, until stalks are tender. This does not take more than 10 minutes usually, unless you are using very tough stalks. Do not overcook, some 'bite' should be left.
Add lemon juice and garam masala and stir gently on high heat, until all liquid is absorbed and vegetables look shiny/oily.You can garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.
If you keep the heat low, no additional water is required during cooking. However, if the stalks are not fresh, you may need to sprinkle some water from time to time.
Kalonji can be spelled as Kalowunji on some packets.