Cauliflower Green Leaves And Stalk Pickle Style Bhaji (Dry Curry)
Gobhi Patte & Danthal Ki Aachari Sabji
This is the sort of dish that you will never see in an Indian restaurant. It uses up the leaves and stalks of a fresh cauliflower that you would norm ally throw away. Supermarkets here remove most of the leaves unfortunately beforehand, probably to save space. When you grow your own vegetables and have access to freshest of cauliflower leaves, do try making it, it is delicious. 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. You can use any pickle you like, but oily ones work best. Here I have used a mix of my home made chilli pickle in oil and a shop bought chickpea and methi Gujarati pickle. Mango pickle will work very well too. It is a good dish for packed lunch, with parathas.
Serves 3-4 as a side dish
Pictures edited April 2018
Leaves and stalk of one cauliflower. Use inner, tender and crisp leaves only, not the hard, fibrous ones.
2 tbsp. mustard or other cooking oil
1 1/2 tsp. Panch Pooran
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or crushed (optional)
A little salt, if needed
Optional: You can add these spices if you like, to give your dish a little extra colour, as shown in second composite picture.
1 tsp. coriander seed powder*
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder*
1/2 tsp. chilli powder*
Discard any tough, fibrous, outer leaves. Slice tender leaves finely and stalks into small pieces/batons. Make sure to slice the tough outer skin off the stalks. Wash well, no dirt should remain, drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi.
Add panch-pooran mix, allow seeds to splutter. It is better to keep the lid on. This stops some of the mustard seeds from jumping into the corners of your kitchen you didn't know existed!
Add chopped leaves, spices* if used, salt and pickle. Stir well to mix.
Turn heat down to minimum and cook covered, stirring gently from time to time, until stalks are tender. This does not take more than 10-15 minutes usually, unless you are using very tough stalks. Do not overcook, some 'bite' should be left. If the leaves are fresh, no additional water is required, enough comes out of the leaves.
Taste and adjust salt and seasoning.
You can also add some ginger slices pickled in vinegar.