Cauliflower Dal Recipe | Fulkopi Dal | Dal Gobi

5 from 3 votes
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Cauliflower Dal or (Fulkopi Dal in Bengali) is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines the flavors of Indian cuisine with the versatility of cauliflower.

Dal, also known as lentil curry, is a staple in Indian cooking and is made from lentils or other legumes cooked with aromatic spices.

In this particular recipe, cauliflower is added to the dal, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.

Cauliflower adds a unique texture and taste to the dal, complementing the earthy lentils and aromatic spices.

Cauliflower Dal

Key Takeaways:

  • Cauliflower Dal combines Indian flavors with the versatility of cauliflower for a delicious and nutritious dish.
  • Dal is a staple in Indian cuisine made from lentils or legumes cooked with aromatic spices.
  • Cauliflower adds a unique texture and taste to the dal, complementing the lentils and spices.
  • The dish is typically vegetarian or vegan, making it suitable for various dietary preferences.
  • Serve cauliflower dal with rice, naan bread, or roti for a complete and satisfying meal.

The Ingredients:

Cauliflower Dal Ingredients

  • Cauliflower or phoolkopi: 1-piece, big size (cut & cleaned)
  • Red lentil or masoor dal: 250 gms or 1 bowl (rinsed & cleaned)
  • Tomato: 1-piece, big size (cleaned & sliced)
  • Onion: 1-piece, medium size (sliced)
  • Garlic: 10 cloves (grated)
  • Ginger: 1 tbsp (grated)
  • Green chilis: 4 pieces (longitudinally slit)
  • Coriander: a handful
  • Kashmiri red chili powder: ½ tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tbsp
  • Roasted masala: 1 tbsp
  • Dried red chilis: 4 pieces
  • Bay leaf: 1 piece
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard oil: 5 ½ tbsp
  • Salt: as per taste

How to Cook Cauliflower Dal (Step by Step Images)?

1. First, add the red lentils to the pressure cooker and add a little water. Bring it to a boil.

Adding the red lentils to the pressure cooker

2. Close the lid and wait for 1 whistle. Leave the dal in the pressure cooker until it cools down.

Cooling par boiled dal

3. Next, heat a wok and add the cauliflower florets. Add a small amount of water and ½ tbsp salt. Close the lid and let it partially boil.

Adding cauliflower florets, a small amount of water and ½ tbsp salt

4. Open the lid and stir the cauliflower once or twice.

Opening the lid and stirring the cauliflower

5. Once it’s done, remove the cauliflower from the wok and switch off the flame. Discard the boiled water from the cauliflower florets.

Taking out the cauliflower from the wok

6. Heat the wok and add 3 tbsp mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cauliflower florets and sauté it.

Adding oil and frying cauliflower

7. Add 1 ½ tsp turmeric powder and continue sautéing until the cauliflower turns light red in color.

Adding turmeric powder and continue sautéing the cauliflower

8. When the cauliflower florets are fried, transfer it to a plate.

cauliflower florets are fried and transferring it to a plate

9. In the same wok, add 2 ½ tbsp mustard oil and heat it. Once the oil is hot, add the whole spices such as cumin seeds, bay leaf, and 2 dried red chilies (broken into halves).

Adding mustard oil, the whole spices such as cumin seeds, bay leaf, and 2 dried red chilies

10. Sauté for 1 second until a nice aroma is emitted, then add the sliced onions. Sauté the onions until they turn a light red color.

Add the sliced onions and sautéing the onions

11. When the onions are lightly reddish, add the grated ginger and garlic. Sauté all the ingredients for 2 seconds.

Adding grated ginger, garlic and sautéing

12. Once the ingredients turn reddish, add the sliced tomatoes. Sauté the tomatoes until they become mushy. Sprinkle a little less than half a tablespoon of salt. Sauté a little to make the tomatoes mushier.

(Expert tip: Salt makes the tomatoes tender & mushier.)

Adding the sliced tomatoes and sautéing

13. Add the remaining turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Sauté all the ingredients again.

Adding turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder and sautéing

14. Add a small amount of water and stir everything well using an arm-twisting method.

Adding a small amount of water and stirring

15. The masala is ready. Add the fried cauliflower florets to the masala and stir everything together.

Adding fried cauliflower florets to the masala and stirring

16. Add the homemade roasted masala (made with roasted and ground cumin seeds, dried red chili, and coriander seeds). Stir everything well for 1 minute without adding water.

Adding the homemade roasted masala

17. Add the parboiled red lentils (masoor dal) to the masala and mix everything thoroughly. Adjust the consistency by adding hot water according to your preference.

Adding parboiled red lentils (masoor dal) to the masala and mixing

18. Once the ingredients and water start simmering, add 4 tsp salt and mix everything together. Close the lid and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Adding salt and mixing everything together

19. Finally, add four slit green chilies, close the lid again, and let it sit for a few minutes.

Adding four slit green chilies and closing the lid again

20. Open the lid and garnish the cauliflower dal with fresh coriander leaves. This is a gravy dal, not too runny. The red lentils or masoor will remain coarse, not fully mashed. Enjoy this cauliflower dal or gobi dal with rice, roti, paratha etc.

Garnishing the cauliflower dal with fresh coriander leaves

Pro Tips for Making Best Cauliflower Dal

Here are some pro tips to help you make the best cauliflower dal:

Select fresh cauliflower: Choose a cauliflower head that is firm, with tight florets and bright green leaves. Avoid cauliflower with brown spots or signs of discoloration.

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Properly clean the cauliflower: Before using the cauliflower, make sure to wash it thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or impurities. Trim the leaves and separate the florets.

Roast or sauté the cauliflower: For added flavor and texture, consider roasting or sautéing the cauliflower before adding it to the dal. This will bring out its natural sweetness and enhance the overall taste of the dish.

Use a combination of lentils: To add depth and variety to your cauliflower dal, consider using a combination of lentils such as red lentils (masoor dal) and split chickpeas (chana dal). This combination provides a great balance of flavors and textures.

Spice it up: Don’t shy away from using a variety of aromatic spices to enhance the flavor profile of your dal. Common spices used in dal include cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder. Experiment with different spice blends to find your preferred taste.

Sauté spices properly: To extract the maximum flavor from your spices, gently toast them in oil or ghee before adding the other ingredients. This step helps to release the essential oils and intensify the flavors in the dish.

Add ginger and garlic: Freshly grated ginger and minced garlic are essential ingredients in a flavorful cauliflower dal. These aromatic ingredients add a punch of flavor and depth to the dish.

Balance the consistency: Adjust the consistency of the dal to your preference by adding more water or broth if you prefer a thinner consistency or cooking it longer to thicken it up. Remember to adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Garnish with fresh herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle some fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves or chopped parsley on top of the dal. This adds a pop of freshness and visual appeal to the dish.

Remember, cooking is a creative process, so feel free to experiment with ingredients and flavors to tailor the cauliflower dal to your taste preferences.

What to Serve with Cauliflower Dal?

Here are some options for what to serve with cauliflower dal:

Rice: The most common and traditional choice is to serve cauliflower dal with steamed basmati rice. The fluffy rice serves as a perfect base for soaking up the flavorful dal.

Naan Bread: Soft and pillowy naan bread is another popular choice to accompany cauliflower dal. You can either make your own naan or purchase it from a store. Its slightly chewy texture and ability to scoop up the dal make it a delightful combination.

Roti or Chapati: These unleavened Indian breads are also excellent options to serve with cauliflower dal. They are made with whole wheat flour and provide a wholesome and satisfying addition to the meal.

Paratha: Parathas are layered and flaky Indian breads made with whole wheat flour and ghee (clarified butter). They add a rich and buttery touch to the meal and are great for scooping up the dal.

Vegetable Biryani: If you’re looking for a more elaborate option, vegetable biryani pairs wonderfully with cauliflower dal. Biryani is a fragrant rice dish cooked with aromatic spices and mixed vegetables, creating a flavorful and satisfying combination when served with dal.

These options provide a range of textures, flavors, and nutritional elements that can complement the cauliflower dal and create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Feel free to mix and match based on your preferences and enjoy the delightful combination of flavors.

How Does Cauliflower Dal Taste?

Cauliflower dal taste

Cauliflower dal has a delicious and unique taste that combines the flavors of lentils, cauliflower, and aromatic spices. Here’s a breakdown of the flavors you can expect:

Earthy Lentils: The lentils in the dal provide a rich and earthy flavor. They have a slightly nutty taste that adds depth to the dish.

Mild Cauliflower: Cauliflower itself has a mild flavor, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the spices and other ingredients in the dal. It adds a subtle sweetness and a slightly nutty undertone.

Aromatic Spices: The spices used in cauliflower dal, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala, bring a delightful blend of flavors. These spices contribute to the overall aroma and impart a warm, fragrant, and slightly spicy taste to the dish.

Savory and Fragrant: The combination of lentils, cauliflower, and spices creates a savory and fragrant profile. The dish is not overly spicy but has a well-balanced mix of flavors that can be adjusted based on personal preferences.

Creamy and Comforting: The creamy texture of the cooked lentils adds a comforting element to the dish. When paired with the softness of the cauliflower, it creates a satisfying mouthfeel.

Overall, cauliflower dal offers a harmonious combination of earthy lentils, mild cauliflower, and aromatic spices. The flavors meld together beautifully, resulting in a dish that is both comforting and flavorful.

The taste can be adjusted to suit personal preferences by varying the spice levels or adding other complementary ingredients.

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Cauliflower Dal Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to cauliflower dal, here are a few options that you can consider:

Lentil Dal: If you prefer a traditional lentil dal without cauliflower, you can simply omit the cauliflower from the recipe. Lentil dal is a classic dish made with various types of lentils, such as red lentils, yellow lentils, or split chickpeas (chana dal), cooked with aromatic spices.

Mixed Vegetable Dal: Instead of focusing on just cauliflower, you can create a mixed vegetable dal by adding a combination of vegetables to your dal recipe. Popular choices include carrots, peas, potatoes, spinach, or bell peppers. This variation adds extra flavors, textures, and nutritional diversity to your dal.

Sweet Potato Dal: For a touch of sweetness and a different flavor profile, you can replace cauliflower with sweet potatoes in your dal recipe. Sweet potatoes add a creamy texture and a naturally sweet taste to the dish, complementing the lentils and spices.

Chickpea Dal: Another alternative is to use chickpeas (garbanzo beans) as the main ingredient in your dal. Chickpeas have a hearty and slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with Indian spices. You can cook them until tender and combine them with the dal spices for a delicious variation.

Mushroom Dal: Mushrooms can add a wonderful umami flavor and meaty texture to your dal. Sauté sliced mushrooms until they are golden and tender, then incorporate them into your dal preparation. The combination of lentils, spices, and mushrooms creates a savory and satisfying dish.

Pumpkin Dal: If you enjoy the sweetness and earthiness of pumpkin, consider using it as an alternative to cauliflower in your dal. Cooked pumpkin adds a creamy consistency and a subtly sweet taste that complements the lentils and spices.

These alternatives provide different flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles to customize your dal according to your preferences. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of vegetables or legumes to create a dal dish that suits your taste and dietary needs.

Recipe Card:

Cauliflower dal

Cauliflower Dal

By Mita Mondal
Cauliflower dal refers to a dish that combines cauliflower with dal, a type of lentil curry that is popular in Indian cuisine. In this dish, dal is added to the cauliflower, creating a flavorful and nutritious combination.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 piece Cauliflower (cut and cleaned)
  • 250 grams Red lentil (rinsed & cleaned)
  • 1 piece Tomato (cleaned & sliced)
  • 1 piece Onion (sliced)
  • 10 cloves Garlic (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger (grated)
  • 4 pieces Green chili
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander leaves
  • ½ tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Roasted garam masala powder
  • 5 pieces Dried red chili
  • 1 piece Bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seed
  • tablespoon Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Begin by adding red lentils to a pressure cooker along with a small amount of water. Bring it to a boil.
  • Close the lid and wait for one whistle. Allow the dal to cool down while still in the pressure cooker.
  • Heat a wok and add cauliflower florets. Add a small amount of water and ½ tbsp salt. Close the lid and let it partially boil.
  • Open the lid and stir the cauliflower florets once or twice.
  • Once cooked, remove the cauliflower from the wok and switch off the flame. Discard the boiled water from the cauliflower florets.
  • Heat the wok again and add 3 tbsp of mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cauliflower florets and sauté them.
  • Add 1 ½ tsp of turmeric powder and continue sautéing until the cauliflower turns a light red color.
  • Transfer the fried cauliflower florets to a plate.
  • In the same wok, add 2 ½ tbsp of mustard oil and heat it. Once the oil is hot, add whole spices such as cumin seeds, bay leaf, and 2 broken dried red chilies.
  • Sauté the spices for a second until a pleasant aroma is released, then add sliced onions. Sauté the onions until they turn a light red color.
  • Add grated ginger and garlic to the wok and sauté all the ingredients for 2 seconds.
  • Once the ingredients have turned reddish, add sliced tomatoes. Sauté the tomatoes until they become mushy. Sprinkle a little less than half a tablespoon of salt and sauté a little longer to further soften the tomatoes.
  • Add the remaining turmeric powder and Kashmiri red chili powder. Sauté all the ingredients again.
  • Add a small amount of water and stir everything well using an arm-twisting method.
  • The masala is now ready. Add the fried cauliflower florets to the masala and mix everything together.
  • Add the homemade roasted masala (made with roasted and ground cumin seeds, dried red chili, and coriander seeds). Stir everything well for 1 minute without adding water.
  • Add the parboiled red lentils (masoor dal) to the masala and thoroughly mix everything. Adjust the consistency by adding hot water according to your preference.
  • Once the ingredients and water start simmering, add 4 tsp of salt and mix everything together. Close the lid and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Finally, add four slit green chilies, close the lid again, and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Open the lid and garnish the cauliflower dal with fresh coriander leaves. The dal should have a gravy consistency, not too runny. The red lentils or masoor dal will remain coarse, not fully mashed. Enjoy this cauliflower dal or gobi dal with rice, roti, paratha, etc.

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Notes

Lentil Choices: While red lentils (masoor dal) are commonly used in cauliflower dal, you can experiment with other lentils as well, such as yellow lentils (moong dal) or split chickpeas (chana dal). Each lentil variety will bring a slightly different taste and texture to the dish.
Soaking Lentils: If you have the time, soaking the lentils for a couple of hours before cooking can help reduce cooking time and improve their digestibility. Rinse the lentils thoroughly and soak them in enough water to cover them completely.
Spices and Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the spices and seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Add more or less chili powder or green chilies for desired spiciness. You can also add additional spices like garam masala or curry powder to enhance the flavor.
Roasting Cauliflower: Instead of sautéing the cauliflower, you can roast it in the oven for added flavor and texture. Toss the cauliflower florets with oil, salt, and spices, then spread them on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F (200°C) until golden and slightly crispy.
Texture and Consistency: If you prefer a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender or food processor to blend a portion of the cooked dal before adding the cauliflower. This will create a creamier texture. Alternatively, you can mash the dal with a spoon or fork to break down some of the lentils for a chunkier consistency.
Adjusting Water: The amount of water needed may vary depending on the desired consistency and the lentils used. If the dal is too thick, add more water to achieve the desired thickness. If it is too thin, simmer the dal uncovered to evaporate excess liquid.
Tadka or Tempering: For an extra layer of flavor, you can prepare a tadka or tempering by heating oil or ghee in a separate pan and adding spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and dried red chilies. Once the spices sizzle and release their aroma, pour the tadka over the cooked dal. This step is optional but adds a wonderful aromatic touch to the dish.
Garnishing: In addition to fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), you can garnish the cauliflower dal with a squeeze of lemon juice for a tangy kick. Toasted nuts or seeds like sliced almonds or sesame seeds can also be sprinkled on top for added texture.
Remember, these recipe notes are meant to inspire creativity and adaptability. Feel free to experiment and make adjustments based on your personal preferences to create a cauliflower dal that suits your taste. 

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Dal
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
240
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Sodium
 
484
mg
21
%
Potassium
 
646
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
9
%
Fiber
 
12
g
50
%
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
10
g
20
%
Vitamin A
 
488
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
41
mg
50
%
Calcium
 
58
mg
6
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Cauliflower dal is a wholesome and flavorful Indian dish that combines the goodness of lentils with the unique texture and taste of cauliflower.

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It is a perfect side dish, best served with roti, paratha, and even rice.

This recipe is very easy to make, adding a fantastic fusion of flavors and serving as a delightful accompaniment in any meal.

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