Cauliflower in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Cauliflower is adorably called the Queen of the Cabbage kind. The puffy, white florets flanked by green leaves, look tempting and hold all the promises to be delivered through a delicious transformation on our platter.

Cooking Cauliflower

Uses of Cauliflower in Bengali and Indian Cuisines

Cauliflower is called phulkopi in Bengali and phulgobi in Hindi. The vegetable finds an interesting variety of uses in Bengali and other Indian cuisines.

The Bengalis have a strong fetish for both fish and sweets. But they also love vegetables. In fact, they cook a variety of yummy vegan dishes.

An amazing aspect of Bengali cuisine is the way the Bongs use non-veg items to enhance the taste of vegetables.

So, it’s not surprising that in some Bengalis’ kitchens, a pompous arrangement is made for a delicious culinary marriage between large prawns and cauliflower.

The juice from the king size prawns’ head accentuates the flavour of cauliflower florets.

Think about the uncomplicated and popular cauliflower dish – phulkopi-aloo tarkari. The non-fussy dish is a spicy and scrumptious preparation.

It’s a niramish recipe, which means neither onion nor garlic is used to prepare the dish. This dish is perfect for puja days.

In fact, it is served with phulko luchi on Astami during Durga puja celebration and with khichuri or basanti pulao on the day of Saraswati Puja.

The fried potato chunks and cauliflower florets are slowly and lovingly cooked in tomato gravy flavoured by some commonly used Indian spices.

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Both dry and powdered spices are used. During the winter season, peas are also added to the gravy.

Popularly known as niramish tarkari, it is best relished with phulko luchi, karaishutir kachuri, paratha, khichuri, basanti pulao and even plain boiled rice.

Aloo-phulkopir rasa is a mildly thicker and spicier version of aloo-phulkopir tarkari or dalna.

It does not take much time to cook and makes a perfect niramish dish on the auspicious Hindu festive celebrations.

Made with a handful of easily available ingredients, the dish is full of flavours and best accompanied by plain rice, paratha, luchi or karaishutir kachuri.

Phulkopir rezala is a royal Bengali delicacy that will remind you of chicken or mutton rezala. The noteworthy difference is Phulkopi, a vegetable, is the Queen of the recipe.

If you research Bengali cuisines, you will eventually realize that they make gorgeous and delicious dishes with only a handful of spices.

The Bengalis use both whole and powdered spices to accentuate the flavours. In phulkopir rezala, the florets are first fried in mustard oil and then slowly cooked in yoghurt gravy.

The recipe uses onion and ginger-garlic paste along with a paste of cashews, poppy seeds and melon seeds.

A mention-worthy point in this context is that the abundant use of poppy seeds can explain a unique variety of flavours and tastes in Bengali cuisines.

No other Indian cuisines use poppy seeds as abundantly and interestingly the way Bengali cuisines do.

Cauliflower roast is another mouth-watering recipe. The florets are first soaked into a creamy paste of yoghurt, cashew nuts and poppy seeds flavoured by some commonly used Indian spices.

The florets are then added to hot ghee in the pan and cooked with whole spices. These days, The PunjaBengalis use refined oil for their health but ghee always brings out the best of shahi khana.

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You can use kesar (saffron) soaked in lukewarm milk and add to the gravy towards the end of the preparation. Kesar gives it a colour and an unmatched flavour.

When kesar or jafran is used, it’s called jafrani phulkopi. Shahi recipes or Mughlai recipes should be slow cooked for the best taste. So, you must have enough patience while preparing these princely dishes.

Cauliflower pokora is a favourite snack for the Bengalis. It’s one of the most sought-after snacks served with hot tea or coffee during the winter season.

These days, cauliflower is available almost round the year. Therefore, gobi pokora is also cooked during other seasons, especially on rainy days. They are also served hot with tomato sauce and coriander chutney.

Have you heard of phulkopir pata bata? It’s almost a lost dish. The recipe has the typical traditional signature of East Bengal cuisines.

Fresh cauliflower leaves are pasted and sautéed in mustard oil. Garlic, poppy paste and green chillies are also added and given a good stir.

It is served with boiled rice. Once you have pata bata, you will never forget the taste.

Phool gobi yakhni is a Kashmiri dish. It is an interesting dish that uses two important ingredients, fennel seed powder and ginger powder that are integral to Kashmiri cuisines.

Egg and dried mint powder are other two interesting additions in this recipe. Kashmiri Muslims also add meat masala to the gravy. A very unique and lip-smacking cauliflower recipe!

Paratha or parantha has an important place in India’s culinary dossier. Though it is prepared in many provinces, no one can match the taste of Punjabi parathas.

In fact, it is widely said that the Punjabis can make parathas with any ingredient from veg to non-veg.

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Of all kinds of parathas they prepare, gobi paratha is one of the best made in the Punjabi kitchens or dhabas. They also prepare mouth-watering pickles with phulgobi.

What are the Best Recipes of Cauliflower?

  • Aloo-phulkopir rasa (Potato & cauliflower)
  • Fried  cauliflower
  • Cauliflow and Rohu fish curry
  • Cauliflow masala
  • Gobi paratha (Cauliflower paratha)

How to Make Cauliflower Taste Good?

Cauliflower is one of the vegetables that soak in a generous amount of oil and spices.

If you are preparing Mughlai dishes, slow cooking is a must for the best taste.

For every recipe, you need to use the right type and proportion of ingredients.

It’s also important to follow the most authentic style of cooking to make cauliflower taste good.

How Do You Know When Cauliflower is Cooked?

Once cooked well, the florets change their texture. You can also use a spoon to check if they are done.

If the spoon easily cuts the florets, the dish is ready to serve.

Questions & Answers:

How Long Does Cauliflower Take to Cook?

It will not take more than 30 minutes to cook cauliflower. However, the time always depends on the kind of recipe you are preparing.

Which Part of Cauliflower is Best?

Florets surely taste the best.

Is Cauliflower Tasty?

Cauliflower is one of the tastiest vegetables. Whatever dish you are preparing with cauliflower, it really tastes awesome if done to perfection.

Is Cauliflower Edible?

Cauliflower florets are edible. Fresh, young leaves are also used in cooking.

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