Vegetarian journey – Indian Makai Shakh Gobhi (broccoli)
After a week of three Spinach dishes, I decided to twist a Makai Palak recipe to be a little different. And what a surprise. Vegetarian lesson 1.1: Changing a recipe is good – it explores new tastes.
Now, my favourite Makai Palak recipe is one in my favourite cookbook of all time – Sanjeev Kapoor‘s “Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking” – this book changed my cooking life. I have tried many many dishes – and all are wonderful. Sanjeev Kapoor unpacks regional Indian cooking in a way that is just spectacularly easy and tasty!
However, I decided to be bold. I replaced the spinach with broccoli. Why not? Love the taste, love the texture. And, truth be told, I had two heads of broccoli winking at me from the fridge…
The broccoli makes for a smoky and complex vegetarian experience – the chilli makes it fresh and zippy. I love this and noticed that the next day the pot is cleaned out overnight. Strange, as vegetarian is “what dad does”… LOL.
I found that adding more sweet corn to the dish – as well as more chillies – is a great variation to accomodate the broccoli – and, yes, I apologise for the fact that I may be hammering an age-old traditional recipe with unacceptable changes. But, at the end of the day, or the meal in this case, my taste-buds are the judges!
Before this, I only had Jamie’s wonderful recipe.
What I keep finding interesting is the family’s reaction to vegetarian meals. Initially it is strange, this pot of vegetables. But as they tuck into it – they take seconds. So, the reluctance is the paradigm and the tucking in is the experimetation. But the only compliment is taking seconds. And they do ! They love this vegetarian meal! Another win.
- 2 medium heads of broccoli
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions (red or white)
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic paste (buy a jar)
- 4 small green chillies
- 1 red chilli
- 2 red sweet pepper
- 3-4 cm fresh ginger - chopped
- 1/2 tsp red Karachi chilli (my favourite)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp Amchur Mango powder
- 2 cups sweetcorn (fresh - cut from 2 cobs)
- 1 cups full cream yogurt
- 1 Tbsp garam masala (buy a good brand)
- 1 tsp dried curry leaves (or Kasoori Methi - if you have some)
- Use a large pan - with a lid - and add the olive oil.
- When hot (bubbles) - add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes - until you feel happy that it is fragrant and sticky.
- Add the garlic paste and ginger. Also add the chillies.
- Saute until the colour changes to a nice gold.
- Add the deep red chilli powder and the turmeric and the Amchur. Stir in.
- Now add the finely chopped broccoli (I even chop the core stem finely to extract all flavour).
- Now I add the finely chopped red pepper and the red chilli.
- The dish suddenly looks very pretty - red and green and yellow.
- Add the sweet corn and saute.
- When the broccoli is nice and soft and fragrant, add the yogurt and stir in.
- The added acidity nicely balances the sweet of the onions and the peppers.
- When you think it's cooked - add the dried curry leaves and the garam masala. It gives this wonderful frangrant nuttiness to the dish.
- Serve hot on rice or on grits.