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Cauliflower and Tomato Masala with Peas (Gobi Matar)


  • 1 large head cauliflower (3 pounds)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated garlic (about 2 cloves)

  • 1 jalapeño or another green chile, finely chopped (use more or less to taste)

  • 1 big handful fresh cilantro, stems finely chopped, leaves roughly torn

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon mild red chili powder, adjusted to taste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 2 to 3 cups tomato puree from a 28-ounce can

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 1/2 cup green peas, frozen is fine

  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur (dried mango) powder or juice of half a lemon

  • Rice or flatbreads, to serve


  1. First, prepare your cauliflower, just to get it out of the way. Trim the leaves. Remove the large core and dice it into small (1/4 to 1/2-inch) pieces. Cut or break the florets into medium-sized chunks.

  2. Then, in a large, deep sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, add cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño and cook together for 3 minutes, until tender but the garlic and ginger are not browned.

  3. Add diced cauliflower core and finely chopped cilantro stems (save leaves for the end) and cook for another 1 minute together.

  4. Add turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and garam masala and cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Add 2 to 3 cups tomato puree - use the smaller amount if your cauliflower clocks in in the 2 to 2.5-pound range, or if you’re not sure you want dish as saucy as mine is, plus salt, and water and bring to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes.

  6. Add cauliflower and stir to coat with sauce. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender but not mushy, stirring occasionally.

  7. Add peas (still frozen are fine) and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until heated through.

  8. Add amchur powder or lemon juice and stir to warm through. Taste dish for seasoning and adjust to taste.

  9. Finish with cilantro leaves. Serve with rice or flatbread.

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