Tandoori Gobi

I fell in love with ‘tandoori gobi’ at first sight! Neither sticky nor oily, brightly coloured, and good looking! My earliest recollection of this exotic dish is at P Uncle’s place. One of my daddy’s friends had hosted a dinner for us when my father got transferred from Jabalpur.

They had served us these huge cauliflower flowerets, that seemed to have been grilled in coal. They were dark brown, smoky and very tasty! A long time after that day, I tasted an equally good version at ‘Shiv Kripa’, opposite Talao Pali, in Thane.

My husband and I used to eat there often when we were courting, and the waiters there would recognize us as their loyal ‘tandoori gobi’ customers.  Now ‘Shiv Kripa’ is overshadowed by the presence of bigger hotels with finer interiors, and I find that the previous standards are not met any more! They no longer serve this wonderful delicacy – maybe it wasn’t publicized enough!  (Another droolworthy dish was their ‘lal mirchi ka achaar’ – I discovered a better version at Vandana’s house – home made and she usually shares a whole jar with me!!)

I have tried tandoori gobi in many other places since, but no one has been able to replicate the standards set by ‘Shiv Kripa’…..until about 3 years back. I had been leafing through my recipe collection (The ones copied from Mummy’s collection, from magazine cutouts etc.), and found a half jotted recipe of ‘tandoori gobi’. I had written down the ingredients but not the method! That was enough for me. I tried making it using the ingredients a marinade, coating half done cauliflowers with it. Allowed it to dry in the fridge (To rob the moisture), and then deep fried a few and grilled the rest over the gas directly. The result was tasty but my gas burner was choked up from the marinade running into it!

Now I have somewhat perfected the recipe, using Nita Mehta’s version as my guide. I once tried following her recipe to the tee – it is equally good and almost the same except for the addition of peppercorns, and use of tandoori masala (which I do not buy!)

Plan a day before you actually would like to make the dish – the more it marinates the better it tastes!  Otherwise it is an easy dish.

Recipe: Tandoori gobi

Ingredients for the marinade:
Tobe prepared and refrigerated overnight.

Fresh Curd (Hung in a muslin cloth to drain the water completely) – 1/2 kg.  (I make this as a vegan too, but I use cashew curd instead of dairy curd)
Chilli powder – 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.
Bengal gram flour (Besan) – 1/2 tsp.
Salt – to taste
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp. (I do not use this!)
Black salt powder (Kala namak) – 1/2 tsp.
Sambar powder – 1/2tsp.
Salsa sauce – 1/4 tsp.

Ingredients for topping before serving:
Red chilli powder – 2 tsps.
Lime juice – 1/2 cup.
Sugar – a pinch of icing sugar.
Mix the three together in a bowl and set aside to be used at the time of serving.

Method for marinade:

1. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth till the water is completely drained.

2. Take the hung curd in a deep bowl. Add all the other ingredients, and whisk till blended.
3. It should be smooth. If not add a tsp. of sunflower or olive oil and whisk till shiny and smooth.
4. Taste it to check that it is tangy but not sour (Add cream if it is!), a little spicy (It will be spread over a wide area so it will not be as spicy later!), and salty enough for you.

Method for the tandoori gobi:

1. I power steamed big cauliflower flowerettes in the microwave adding a little salt till just done in two or three batches. Alternatively you may steam it adding a little salt over boiling water till half done. You do not want it cooked at this stage.

2. Drain the cauliflower in a sieve completely.  If possible pat dry gently with a towel.

3. Lightly toss the flowerettes in the marinade taking care that they do not break. Remove each floweret and push the marinade inside the nooks so that it is well coated.

4. Set in an open bowl in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 hrs, so that they become dry. (I kept it overnight). Here is how they looked the next morning.
5. Remove and grill in a greased tray or rack in a pre-heated oven at 150 deg. cel. (I prefer to grill for a longer time at a slower temperature to ensure that it is cooked through) till the tops are nicely browned (Burnt tastes even better!).

Remove once in between and turn over to grill evenly all over.
6. Before serving brush the tops liberally with the lime+sugar+chilli powder solution (Balance the ingredients to suit your taste!), and grill further for 5 to ten minutes in a hot oven.
7. Serve with peas sauteed in butter or in a bed of lettuce leaves.
8. I keep aside some without the chilli powder solution on top. Instead I top it with a little grated cheese and bake till the tops melt. Children love it this way. This time I forgot to do this. My children loved the adult version – I also realized that they had grown up since the last time!!
Note: I avoided the oil,cream and butter entirely and still got the best results!!

My peas have been blanched in salted water and the shine is due to lime juice.

Tip: Cover the tray with aluminium foil to catch the drip if any so that your tray does not end up with hard dried marinade!

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Comments

Have your say

  1. that looks fabulous! 🙂 sigh…better get going on that marinade!!

  2. I am glad you liked it, and except for the waiting, it is actually easy!

  3. I have a whole cauliflower sitting in the fridge. I think I’m gonna try this tomorrow, it looks so tempting.

  4. This is a wonderful recipe and I am surely gonna try it on a BBQ grill. will do it this saturday and let you know the results.

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.

  5. hey.. as promised I am back here to give u the feedback!

    It turned out quite nice on the grill as well. with some cilantro chutney, it went down well.

    I am making a gobi makahni from the leftovers in a day or two. if tht goes well .. will post an ode to you 😉

  6. Anshie, I did visit your blog. You have got some great recipes too!

  7. Wow I too made some Tandoori gobi , but I definitly want to try it ur way, it seems like a very nice way to have flavors infused in the gobi:)

  8. thanku!!
    was looking for the recipe..
    great blog!

  9. I have made this thrice in 6 weeks..and everybody loved it every single time

  10. Thank you, Ketaki for trying! This recipe I think has been tried maximum from my blog. I have got several mails from non-bloggers too and the reviews were great! I am so glad you enjoyed it:)

  11. hey thanks for such a nice recipe….my bhabhi loves tandoori gobhi…..so i will try n give u feedback

  12. Hey Amita,

    I make a vegan version these days which is as smashing :). I will post the recipe if possible. I would like to know whether your bhabhi liked this version!

  13. hey hi there..thanx a lot!!! il definitely revert with the feed back!! and do u have the receipe for tandoori paneer tikka too?? 🙂

  14. Amita, I do not make these anymore as I have been vegan for nearly 3.5years now, but I guess this marinade would do equally well for any other tikka.:)

  15. this is very bad dish hate it

  16. Seems to be a good recipe. Wanting to make it for a long time but did not have the recipe. Definitely going to try it. Thanks.

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