A few years ago, I made a trip to India with my sweetie. We spent weeks traveling from the North of India to the South in complete amazement and awe of the vibrant and colorful culture there. What I remember most is the food. While my sweetie loves to explore historical sights, art, and museums, I am happy to just walk the streets, to visit the local farmers markets, and to eat. India was the perfect place to do just that.
One of the most memorable things about my trip was meeting a lovely family in Pushkar who invited us into their home to share food. While we were there, I had an impromptu cooking class from the women of the house in their one room home on a one burner stove on the floor. We made chapati, rice, and several different subjis. Subji literally means “vegetable dish.” This recipe is one that I learned to make that day: Gobi Matar. “Gobi ” is cauliflower, and “matar” is peas.
Learning to cook with Indian spices is an art.
The secret is to temper the spices in a little bit of oil until they release their flavors into the oil. It’s easy to burn them, so be mindful. Since my trip to India, I have learned to experiment with making all sorts of subji using fragrant spices. I usually serve this dish with cucumber raita made with kefir and some steamed white rice. Read HERE why I don’t eat brown rice.
3 TBS ghee, butter, or coconut oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
4 cups cauliflower florets, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
a pinch of chili powder or cayenne (optional)
1/4 cup homemade bone broth
For the sauce:
2 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 cup homemade bone broth
1 tsp celtic sea salt
1. Place all sauce ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
2. Saute onion in oil of choice for 3 minutes. Add cumin seeds and saute until onions are translucent and starting to brown. Lower heat if seeds start to burn.
3. Add the remaining spices (cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala, and chili) and saute for another 3-4 minutes until spices get fragrant but do not burn.
4. Pour sauce mixture into pan and bring to a boil. Then let simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add cauliflower florets, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add peas and 1/4 cup of homemade bone broth.
7. Cover and simmer for several minutes more until veggies are the desired consistency (I usually do another 5-7 minutes)
8. Remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice and cucumber raita.
Katja is the author of the Savory Lotus, a food and wellness blog. She focuses on REAL, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods to nourish the body and the mind, and is passionate about helping people simplify their journey to health. There is no “right” answer when it comes to vital living. We are all on our own journey. When not creating magic in the kitchen or researching food politics, Katja can be found trying to find time to get on her yoga mat, pulling weeds in the garden, and enjoying life at home in Northern California with her beautiful family.