Musallam is a non veg gourmet dish of stuffed, whole roasted chicken, which is mentioned in the Akbarnama (biography of Emperor Akbar written by his courtier Abul Fazal). It is also described as a majestic dish in the book of Moghul Cuisine “Dastarkhawan e Awadh” .
Converting the recipe to vegetarian version, using whole head of cauliflower, is a beautiful experience and actually creates something grand out of the humble cauliflower by roasting and serving it whole. My kids are not a big fan of cauliflower but this recipe for Gobhi Musallam totally fascinated them. The cauliflower is lightly charred outside, very soft inside and smells divine of spices like cardamom and cinnamon. Cashews and yogurt add to the rich taste and creamy texture of the dish.
I love this dish for several reasons. Most important of all, it’s a very easy dish to put together – simply parboil the cauliflower, cook a curry like sauce, pour it over the cauliflower head and roast in the oven. The dinner gets ready with unbelievable ease. What comes out of the oven is seriously impressive, a dish that would wow even your omnivore guests. Slicing Gobhi. Musallam on a festive occasion is actually a more memorable experience than any hohum chicken or turkey roast.
If there is one dish that I would strongly recommend these holidays as a star centre piece for your festive table, it has to be this Gobhi Musallam. Looking forward to your feedback on the very exotic recipe!
1 onions peeled and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 green chillies
1/2 cup cashew nuts or almonds
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
seeds from 6 green cardamoms, crushed
4 tbsp thick yoghurt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee (clarified butter)
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
This Is What You Do:
Remove the leaves and stem from cauliflower head so that the florets don’t separate but stay joined at the bottom.
Fill a deep pan with water, then add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
Bring to a boil and gently submerge the cauliflower in the turmeric water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Strain the cauliflower and set aside while you prepare the curry.
In the same pan, heat the oil or ghee on medium heat, add onions and sauté till caramelised. Remove the pan from heat. Scoop out the onions from the oil.
Add the fried onions, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, yogurt, tomatoes and nuts to a food processor. Blend to make a smooth paste.
Add the paste back to the oil in the pan. Sauté on medium heat, stirring occasionally, till the sauce thickens slightly and the oil separates from curry.
Place the cauliflower head in a deep round casserole dish. Pour the sauce over it. Cover with foil sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake uncovered another 10 minutes or place it under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, till the roast is slightly charred on the outside. Don’t let it get burnt.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with cumin spiced yogurt, fresh salad and flat bread of your choice.