Gobi matar masala (Spicy cauliflower with peas)

While I was preparing this gobi matar masala (spicy cauliflowers with peas) last night I wondered why this recipe is not yet on my blog! Some variation of this cauliflower dish is very often made at our place. Come to think about it, very few of my everyday I-am-so-tired-so-let-me-whip-up-something-fast recipes are on this blog. I suppose because they are so simple and common-place that subconsciously I might not have thought of them as blog-worthy (this is one question we have often come to ponder as a family now a days -- is the dish blog-worthy? :)) but thats an unfair disadvantage to the simple everyday go-to recipes of every food blogger, right. So here it is, finally, it sure is simple, it sure is everyday, but by no means any the less tastier!

The recipe is very flexible and this is usually a kitchen sink sabji for me. If I have tomatoes I'll add them instead of red bell peppers; if I have mushrooms I'll add some, if not, I'll skip; if I feel like I'll add garam masala or I'll skip that too; the gist is that the sabji is equally tasty even with just cauliflowers, potatoes, peas along-with the spices and the aromatics.

The dish takes not more than half an hour to make from start to finish making it an ideal weeknight meal. We usually eat it with some whole-wheat pita breads or chapati and a cool yogurt mint raita which my husband prepares in a jiffy.

1 medium onion - chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1/2inch piece of ginger - chopped finely
3 small green chilis - sliced (adjust based on heat)
2 small potatoes - cubed
4 large mushrooms - sliced (optional)
1 head of cauliflower - chopped into small florets
1 red bell pepper - chopped
handful of frozen peas
1.5Tbsp olive oil

1/4tsp turmeric powder
1tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp cumin powder
1/2tsp garam masala
fresh lime juice

** I like my cauliflower on the underdone side when it still has a bit of byte to it and tastes a bit raw. Increase the final cooking time if you like softer and more cooked cauliflower.
** You can also cook a couple more minutes after adding the red bell peppers and peas but I don't; I like the bit of rawness and crunch that it provides.
** With mushrooms, there really is no need to add any extra water while cooking. If the sabji gets dry and starts sticking to the pan, splash a bit of water. If you want a more watery dish, add some water along-with the cauliflower and cook covered until cauliflower softens.
  1. Heat olive oil in a wide (preferably non-stick) pan on medium high heat.
  2. Add chilis and onions and saute until onions start to brown.
  3. Add ginger & garlic and cook a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add turmeric powder and potatoes and cook uncovered for a few minutes stirring frequently.
  5. Add mushrooms and saute until most of the water has been squeezed out of the mushrooms.
  6. Next add cauliflower florets and season with enough salt. Cover and let cook for 5-10mins (depending on the doneness of the cauliflower desired -- for mushy/soft cauliflowers cook some more) stirring occasionally.
  7. Turn the heat off. Add rest of the spices, red pepper and peas. Stir well to combine.
  8. Serve with some freshly squeezed lime juice sprinkled on top. Serve with hot chapatis or naan.