Masale-bhat (Indian Spiced Rice with Cauliflowers and Potatoes)

Masale-bhat literally means spiced rice. The diversity in Indian cuisine is so amazing that I think every region in India has a unique way of preparing masale bhat and the one below is from my home state, Maharashtra.

Masale bhat was an integral part of every wedding while growing up in Maharashtra. In fact I don't remember attending a single marriage ceremony where this mighty dish was not served! It is a sign of how well loved this dish is by everyone. Masale bhat with mattha (cold buttermilk drink with mint, chilli and cumin) are like the inseparable duo of our home town celebrations!

I bought a large head of cauliflower from the farmer's market this weekend - it was the rarely seen loose cauliflower (versus the tightly bundled florets version we find here) so I ended up buying a bigger head than I wanted. And while I was thinking of what to make, I thought of the mighty masale bhat.

It was a very tasty meal devoured by everyone! The way I have been eating masale bhat in childhood, garnishes of dollop of ghee, lemon juice and cilantro are really important. Definitely recommend not skipping those. 

Also kala masala is a quintessental Marathi spice powder. Garam masala could be a substitution but taste won't be the same - you can find kala masala in Indian grocery stores here or many reliable recipes by other bloggers!

This was a lunch loved by everyone -- we will be making this again and again and again and hope you do too!

Recipe: Serves 4
2C rice
3.5C water
3 green onions - whites and greens chopped thin
2 potatoes - sliced into wedges or thin circles
2C cauliflower florets
1tsp ginger-garlic paste (OR 3 cloves of garlic crushed and a small ginger piece grated)
1 small tomato
2Tbsp oil

2 whole cloves
2 whole cardamoms
3 bay leaves
1 small cinnamon stick
1tsp mustard seeds
1/4tsp asafoetida
2tsp kala masala (or goda masala)
1/2tsp garam masala
1/4tsp turmeric

Chopped coriander leaves
lime juice
Ghee or butter
dried coconut flakes (optional)

Wash and soak rice in water. Set aside.

Then prep all the veggies. Separate the whites and greens of chopped green onions. Thinly chop tomato and cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets.

Heat oil in pressure cooker. When hot add mustard seeds, as they sizzle add asafoetida, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Let sizzle for a minute.

Then add white part of the green onions followed by ginger and garlic. Cook for a few mins until onions start to brown. Then add potatoes and cook a few more minutes. Follow up by chopped tomato and turmeric powder. Then add cauliflower, kala masala, garma masala and stir well. Cook for just a few minutes.

Then add rice with water, salt to taste and stir well. Start the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Don't overcook the rice.

Serve with a dollop of ghee or butter, chopped coriander and green onions and lemon juice.