Thursday, June 18, 2015

Achari Gobi: Cauliflower With Pickle Spices: Side Dish

So, did you know Indian marriages are mostly arranged, when two strangers and their families meet, talk and decide to get their kids married. However ours was a bit different case, we met through families but before getting engaged we wanted to give each other sometime, get to know one another-long phone conversations, internet chats, Skype calls, sharing pictures and secret meetings and here we are.

Now here is the funny thing, we converse for hours about our lives, personnel issues, families, commitment and what not but we never talked about food choices- never ever! After marriage came in lot of surprises or shocks-whatever you call it. Initially it was irritating but slowly with togetherness we have now set in tune with each other’s choices. One of the best example will be how I started enjoying mangoes; you can read the whole story here. Or how he too loves spicy food nowadays the way I do.

But...some habits die hard. Some things you can’t wipe out from one’s mind. I tried hard, really hard but failed to make him fall in love with cauliflower dishes. I cannot eat or even cook Gobi/cauliflower when Mr. Husband is around. It happened once when he was eating gobhi sabzi and he saw a moving worm or keeda in it and rest as we say is the history. An apt equation that could explain his hatred towards gobi is- dislike for gobi = love for chocolate. Now you understand how serious I am? Sigh!

So whenever Mr. Husband isn’t around and is travelling for his office purpose, I bring this beautiful flower (phool) at home and treat myself *evil smile*. So once I made this spicy Kadai Gobi and the other time I cooked Punjabi Gobi Matar- do check them out. For today I prepared Achari Gobi (Cauliflower with pickled spices).

Achari or pickled spices are the mix of mustard seeds (rai), fenugreek seeds (methi), nigella  seeds (kalonji) and fennel seeds (saunf). These spices are not hot or spicy infact they are bitter in taste and have very strong aroma. You need to dry roast these spices and then use it, this then helps to give curry a very unique and piquant taste. I like to grind the roasted spices into fine powder, but you can use whole or coarse powder as well. This is a dry (suki) vegetarian side dish with indian breads such as puri, paratha or chapati and goes well with rice and daal as well.Don’t let ingredients list intermediate you, this curry is indeed easy and worth all the steps. Here is how to make Achari Gobi.

Author: Shweta Agrawal
Serves: 2-3

1 medium cauliflower/gobi
1 whole red chilli
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds/rai
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds/methi dana
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds/saunf
1/2 teaspoon nigela seeds/kalonji
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1 onion medium size chopped finely
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
3 tablespoons yogurt/dahi
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust as per taste)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder/dhaniya
2 tablespoons oil + 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish
Kasturi Methi to garnish (optional)


  1. Cut cauliflower into florets. Wash and drain the water.
  2. Dry roast red chilli, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds and fennel seeds on a slow flame till aroma is released. Let it cool down. In the spice or coffee grinder, grind it to fine powder.
  3. Mix lemon juice in the above spice mix and keep it aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan or wok. When hot gets hot add cumin seeds. When seeds crackle add ginger garlic paste and onions. Cook till onions are soft and raw smell of ginger garlic fades away. Turn the flame to slow.
  5. In a bowl mix yogurt with turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli powder and sugar. Put this mixture in the pan and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  6. After 5 minutes add grinded pickled mix. Cook covered for 2 minutes. The sauce must turn thick.
  7. In separate pan add 1 tablespoon oil. Add cauliflower florets and saute it for 10 minutes on a medium flame adding a pinch of salt until they turn light brown in colour. Transfer into a paper towel and keep it aside.
  8. Add cooked cauliflower in tomato sauce. Cook covered for 2 minutes. The spices must coat cauliflower. Check salt. Serve with chopped coriander leaves and kasturi methi.

You can use green chillies instead red chilli powder. For dark red colour use kashmiri red chilli powder.
Agian, I like to grind my spice mix to fine powder. You can use whole or coarsely grinded spices too.
Kasturi methi is dried fenugreek leaves, it is optional. It is  is easily available in any Indian grocery store. I used MDH one.

Serving suggestion:
Goes well with any indian breads.
Serve as a side with rice and daal.
Just roll up in the parathas, or rotis. Great for tiffins and lunch boxes.


  1. Lovely clicks.. Achari gobi looks absolutely delicious.. So yumm...

  2. Achari gobhi is looking stunning. I can smell the aroma ...Ahhh. Super delicious !!

  3. Lovely write up with lovely dish....hey the same thing was happened with us also..we didnt talk abut food...uhuu..never....

  4. Looks so delicious!!
    cauliflower is my fav but that "keeda" puts me off too....:D.....if you serve such a flavourful recipe, nobody can say no to it (hopefully your husband too :P)!!

    1. ha ha thanks Puneet, but i have no hopes for this life :P. Thanks :)

  5. Achaari Gobi looks so delicious and Intriguing, Shweta. I can simply smell the awesome aroma coming from your kitchen! :)

    1. oh you must surely try Anu and feel the aroma :) Thanks

  6. hehe Shweta, I know food talks are rare. But me and hubby were best friends for 10 years before we decided to get married so as friends, I knew all about his likes and dislikes. Yet there were certain food habits which I came to know only after we got married. I can't make him eat "soya nuggets" no matter how much I try! lol... I think I'll do what you did, make it when he isn't around ;) Love this achari gobhi, sounds so flavorful!!

    1. 10 Even i can not have soya nuggets :( But you must treat yourself when he isnt around :)
      Thanks Manali, do try this recipe :)

  7. Looks delish..I should try this version love it shweta

  8. there is something about the tang of pickling spices that makes it a favorite for everyone right? Yum! :)

  9. wow..looks absolutely delish..yummy!

  10. I have read your Mango story... LOL...Its true, you grow to like and eat what the other person does in a marraige ( Thankfully, i am still an eggetarian while my husband loves non vegetarian i cook for him on weekends and weekdays, we always eat vegetarian :)) Cauliflower is one of my favourite veggies, nice sabzi there


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