Phulkopir Razala – Bengali Cauliflower Yogurt Curry

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Phulkopir Razala, Bengali Cauliflower CurryYesterday we talked of the dietary restrictions of Bengali widows. Today’s we are going to focus on some of the things that give Bengali cuisine its unique flavor profile.

You will notice that both yesterday’s and today’s recipe uses poppy seeds. In addition to bay leaves, cinnamon and mustard oil, poppy seeds finds its way into many Bengali recipes. This is quite unique in that I have often heard my other BM friends in India talk of the lack of availability of poppy seeds in some of our daily Whatsapp conversations. As abundantly as it is used in Bengali cuisine, it is non existent in many other Indian cuisines. This is a prime example that demonstrates the variety of tastes and flavors available in Indian cuisine.

Another unique aspect of Bengali cuisine is that spices are rarely, if ever, ground. They are left whole. For Indian people, this is not a big deal. However, for Americans, it sometimes can be. I once made a Biryani for a party and left some of the spices whole. I had to instruct my guests not to bite into the whole cloves and green cardamom after someone bit into it and exclaimed in displeasure. To an American audience, I had to explain to them how to eat something as simple as a biryani. Eventhough I am not Indian, I come from a culture where we use a lot of spices and it just didn’t occur to me that I would have to explain to people that you don’t bite into whole spices.

Food is indeed cultural. Anyway let’s get to this flavorful curry full of whole pungent spices and please put the spices to the side as you enjoy this with rice or paratha.

Phulkopir Razala

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

Masala Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons melon seeds (or shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 green chile

Curry Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into large pieces
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1″ piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chickpea flour/ besan
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ghee

In a coffee/spice grinder, grind melon seeds, poppy seeds, green chile and 1/2 cup water to form a paste.

In a deep skillet, heat oil. Add cauliflower and saute until well browned, about 10 minutes. Add cashews and fry another 2-3 minutes. Remove cauliflower and cashews from pan.

Add mustard oil to skillet. After 1 minute, add red chiles and all whole spices. Fry for 1 minute. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add ginger paste and garlic paste. Fry for 1 minute.

Add poppy seed paste and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and besan. Add 1 cup water and mix well. Add to skillet with sugar and salt. Add cauliflower and cashews. Stir to combine and simmer on medium low heat for 10 minutes.

Add garam masala and ghee.

curry -edit

Cook for 1 more minute.

Bengali Cauliflower -edit

Phulkopir Razala, Bengali Cauliflower Curry
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Phulkopir Razala – Bengali Cauliflower Yogurt Curry

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a coffee/spice grinder, grind melon seeds, poppy seeds, green chile and 1/2 cup water to form a paste.
  • In a deep skillet, heat oil. Add cauliflower and saute until well browned, about 10 minutes. Add cashews and fry another 2-3 minutes. Remove cauliflower and cashews from pan.
  • Add mustard oil to skillet. After 1 minute, add red chiles and all whole spices. Fry for 1 minute. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add ginger paste and garlic paste. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add poppy seed paste and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and besan. Add 1 cup water and mix well. Add to skillet with sugar and salt. Add cauliflower and cashews. Stir to combine and simmer on medium low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add garam masala and ghee. Cook for 1 more minute.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!

As a child, I hated cauliflower. If someone had made it this good, I would have been relishing it for decades before I began to appreciate it.

Cauliflower Poppy Seed Curry -edit

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Comments

  1. Poppy seeds are not that common in other Indian cuisines, but its a big part of Bengali cuisine. About using whole spices, it would never ever occur to me that someone might eat it! We take these things for granted, right?!

  2. That is one flavorful and delicious looking cauliflower curry. It’s not just Americans but my sister doesn’t like whole spices in her dishes — they bother her apparently 🙁 I can’t figure some people out.

  3. I am also the kind who doesn’t bother to touch whole spices in their food. 🙂
    This dish sounds really interesting to me. I haven’t heard about a plain gobi dish cooked in such a flavorful gravy.

  4. The Bengali style of using poppy seeds along with other seeds to create a gravy is very appealing. I’ve tried cooking potatoes in this aromatic paste. After reading your post definitely need to try out phulkopi razala. I bet it tastes awesome.

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