She asked – What does winter mean to you?
My answer was prompt – Cauliflowers, apples, a game of badminton in the night and endless games of cricket in short afternoons.
What does winter to mean to you? I am normally little apprehensive in throwing back questions to her as she always has the answers ready. But took a chance.
She replied: Of course cauliflowers!! And oranges, red carrots and all the other lovely winter vegetables….wearing jackets, warm quilts…
Cricket and winter
One of the best childhood memories of winter was cricket. It all started with stories from Baba that helped me grow an interest in the game. One of the fondest memories of the game, which I distinctly remember still now, was some 27 years back in 1987. For the first time, I had seen a cricket match in Eden Gardens Kolkata – the first ‘One day International’ match ever played at Eden. It was The Derby match – India vs Pakistan. Soon over the years, I started getting acquainted with the ground, the spectators and the culture around, as I started watching more and more matches at Eden.
Those days food and water were allowed inside the ground and that was one of the main attractions for me to go to watch the match. Home-cooked food, categorized for different breaks. At least 4 breaks were mandatory where we needed to have some snack or a meal. All around you could see and smell different home-cooked dishes from different homes. Each one cooked with love almost gave me a little sneak peek into different houses and stories attached with them.
Cauliflower was a prime part of the tiffin boxes
In those days, most of the matches used to be played in winter. Hence, cauliflower was an automatic choice for the team selection of tiffin boxes. Cauliflower samosa (fulkopir singhara), homemade sandwich with cauliflower stuffing, Puri with cauliflower sabji (fulkopir roast) to name a few. White outfits vs colourful jerseys, lazy elegance vs wham-bam sheer brutality, winter cricket vs cricket round the year, red balls vs white balls – I still prefer the former. Life was good then for a school-going, teenager.
Gobi hara masala is perfect for the season
Madhushree cooked gobi hara masala and it was perfect for the season. It is one of the simplest dishes ever and doesn’t take much time to cook. The basic flavour of the dish comes from fresh green coriander leaves and capsicum. Mint leaves are optional but I like that mild freshness that comes from pudina. Blend all of that with some green chilies and you have a power-packed masala for gobi hara masala.
Gobi hara masala is a no onion no garlic recipe and serving suggestions
It is the perfect dish to make for anyone who doesn’t eat onions and garlic. You can make it vegan as well by opting out butter from the recipe. You can serve this with roti or phulka or even paratha. This will taste great with luchi as well.
What is your fondest winter memory? Leave us a comment we will love to know …
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Gobi Hara Masala
- 1 no medium sized cauliflower
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup pudina or mint leaves
- 1 no small capsicum
- 4 nos green chillies
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt to taste
- Wash the cauliflower very thoroughly under cold running water and then dice them into medium-sized florets.
- In a blender, grind coriander leaves, mint/pudina leaves, capsicum (after de-seeding), and green chilies. Grind them all in a fine paste with some water.
- In a pan, pour a couple of tbsp of any cooking oil (preferably white oil) and sauté the cauliflowers in medium heat.
- Sprinkle some salt as per taste. Do not raise the heat too much or you will burn them. You want to cook them lightly by placing a cover and stirring from time to time.
- Once the cauliflowers are half done, raise the heat for about a minute till it becomes a little golden brown.
- At this point, add the puree and mix it well. Cook the puree till the raw smell goes off and once the cauliflowers are fully cooked all the way through, add ½a tsp of sugar and a blob of butter.
- Turn off the heat and you can also break a couple of green chilies in the end and cover with a lid to give some extra flavor and punch.
- Serve it with some rice or hand-rolled chapati, paratha or even luchi.