Gobi Butter Masala - Cauliflower { Butter Chicken Style }

Gobi Butter Masala

Serves : 4


For cauliflower

1/2 medium size head of cauliflower, split into small florets  (about 500g)

1 tsp red chilly powder (adjust to tolerance)

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup water

Salt to taste

For masala

3 tbsp butter

1 red onion (large, finely cubed)

3 tomatoes (medium, red, ripe)

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp ginger garlic paste/ 2 cloves garlic with 1/2 inch cube ginger

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp red chilly powder

1 tbsp crushed cashew nuts/almond

1 tbsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp heavy cream/thick cream

1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi*

1/2 cup water

1 bay leaf

1 green cardamom, cracked

1/2 black cardamom / badi elachi  (optional) **

1/2 tsp black cumin seeds ***

1 stick cinnamon (2 inch)

2 whole cloves

Salt to taste


*Dried fenugreek leaves have a distinct aroma and flavor that is often used in curries as a finishing touch. If you enjoy Indian food I would highly recommend buying fenugreek leaves.

** Black cardamom called badi elachi in hindi adds a great smoky flavor, but you can easily skip it if you don't have it.

*** The regular cumin is the white cumin called jeera in hindi. Black cumin, shahi jeera/kala jeera in hindi is darker and has a sweet lemony kind of  flavor. I particularly like to use black cumin in curries with nuts and cream. Substitute it with 1 tsp roasted white cumin if you don't have it.


- For the cauliflower, wash  and separate the cauliflower into small florets and add all the ingredients except water and butter. Heat the butter and add the florets. Once the floret starts to brown add water and let the them cook covered for about 5-7 minutes. You just want the florets to be tender and not mushy.

- For the masala, heat the butter in a wok. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, bay leaf and black cumin.

- Add  finely chopped onions and let it cook.

- Once they are lightly golden, add the ginger garlic paste.

- Tip in the turmeric, red chilly powder, cashew nuts, coriander powder, tomatoes and tomato paste. Let the tomatoes completely cook till they form a paste.

- Add water and let it come to a boil. Switch off the gas and grind the mixture to a smooth sauce. Oh wait - you should remove that bay leaf before you grind, everything else stays.

- Add back the sauce to the wok and let it come to a boil.

- Add the cauliflower (along with the water) and let it cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the cream and crushed kasuri methi and cook for another 5 minutesGarnish with more cream and some coriander to perk it up. Serve with cumin rice, butter naan or roti.