Grandmother’s Cauliflower with Cheese (Cheese Vali Gobi)

Food Network Canada
6 servings

I don’t have my grandmother’s exact recipe. I never asked her, being too young at the time to know better. But the recipe here is a good approximation (as Jimmy Durante, the American comedian, used to say, “Da nose knows”) and utterly delicious. Do not use jalapeño or serrano chilies for Indian dishes. They have the wrong texture and flavor. Green bird’s-eye chilies or any long, slim, thin-skinned variety, such as cayenne, are ideal. If you can’t find them, use ½ to ¾teaspoon cayenne pepper instead of ¼ teaspoon.



Tbsp olive or other oil
Tbsp whole cumin seeds
1 ½
lb(s) (8 cups) medium-sized cauliflower florets, cut so each floret has a stem
1 ¾
cup grated fresh tomatoes
1 1-inch
piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated to a pulp on the finest part of a grater or Microplane
fresh hot green chilies, cut into slim rounds
tsp cayenne pepper
tsp ground turmeric
Tbsp ground coriander
tsp salt, or to taste
cup chopped fresh cilantro
Tbsp heavy cream
cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Step 2

Pour the oil into a large, preferably nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, put in the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the cauliflower florets, and stir
them around for 2 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes, ginger, chilies, cayenne, turmeric, ground coriander, and salt. Stir to mix. Stir and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until the tomatoes are
almost absorbed and the cauliflower is almost done. Add the cilantro and mix it in.

Step 3

Put the contents of the pan into an ovenproof dish about
8 inches square, add the cream, mix, and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Put in the top third of the oven and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and developed a few light brown spots. Serve hot.

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