Prep 10 m
Cook 40m
Serves
6

Ingredients

    2 small  (375gm) cauliflower florets

    70 gms (¾ cup) gobindobhog rice (or kalijira rice)

    2 large (200gm) potatoes

    20 gms (⅓ medium) tomatoes

    3 green chillies

    25 gms (¼ cup) cashewnuts

    25 gms (¼ cup) raisins

    4 tbsp (50 gms) mustard oil

    3 dried red chillies

    3 bay leaves

    3 cardamom

    1-inch cinnamon

    2 cloves

    ½ tsp cumin seeds

    5 tsp (10gm) cumin powder

    1 tsp (3gm) turmeric

    ¼ tsp red chilli powder

    ½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder

    2 tsp (12gm) ginger paste

    13gm (to taste) total salt, in two parts

    15gm (to taste) sugar

    300 ml hot water

    2 tsp ghee

    ¼ tsp Bengali garam masala

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Ingredient Substitution Guide


Method

Notes

Gobindobhog rice is a scented, short-grained variety of rice popular in Bengali dishes like khichuri and pulao. If you can’t find Gobindobhog, the south Indian variety ‘jeera samba’ and Bangladeshi ‘kalijira’ are very similar.

• We fry cauliflower, gobindobhog rice, cashewnuts, etc., separately before cooking them with the spices to bring out their flavours.

• Bengali garam masala is nothing but cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, dry-roasted in a pan and ground to a fine powder.

Steps 

1. Wash gobindobhog rice, and spread it over a mesh strainer to dry for half an hour.

2. Meanwhile, cut cauliflower in 5-cm-large florets, potatoes into 4-cm cubes, and tomatoes into 3-cm chunks. Slit - three green chillies.

3. Heat mustard oil in a kadai. Once it smokes lightly and changes colour to a pale yellow, add the cauliflower.

4. Fry the cauliflower for 10–15 minutes on medium heat. After about 5 minutes, season it with 3gm salt and ¼ tsp turmeric. Continue frying, covered, until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and set aside.

5. To the same oil, add the washed-and-dried Gobindobhog rice along with cashewnuts.

6. Fry these on low heat until the rice turns opaque, about 4–5 minutes. Remove from the oil and set aside. The frying step adds flavour and reduces starchiness of the rice.

7. Now temper the oil with dried red chillies, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds.

8. Add potatoes. Fry them, covered, on low heat for 5 minutes until they are golden.

9. Add tomatoes and continue frying for another 5 minutes.

10. Make a paste of the powdered spices: cumin powder, turmeric, red chilli powder and kashmiri red chilli powder. Add it to the kadai.

Chal Phulkopi
10. Make a paste of the powdered spices: cumin powder, turmeric, red chilli powder and kashmiri red chilli powderr Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

11. Braise the spices on low heat until the raw smell dissipates and oil floats to the stop. This will take about 10 minutes, and you will have to keep adding splashes of water to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

12. Add ginger paste, and the remaining (10gm) salt. Continue braising until the raw smell of ginger is gone.

13. Add the fried cauliflower, fried Gobindobhog, cashewnuts and raisins. Braise them in spices for 5 minutes before adding 300gm hot water.

14. Bubble for 6 to 8 minutes. Once the rice has cooked through, add sugar (do not add it when the rice is still raw, or it won’t soften).

15. Continue boiling until the sauce thickens. It should not be too runny, but should coat the potatoes and cauliflower well. Most of the extra sauce will be absorbed by the rice as the dish rests.

16. Finish with ghee and Bengali garam masala. Rest it for at least 5 minutes before digging in.

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