So yesterday was my mom’s 60th birthday. Since she lives on the east coast, I often think about and miss her cooking. Every time I go back home, she always cooks up one of my favorite dishes, as it’s known in my family: Flower Bataka nu Shaak (Cauliflower Potato and Peas).
Ok, I know lots to process there so let me explain the name before anything else. In Gujarati, cauliflower is called “Phulogobi”. Somewhere between the British English, the various dialects and variations of the Gujarati Language, it’s also known simply as “flower”. Bataka is Potato, but depends where in Gujarat or India you’re from, it may also be called Batata or Aloo.
Also, note the Gujarati word “Shaak” basically translates to vegetable. However, when used in tangent with any ingredient, it simply means “vegetable dish”, whether it has a gravy or not. The word “Curry” is not a common traditional Indian descriptor, but more on that later in life.
So what makes my mom’s Flower Bataka nu Shaak so good? Well, its the simplicity of it. Just some cauliflower, potatoes, peas, and cilantro simply spiced with mustard and cumin seeds, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder and salt. As easy as it sounds to make, I have yet to recreate the same taste or texture.
However, that didn’t stop me from attempting a variation of it! Happy Birthday mom! Thank you for teaching me and inspiring me to always cook from the heart! Love you and can’t wait to eat your Flower Bataka nu Shaak on my next visit!
6 cups cauliflower florets (from 1-1/2 pound cauliflower) cut into 1-inch florets
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 small green chili chopped
1 fresh sweet pepper
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp grape seed oil
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1 medium chopped white onion
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups almond milk
chopped cilantro and roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Cut the cauliflower florets into 1-inch pieces and combine with the 3 cloves of chopped garlic, ginger, sweet pepper and green chili in a large bowl
Add in cumin seeds, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt
Drizzle with the grape seed oil and toss to coat. Spread the coated cauliflower out on a large baking sheet
Bake, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned on the edges for about 20 minutes
Once the cauliflower is cooked, set aside to briefly cool, Keep about 1 cup cooked florets aside
Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add 1 tsp olive oil, remainder of garlic and the chopped onions and cook until translucent for about 2 minutes
Add the broth and transfer the majority of the roasted cauliflower to the pot, bring to a boil and cook covered on low 10 minutes
Use a hand blender (or regular blender carefully in batches) and blend until smooth
Stir in almond milk and adjust salt as needed
Top with roasted cauliflower, cilantro and roasted pumpkin seeds after serving