One of my favorite vegetable is cauliflower. Alas, the winter season is receding. Cauliflowers are found in abundance in the market during the winters – large and fresh ones. I often use this vegetable in the winters make the simple cauliflower stir fry! It happens be one of my daughter’s favorite dishes, too. Often, I give my daughter this stir fry curry along with roti’s for her lunch at school. Moreover, I simply love the softness of the cooked cauliflower along with a spicy twist!
During my childhood days, my mother would often make this tasty dish for us. We always took heapfuls (more than our usual normal intake) of this curry. And innocently devoured it. In addition, this dish is very easy to prepare and can be cooked within 10 minutes.
All in a name:
The word ‘gobhi’ is referred for three types of vegetables in Hindi language in India. Cauliflower is called phool –gobhi, cabbage is referred to as gobhi and knol knol is called ganth- gobhi.
Did you know?
As per renowned food historian, K.T Achaya, cauliflower was introduced in India after 1850 AD. Cauliflower is believed to come from Asia. In Europe, they were first eaten in Italy. However, in the 16th century, cauliflower spread throughout Europe. It was first grown in North America in the late 17th century. Above all. it is a cruciferous vegetable.
What are cruciferous vegetables?
Most of all, these belong to the Cruciferae family and grow well in cool weather. Crucifix, refers to the cross. In general, these vegetables have flowers that have four petals in a way which resembles a cross. While, the leaves or the flower buds of these vegetables is consumed, , in some cases , the roots or seeds are also eaten.
Furthermore, these vegetables support detoxification as they are rich in sulfur containing compounds called glucosinolates. And these break down, during the process of chewing and digestion into biologically active compounds. These compounds prevent the growth of cancer cells. These, active substances are indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates. The substance, indole-3-carbinol present in this family, is said to greatly reduce the risk of some types of cancer..
Some examples of cruciferous vegetables:
Note: The Hindi names follow the English names, the respective part of the plant is listed in parentheses:
- Broccoli, Hara phoolgobhi (branched green undeveloped flower heads)
- Brussel Sprouts, Chotti gobhi (small edible cabbage like buds which grow along a stalk)
- Cabbage, Gobhi (ball of leaves)
- Cauliflower, Phool gobhi (white undeveloped flowers)
- Collard Greens, Saag (leaves)
- Kale, Karam Saag (leaves)
- Mustard greens, Sarson ka saag (leaves)
- Radish, Mulee (pungent and fleshy edible root)
- Turnip, Shalajam (root)
This vegetable is highly preferred by weight watchers. As it is low in calories and high in fiber. Additionally, it is a good source of folate and Vitamin K. Moreover. As well as, an excellent source of Vitamin C and some amount of iron.
Presently, I came across a unique book, ‘The Cauliflower diet’ and am curious to read it.
Precautions to be taken whilst cooking cauliflower:
- Clean and ensure that there are no worms among the florets. Regrettably, sometimes, cauliflowers are prone to have some green or white colored, small worms hidden in the florets.
- Too much cooking can turn the cauliflower mushy. Also, this releases sulfurous compounds, which results in unpleasant odor and bitter taste.
- To reduce the nutrient loss and retain the flavor, of cauliflower, steam it or cook it rapidly by boiling in a minimum amount of water.
- Avoid cooking cauliflower in aluminum or iron pan, as doing this will discolor the vegetable.