This Phulkopir Roast is a traditional Bengali-style cauliflower recipe that is served as a side dish with rice dishes or Indian flatbreads such as naan or paranthas. This Indian vegetarian recipe of cauliflower is a dry preparation that is mildly spicy yet delicious.
Honestly, the term ‘roast’ is a misnomer here. It is more like a pot roast where the cauliflower florets are fried and then cooked in the spicy masala mix of fried onion, ginger, and tomato. Like most classic Bengali niramish ranna recipes, it is gluten-free, nuts-free, needless to say, meat-free as well.
What’s so special about this Phulkopir roast in Bengali cuisine? In most Bengali households, this phulkopir roast recipe is kept for special occasions. Primarily because this dish isn’t for the faint of heart! Although the list of ingredients is small, the elaborate preparation makes it apt for special days only. It features very frequently on the Bengali wedding menu or Biyebari Menu, however, the preparation might vary slightly as it is often made in Mughlai korma style using poppy seeds paste, various nuts paste, and cream for richness.
Here I have followed our family recipe for Phulkopir roast where the thick gravy is made using onion, ginger, and tomatoes. We prefer a dryish gravy for this cauliflower roast recipe, but you can always adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your preference. So, just when you are sick and tired of having cauliflower dishes or phulkopir torkari like Aloo Phulkopir Dalna (which is, by the way, another traditional Bengali delicacy of Cauliflower Curry), this cauliflower roast recipe will get you back to the love for this vegetable.
Bengali Phulkopir Roast Ingredients
- Cauliflower Small size – Whole or Large cut in florets
- Mustard Oil & Ghee
- Onion, Tomatoes, Ginger
- Tumeric Powder
- Salt to Taste
- Garam Masala Powder
- Coriander Leaves to Garnish
Cauliflower Roast or Bengali Phulkopir Roast Recipe Instructions
- Prepping the Cauliflower for roast. If you can get yourself small cauliflowers then use them as it is. Do not separate the florets but cook the whole cauliflower head intact. Otherwise, if you could only get the larger ones then, cut out bigger florets and cook them into this cauliflower roast recipe.
- Cleaning the Cauliflower head. The very step includes cleaning the cauliflower thoroughly. Wash it well to ensure that there are no particles or debris stuck inside it. Check inside the crevices between the florets from the bottom.
- Soaking the Cauliflower. Once you have washed and cleaned it thoroughly, Soak the cauliflower head or florets in warm salted water for at least 30 minutes. Not only it would soften the vegetable but it would clean out the insides properly.
- Making the gravy for Phulkopir Roast. As the cauliflower is soaking, we will do the rest of the prep for the dish like finely chopping onion, ginger, and tomatoes. This would cut down the total cooking time considerably.
- Making Phulkopir Roast or Cauliflower Roast. Let’s begin with frying the cauliflower head or the cauliflower florets in a wok or kadhai. We will use mustard oil and some salt & turmeric powder. This is done to cook or roast the cauliflower partially so that when we add it back to the gravy, it doesn’t take much longer to finish cooking.
- Once the cauliflower is fried and has turned golden brown, check to see if the stalks have softened up. If not, splash some water and allow it to simmer with a lid on for a couple more minutes.
- Cooking the fried cauliflower in gravy. After this, you can proceed to make the gravy using finely chopped onions, ginger and tomatoes along with a handful of spices, and add the cauliflower back to finish the dish. The step-by-step recipe for phulkopir roast is written below in the Recipe Card section.
Phulkopir Roast Serving Suggestions
On a Bengali menu, this is served with a festive rice dish like Bengali Mishti Pulao or Basanti Pulao. This Phulkopir Roast would be the vegetarian counterpart to the meat-based dishes like Mutton Kosha or Chicken Curry for people who prefer meatless diets.
More Cauliflower Recipes
- Aloo Phulkopir Dalna | Bengali Cauliflower Curry Recipe
- Phulkopir Chechki | Sada Aloo Phulkopir Tarkari
- Aloo Phulkopi diye Rui Macher Jhol Recipe
This Phulkopir Roast is a traditional Indian style cauliflower roast recipe which can be served as a side dish with rice dishes or with Indian flatbreads such as naan or paranthas. This is a dry preparation which is mildly spicy yet absolutely delicious to taste.
- 1 Cauliflower Small size – Whole OR Large cut in florets – approx 200 gms
- 4 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1 Onion Large – finely chopped
- 1 inch Ginger grated
- 2 Tomatoes Large – finely chopped
- 1 tsp Tumeric Powder
- Salt to Taste
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tbsp Ghee optional
- Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves to Garnish
Soak the Cauliflower in lukewarm salted water for 30 minutes.
Heat mustard oil in a pan. Fry the cauliflower head or the florets in the oil till it turns golden brown and the stalks have softened.
In the same pan, fry the onion, ginger and tomatoes with salt.
Once the mix turns dark brown in colour and there's no raw smell, add some water to make the gravy, say 1/2 cup or so.
Add the fried cauliflower back in this gravy.
Add the garam masala powder and ghee and mix everything well. Ensure that the gravy has entered the inner stalks of the cauliflower properly. Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Once the cauliflower has cooked completely, turn off the heat and serve with finely chopped coriander leaves on top.