Gobi Masala| Cauliflower In Tomato Gravy

Gobi Masala is a much-loved side dish for rotis and parathas in our family. For the uninitiated, it refers to cauliflower cooked in a North Indian-style tomato gravy. My bub and I are big fans of cauliflower, and we absolutely love this delicious, creamy curry made with it. Let me share with you all how I go about making it.

Gobi Masala or cauliflower cooked in a North Indian-style tomato gravy

A closer look at my Gobi Masala

This is a very simple recipe for Gobi Masala, one that can be put together in about 20-25 minutes. It’s great for weekday lunches/dinners and suits well for lazy weekends as well.

This Gobi Masala is flavourful, with just the right amount of tangy, mildly spiced, with a hint of sweet. It is delightfully creamy, though I make it without any fresh cream. I also make it with minimal oil. I would say it is a homely version of Gobi Masala, but just as delicious as one from a restaurant.

I know many people who avoid using cauliflower because they often house worms and are sprayed with loads of pesticides. That’s true, but then most veggies have worms – only the ones in cauliflower are very clearly visible! This is where food safety comes in. It is important to eat in places where you can trust the right ingredients have been used and in a hygienic, proper manner – especially true in case of dishes that use cauliflower. When you use cauliflower at home, in dishes like this Gobi Masala, you can clean it thoroughly, making sure there are no worms.

How to make Gobi Masala

Ingredients (serves 4):

To grind to a puree:

  1. 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 5-6 garlic cloves
  4. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  5. 5-6 cashewnuts

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 large cauliflower, about 2-1/2 cups when chopped into florets
  2. 1/4 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  6. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  7. Red chilli powder to taste
  8. 1 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
  9. 1 teaspoon jaggery powder or to taste
  10. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


1. Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and cut into large florets. Keep the florets immersed in enough cold water for 15-20 minutes, to get rid of worms, if any. Further, chop the florets into bite-sized pieces. Open up the florets gently to check for worms, then wash them well under running water. Now, take the florets in a large pan with enough water to cover them, a bit of salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Mix well. Place on high heat and allow the water to come to a boil. Then, reduce the flame to medium and let the cauliflower cook in the water for 6-8 minutes. This will partially cook the cauliflower, at the same time helping to ‘disinfect’ them.

2. While the cauliflower is cooking, we will prepare the puree needed for this recipe. Peel the onion, ginger and garlic cloves. Chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger roughly. Add these to a mixer jar, along with the cashewnuts. Grind to a smooth puree, without adding any water. Keep aside.

3. When the cauliflower has cooked and become slightly tender, transfer to a colander. Drain out all the water.

Top left: Step 1, Top right and bottom left: Step 2, Bottom right: Step 3

4. Now, we will start preparing the Gobi Masala. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

5. Add the tomato puree to the pan. Reduce flame to medium. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the sauce starts to thicken.

6. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a couple of minutes or till the raw smell of the puree goes away completely.

7. Add in the jaggery powder at this stage, along with about 3/4 cup of water or as needed to adjust consistency. Mix well.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Bottom left and right: Steps 6 and 7

8. Add in the partially cooked cauliflower florets to the pan.

9. Also add in the garam masala. Mix well.

10. Cook covered on medium flame till the mixture thickens up and the cauliflower florets are cooked some more. The cauliflower should be cooked well, but should retain a bit of a crunch and not overly mushy. This should take 3-4 minutes.

11. At this stage, switch off gas. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Gobi Masala is ready. Serve hot with rotis or parathas.

Top left: Step 8, Above leftmost bottom: Step 9, Top right: Step 10, Leftmost bottom: The gravy has thickened up and is ready, Bottom right: Step 11

#CauliflowerStories at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sharing this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers, who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme every Monday. When Preethi of Preethi’s Cuisine suggested the theme #CauliflowerStories for this week, it was the perfect foil for me to showcase our family’s favourite Gobi Masala.

Preethi is a very talented cook, with a number of unique recipes on her blog. Check out this brilliant Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Steakshe prepared for the theme. It’s absolutely drool-worthy!

Is this Gobi Masala recipe vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

It can be made gluten-free by simply skipping the asafoetida used in the above recipe. This is because most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour to some extent, and should be avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use a firm and fresh cauliflower without too many black/brown spots. An organically grown cauliflower is best, if you can get your hands on one.

2. Make sure you wash the cauliflower thoroughly before use, as indicated in the recipe above. Do not skip blanching them with salt and turmeric – it is an important step in removing any residual dirt/germs from it.

3. Use ripe but firm tomatoes, for best results. I prefer the Naati (country) tomatoes over the ‘farmed’ ones.

4. I have used cashewnuts here to thicken the gravy and add flavour to it. You may use almonds instead, too.

5. I would personally not recommended skipping the jaggery powder in this recipe. The little amount of jaggery used does not make the curry overly sweet, but rounds off the other flavours beautifully.

6. Adjust the amount of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the gravy you require.

7. Make sure the raw smell from the tomato puree has completely gone, before you add in the cauliflower florets. This is very important.

8. Some people add in whole spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom along with the cumin. I don’t.

9. Do remember not to overcook the cauliflower, as it will become rather mushy then and the curry will not taste great. It needs to be cooked through, but still retain a bit of a crunch.

10. Some people add in curd or milk to the gravy. I usually don’t.

11. A dash of kasoori methi, crushed between the palms of your hands, can be added to the Gobi Masala too. If using, add it at the very end, along with the coriander, after the curry is completely done and the gas is switched off.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

14 thoughts on “Gobi Masala| Cauliflower In Tomato Gravy

  1. I liked the vibrant color of this gobhi masala. Cauliflower cooked in an onion tomato based curry sounds delicious. A soulful dish with simple Indian flavors. Addition of cashews must have made the dish creamy. Addition of jaggery sounds interesting to me though.


  2. Gobhi with tomato masala sounds a delightful treat with some chapatis on side.. so easy and simple to make.. I am sure it must have tasted s delicious,love the vibrant color of the curry.


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