Monday, November 26, 2007

Gravy Drain

It’s not often that life gives you a perfect cauliflower. Lemons it does, in plenty, but not a cauliflower. So when I got one last week, with an unblemished, uniform complexion even at the fag end of the day, I was determined to make the most of it.

As soon as I came home, I did the needful – soaked it in some hot water with a pinch of turmeric and salt, drained it after half an hour, tore it into florets and lovingly stashed it away in the fridge hoping to find a deserving recipe in the next couple of days.

It so transpired that the brown rice I had cooked that day stayed abandoned so when I came upon a Gujarati recipe that called for rice-and-besan patties in a vegetable gravy, I went to bed the day before I made this with fond hopes of my various aims being fulfilled – leftovers used up, several veggies being used up, all nutritious and novel to boot! Plus, it would be another Grindless Gravy!


Next morning saw me add several teaspoons of besan (chick pea flour), way beyond what was prescribed in the recipe, to the rice, after which I was finally able to fashion crudely-shaped patties.

As I proceeded with the rest of the recipe, I wondered if it would be thick enough to qualify for a gravy, but I needn’t have worried, for it did – the besan thickened the water and the one-pot meal was ready! Now let’s see if he can resist this, I told myself, that’ll teach him to reject brown rice.

I reached for my delicately painted but finely cracked porcelain bowl, ladled the gravy into it, took some pictures and then left it on the table while I got ready to go to work.

Back on the table, it's a lovely picture, clean table, lovely dish, fat peas playing peekaboo with the cauliflower and the beans in a rather novel, pale yellow gravy. As I reached for the dish, it split neatly into two, spilling mostly on the napkin that I used to hold the dish, but also on to my newly upholstered dining table chairs – and that, dear readers, is the story of the Gravy Drain!

The recipe I tried to follow was Tarla Dalal’s but I made many, many changes, here it is!

For the patties

Cooked brown rice: 1 cup
Coriander, chopped: 1 tbsp
Besan/Chick pea flour: 8-9 tsp
Green chillies, chopped: 2
Ginger, chopped fine: 1-inch piece
Turmeric: ¼ tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Asafoetida/hing: ¼ tsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
Chilli powder: ½ tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp

French beans, chopped: 3/4 cup
Cauliflower florets: ¾ cup
Green peas: ¾ cup
Coriander, chopped: 2 tbsp

Patties: Combine all the ingredients to form a soft dough.

Divide into 15-20 equal portions and roll out into rounds. Keep aside. (They wouldn’t roll out for me, so I just used my hands to pat them into shape.)

Heat oil, pop mustard, asafoetida, turmeric powder, chilli powder and 4 cups of water.

Add all the veggies and salt. Simmer till they are cooked.

Increase the flame and add the patties one at a time.

Simmer for 10-12 minutes till they are firm.

Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander.

Keep those entries coming for Grindless Gravies! Details here.


  1. oh thats such a pity that it spilt. but great recipe, nevertheless! i have a gravy in draft. will post it this wednesday :)

  2. hahha...thats a wonderful story!...You give me the trills of reading Victorian novels!

  3. ROFL... remember my orangy chilli bowl? last month it slipped from my hand which had very colourful gravy in it and broke into thousand pieces making nice MFH's paintings on wall, carpet and even ceiling:( it took me 2 hours to clean the whole room, ALONE :( grrrrrrrrrrrrrr..... thankgod, u only had to clean the table;)

  4. I had a smil when i read it even though i know i should nit smile , but i always think things like this only happen to me, glad to hear other ppl also have mishaps

  5. Sra, kitchen disasters :) that too with the perfect cauliflower.

    I operated a blender with the lid not closed properly, I will leave the rest to your imagination.

  6. What an ending, memorable, actually!

  7. LOL! Great title! Another almost disaster story for Lakshmi!
    Hope you had a fun weekend, not like this but better one.I can't wait for round up sra, will get so many grindless gravies!:))

  8. Is this the same one as the "Train" ? Now I am confused.. . my brain is drained.

    I like the way your garvy split in two :D Nice little experience huh ?

  9. A pristine cauliflower is definitely a thing of beauty and most likely to be be gotten if you have the luxury of growing your own. Sra, I love how you've let spill all that gravy choke-full of veggies, very decadent and deliciously compelling.

  10. beware, sra!! sign of true blog addiction :)
    when u would rather take pics of the spill than save the sofa from stains.......LOL

  11. oh no sra!!..too bad....but i could not help but laugh :D...i hope the upholstry of the chairs are not totally screwed up b'coz of the spill!! nice story btw....

  12. Oh no...... hope you could salvage the chairs if not the dish?

  13. This is such an honest post, and that's what i love most about it! Regardless of the kitchen mishap, this recipe sounds perfect for a gobhi!


  14. Spilt on the newly upholstered chairs! Ooh I feel for you, Sra.
    Just last week, my cat walked with wet muddy paws all over a new rug.

  15. uh oh... hope those chairs didn't suffer lasting damage.

  16. The recipe sounds good but why on earth would you want to use a bowl that was already cracked? :)

  17. Nags, I managed to get a taste of it, thank God for small mercies! Will look out for your post
    Srivalli, thanks, LOL!
    Sia, yes, I remember reading about it on your blog.
    Happy Cook, misery - and failure - love company, it's completely natural :)
    Indo, I've imagined, LOL!
    Bindiya, yes, sigh!
    Asha, the weekend was okay, this was made earlier. Am off this weekend and back only the next.
    Sandeepa, no, the Train preceded the Drain!
    Susan, thankfully I managed to get a taste of it before it broke, but it was such a pity I had to discard it all!
    Richa, ha ha, I immediately wiped it with water.
    Rajitha, no, they're okay.
    Ashwini, oh yes, salvaged it. Just little patches but that upholstery is very dear to me.
    Musical, thanks, it did taste good.
    Oh Cooker, I feel for you! Could you take care of it?
    No, Bee, but I keep squinting at them to make sure they haven't really been stained.
    TBC - isn't the answer obvious? I'm cracked. It was a fine crack and the dish was so pretty I thought I could use it for storage if not for cooking!

  18. awwwww.... thats bad!! But its really funny!!! I happened to spill a cup of turmeric on the kitchen counter and wall last month.. had a helluva time trying to clean it up :(

  19. You've written everything so smile...
    Still ,your cauliflower looks intact and only good cooks can manage that .. :)

  20. Looking at the first pic who could say a disaster is waiting to happen. I would have been heart broken, and you clicked?

  21. Too bad about the spilled gravy and the lest you got to taste some.

  22. sra...this one's too hilarious...:-)...your grindless gravy sounds the perfect event to look out for ( lazy ppl like me ;-) )...:-)

  23. Sorry, but I couldn't help smirking at the writeup!!!
    OOh and any time I smirk at someone, I land up in the sam state :O

  24. Ramya, my word! Turmeric's one tough stain to get rid of!
    Sugarcraft, thanks. I didn't stir the curry much after I put in the vegetables, just swirled the pan around, fish curry style!
    Suganya, I felt rotten too, but what to do? I just thanked God it was didn't damage anything and went on with my work!
    Anita, yes, I'm glad I had a taste!
    Santhi, let's see how much variety we get, am keeping my fingers crossed
    Rachel, aha, will you let us in on your disaster sometime in the future?

  25. I was a bit surprised ,when I read the title in the beginning and then I understood the meaning of it after reading the whole post..nice one sra.
    Trying hard to think for the grindless gravies event sra..

  26. Oh my -- I've been in that spot too Sra, and I admire you running for the camera! The recipe sounds great nonetheless. I hope I can get a grindless gravy draining out of this near-useless brain of mine this week :) Looking forward to the collection!

  27. Oh these things happen to all of us! Very elaborate recipe! :) Please do leave some recipes for the participants too! :D

  28. oh dear, i feel sorry for the napkin and the u didnt get a chance to taste ur creation ?

  29. Oh...I can understand how awful it would be,if we are working hard on some thing and end up like this...oh no..:(
    And I couldnot help laughing your reply to TBC's comment..Hahaaha:D

  30. Aw shucks! It's the clean up I'd hate.

  31. You bet, I definitely will and you will be the first to know!!!

  32. Prema, thanks. Keep thinking and send me something!
    Linda, commented on your post earlier today - and what a chutney!
    Latha, LOL!
    Bhags, I did, thank Goddess! Where have you been?
    Raks, wasn't it really obvious? ha ha
    Cynthia, there wasn't much, thankfully!
    Rachel, I'm waiting.

  33. Oh dear, I was awwwing when I saw the broken bowl....It happens all the time with me that things slip from my hand and I HAVE to do the cleaning.. Nice stoey btw and a happy ending!

    ~ Siri

  34. All of us have days like these!! Btw, I like your new event idea! Seems I was away really long...!


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