Gobi Tamatar Recipe (Indian Cauliflower Curry)

Gobi Tamatar Recipe (Indian Cauliflower Curry) Recipe

Gobi tamatar is an Indian vegetarian dish made with cauliflower (gobi), tomatoes (tamatar) and ginger garlic paste. To thicken the sauce, I also added one small potato.

This is one of the healthier Indian dishes I know. The cauliflower is cooked in the tomato mixture until softened. The key to this dish is to use ripe, sweet tomatoes. I always make 2 batches of this dish; one extremely spicy with red chili powder and whole jalapeño peppers and one mild version for the children (and for me!). It's a good vegetable side dish, and a wonderful change of pace from traditional cauliflower salad.


Yields: 6 servings

1 whole cauliflower
1 potato (I used Yukon Gold)
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 ripe tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers
1-½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (click on the link for the recipe)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon red chili powder
2 sprigs cilantro, for garnish


Prepping the potato:

Peel and cut the potato into ¼" cubes. Set aside.

Prepping the chile peppers:

Stem the jalapeño peppers. Using a paring knife, create a 2-inch incision in the side of the whole peppers. Note: remember not to rub your eyes after touching jalapeño pepper seeds.

Soaking the cauliflower:

To cut the head of the cauliflowers into florets, remove and discard the green leaves and the stem. Cut into wedges from the bottom. Pull and separate the small florets by hand.

Place the florets in a bowl, cover them with water and add the white vinegar. Stir well. Soak for 5 minutes, then drain.

Prepping the tomatoes:

This step is optional but I find tomato skin unpleasant to chew. Here's a neat method for peeling tomatoes. Make a small, shallow criss-cross cut at the bottom of the fresh tomatoes using a bread knife (I use a bread knife because the blade won't bruise the fruit). Fill a small saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the water and wait for at least 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes quickly (I use a large strainer or a slotted spoon), then transfer to an ice cold bath to stop the cooking process. The skin will come right off. Coarsely cut the flesh into chunks. Set aside.

Assembly time:

In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil, add the onion and cook until golden. Transfer the onions to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible into the pan. Re-heat the oil until it's really hot, add the cauliflower  florets and stir-fry until they're a little brown. At this point the cauliflower isn't cooked completely; it will finish cooking in the tomato mixture. Transfer the cauliflower to another plate.

In the same pan, add more oil if necessary. Add the whole chiles, ground cumin, ground coriander and ginger garlic paste. Cook on high heat until fragrant. Add the cooked onions, potatoes and chopped tomatoes; stir until the mixture forms a thick paste. Once you see the oil start separating, add the cauliflower. Add the turmeric and the chili powder. Toss well until the cauliflower is coated in the tomato mixture. Cover with about 1 cup of water, seal with a lid. Bring to a boil, then immediately decrease the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower softens. Uncover and cook until all the liquid evaporates without tossing or stirring.

Adjust seasoning. Season with more salt (if necessary). Cover and let stand until ready to serve.

Garnish with herbs (I used curly parsley because I was running out of cilantro!)

Bon appétit!


Soak the cauliflower in the "vinegary" liquid to prevent oxidation (turning brown) of the vegetable.

If the tomatoes aren't sweet enough, you could add ½ teaspoon sugar to balance the flavors.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 27, 2010.


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