Achaari Paalak Gobhi

Peak winters demand a heart-warming curry with loads of warming spices , slight kick and heat from the chilies and of course tons of nutritional goodness from the delicious veggies nature has to offer during this season.

When one thinks of winter veggies, a myriad a of colours pop into mind. Carrots, peas, methi, spinach are some of my personal favourites. Another family favourite though not as colourful is the cauliflower. It usually features a few times during the week in winters, in form of curries, stir fries and grilled varieties. And when one is eating a vegetable so often, repeating the same old recipes sometimes gets a tad too boring, don’t you think?

To be honest, I started to prep for the usual curry, planning to mix in some spinach and carrots for a change apart from the usual potato and peas when my eyes fell on the bottle of shredded(mashed) mango pickle that I had carried from India a few months ago. Not everyone in the family is a big pickle fan as much as me, hence the bottle was sitting still half unfinished. As I stood chopping the spinach, I made a mental note to eat the pickle more often. In the next moment it occurred to me-why not use the pickle in the cauliflower curry? After all tangy “Achaari” versions of a lot of vegetarian and non vegetarian curries are extremely popular. And just like that, this curry happened.

I highly recommend not going easy on the green chilies as the heat complements the sourness from the pickle perfectly and makes the taste much better. A detailed recipe follows for you to try:

Prepare all ingredients- blanched spinach, coarsely chopped tomatoes, green chilies squared onions and pickle

Blend all prepared ingredients except onions; then heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, bay leaf, star anise, green chilies. When seeds start to crackle, add onions and cook till translucent, then add powdered spices-turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and red chilli powder and roast for 2-3 minutes

Add potatoes and steamed cauliflower and cover and cook till 70% done, then add carrots and peas and cover again on a medium flame for another 5 minutes or so. By this time all the veggies would be cooked through. This is a good time to add the prepared spinach-tomato-pickle mixture and salt and let the entire mixture simmer for another 5 minutes, drizzle some cream if desired.

Serve hot with steamed rice or hot phulkas

Achaari Paalak Gobhi

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 100

Serving Size: 4

Calories per serving: 230

Achaari Paalak Gobhi


  • Cauliflower (florets separated and cut to desired size)- 2 cups
  • Medium-sized Potato (cubed)-1
  • Carrots (chopped into small cubes)- 1/2 cup
  • Green Peas- 1/2 cup
  • Blanched Spinach(cooled to room temperature)-1.5 cups
  • Green chilies-2 (optional)
  • Tomatoes (coarsely chopped)-1 cup
  • Onion (medium sized, cut into squares)-1 cup
  • Mango Pickle pulp- 1tbsp
  • Bay leaf-1
  • Star anise-1
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala- 1tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder-1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt-1/2 tsp+1tsp pr as per taste
  • Whipping cream-1tbsp (optional)
  • Mustard oil or any other cooking oil of choice-1.5 tbsp


  1. Heat water in a deep bowl and add cut cauliflower florets with 1/2 tsp salt and let it sit for 15 minutes the. drain and keep aside
  2. In a blender make a coarse paste of blanched spinach, tomatoes , mango pickle pulp and one green chilli and keep aside
  3. In a thick bottomed deep wok, heat oil and add cumin seeds, bay leaf and star anise, green chili,lower the flame to medium once the seeds start to crackle and spices start to release their aroma
  4. Add onions and sauté till translucent, the add all the powdered masalas(turmeric powder, coriander, powder, cumin powder and garam masala) and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes with constant stirring till the spices are roasted and fragrant
  5. Then add potatoes and steamed cauliflower florets and cover and cook on a medium flame with intermittent stirring till 70% done
  6. Add carrot and peas and give the mixture a nice stir and cover and cook further for another 5 minutes. If you feel the wok is getting dry and the veggies are sticking to the base, you could add a few tablespoons of water and cover.Keep the flame to medium low at all times
  7. After 5 minutes or so the veggies should be almost done, then add the pureed spinach-tomato-pickle mixture and mix all the ingredients well
  8. Add salt,cover and simmer for another 5 minutes, drizzle some cream if desired and serve hot with steamed rice or roti


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