Vegetarian journey – Indian Makai Shakh Gobhi (broccoli)

After a week of three Spinach dishes, I decided to twist a Makai Palak recipe to be a little different. And what a surprise. Vegetarian lesson 1.1: Changing a recipe is good – it explores new tastes. 

Now, my favourite Makai Palak recipe is one in my favourite cookbook of all time – Sanjeev Kapoor‘s “Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking” – this book changed my cooking life. I have tried many many dishes – and all are wonderful. Sanjeev Kapoor unpacks regional Indian cooking in a way that is just spectacularly easy and tasty!

However, I decided to be bold. I replaced the spinach with broccoli. Why not? Love the taste, love the texture. And, truth be told, I had two heads of broccoli winking at me from the fridge…

vegetarian broccoli makai palak
a broccoli version of Makai Palak

The broccoli makes for a smoky and complex vegetarian experience – the chilli makes it fresh and zippy. I love this and noticed that the next day the pot is cleaned out overnight. Strange, as vegetarian is “what dad does”… LOL.

I found that adding more sweet corn to the dish – as well as more chillies – is a great variation to accomodate the broccoli – and, yes, I apologise for the fact that I may be hammering an age-old traditional recipe with unacceptable changes. But, at the end of the day, or the meal in this case, my taste-buds are the judges!

Before this, I only had Jamie’s wonderful recipe.

What I keep finding interesting is the family’s reaction to vegetarian meals. Initially it is strange, this pot of vegetables. But as they tuck into it – they take seconds. So, the reluctance is the paradigm and the tucking in is the experimetation. But the only compliment is taking seconds. And they do ! They love this vegetarian meal! Another win. 

Broccoli Makai Palak
Serves 6
Being bored with spinach I decided to try a broccoli Makai Palak. And it worked quite well, thankyouverymuch.
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  1. 2 medium heads of broccoli
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 2 medium onions (red or white)
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh garlic paste (buy a jar)
  5. 4 small green chillies
  6. 1 red chilli
  7. 2 red sweet pepper
  8. 3-4 cm fresh ginger - chopped
  9. 1/2 tsp red Karachi chilli (my favourite)
  10. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  11. 1 tsp Amchur Mango powder
  12. 2 cups sweetcorn (fresh - cut from 2 cobs)
  13. 1 cups full cream yogurt
  14. 1 Tbsp garam masala (buy a good brand)
  15. 1 tsp dried curry leaves (or Kasoori Methi - if you have some)
  1. Use a large pan - with a lid - and add the olive oil.
  2. When hot (bubbles) - add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes - until you feel happy that it is fragrant and sticky.
  3. Add the garlic paste and ginger. Also add the chillies.
  4. Saute until the colour changes to a nice gold.
  5. Add the deep red chilli powder and the turmeric and the Amchur. Stir in.
  6. Now add the finely chopped broccoli (I even chop the core stem finely to extract all flavour).
  7. Now I add the finely chopped red pepper and the red chilli.
  8. The dish suddenly looks very pretty - red and green and yellow.
  9. Add the sweet corn and saute.
  10. When the broccoli is nice and soft and fragrant, add the yogurt and stir in.
  11. The added acidity nicely balances the sweet of the onions and the peppers.
  12. When you think it's cooked - add the dried curry leaves and the garam masala. It gives this wonderful frangrant nuttiness to the dish.
  13. Serve hot on rice or on grits.
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking
Love Cooking With Wine

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