Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Cauliflower Butter Masala, the Feel Good Hormone…my experience with Kashmiri Red Chilies | फूलगोभी बटर मसाला

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Hello!
I am on a cooking spree these days thanks to the feel good hormone which is doing some justice to me now. The last fortnight was quite bad in a sense that I was generally feeling too low, nothing seemed right in life. My elder one who is in his adolescent stage has been arguing and answering back for the pettiest of the things and I get extremely hurt when kids answer back and spend nights shedding tears trying to convince myself things will be right some day... To add to all this I was cursed badly this month so had to rush to a gynaec, stress paid me well. Shucks!!! Typing all this too also makes me feel sad, so it’s better I discuss the feel good hormone and elevate my mood again.
The feel good hormone or in Scientific terminology called Serotonin. Did I ever tell you guys that I am a Pharmacist by profession and have spent some time doing a bit of research before working for a gigantic Pharmaceutical company..all this seems to be ages back.. Anyways let me share some knowledge that I had gained a decade back, hopefully I will do some justice to my learning.. and to myself!!!
Serotonin is hormone found  naturally in  the human brain, precisely the CNS or the Central Nervous System.  Serotonin is believed to play an important part of the biochemistry of depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. It is also believed to be influential on sexuality. Since serotonin is so important in regulating moods and feelings of well-being, it is often targeted in drugs that are used to affect the mood, such as antidepressants. A class of medications called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Researchers have found what they believe to be evidence that low serotonin levels, an inhibition between the chemical signal, or a decrease in the chemical tryptophan (amino acid that produces serotonin) are directly related to chronic depression. Several other disorders, mainly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), poor impulse control, panic and anxiety disorders and increased anger have all been attributed as well.
Most of the  women during PMS feel low and depressed. Do read this link which tells various means by which Serotonin can be boosted and one can get benefitted. If you have ever taken a medicine during desmenorrhoea (pain during the menstrual cycle), you would agree that after the medicines shows it’s effect the mood feels elevated, these medicines surely cause the production of Serotonin and hence are prescribed drugs, to be taken under the guidance of a doctor.
Today I share a recipe which surely did make me feel happy while planning, cooking and then eating it. The Makhani gravy or Butter Masala gravy is extremely popular in the North Indian Kitchen and my both the kids are extremely fond of it. I rarely indulge into cooking this as it is surely loaded with some extra calories and in my dear friend Sailaja’s expression, the big MRF tyres on the waist line prohibit me from cooking this frequently. LOL. Gladly I still do not have big MRF tyres but if I do not check them, I am bound to have a  few.
There are many variants available for this gravy but this one is my own creation and I am in love with it. One can use this for making the paneer or any makhani  curry. I have used the degi mirch in the powdered form earlier. Recently I got hold of Sabut Kashmiri Mirch and I am in love these beautiful chilies. The color these chilies impart to the curry makes me drool over them. I can use all adjectives to describe their effect..beautiful, colorful, amazing, eye candy, catchy…and so on. Check out the color of the curry to believe it.
Let’s read the recipe..
Ingredients
500 gm Cauliflower cut into small florets
3 tomatoes 
2 onions
5-6 garlic pods
1 inch piece ginger
1 tsp kasoori methi roasted
a pinch of garam masala
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup fresh cream
2 whole kashmiri red chilies/ 2 tsp degi mirch
2 tsp coriander pwd
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp sugar/ honey
salt to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
Whole spices
5-6 green cardamom
2 mace flowers
4-5 bay leaves
1 inch piece cinnamon
Method
Boil together the onions, tomatoes, kashmiri red chilies, ginger and garlic. Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
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Boil the cauliflower in water along with some salt and lemon juice till half cooked. Drain the water, the water can be used as stock. Keep the cauliflower aside in a colander.
Put the whole spices in the pan and then put the butter into it, this will avoid it’s burning. Once the whole spices are fried in the butter put the ground mix and saute for about 2-3 mins.
Now add the coriander, cumin pwd, salt to taste and sugar. Once the oil separates from the gravy tip in the cauliflower and mix thoroughly. Pour some stock and adjust the consistency of the gravy. Bring the curry to a boil, cover and cook.
Roast the kasoori methi and crush it gently with fingers.
Once the cauliflower is done, add the kasoori methi, garam masala and cream. Mix thoroughly, cook for another minute before removing from the flame. Remove all the whole spices.
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Garnish with some fresh cream and serve it with Whole Wheat Naan or Kulcha. Check out the link as I make my Naan with whole wheat flour.
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86 comments:

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Looks so fiery and also rich and nice informative post pari! LOL abt MRF tyres :D

PriyaVaasu said...

hey pari, take it easy man, its not ur kid, it is his adolescence, Chalo teek ho jayega. BTW cauliflower butter masala looks great!!!Wonderful Click.

Kanchan said...

Loved the write up .. Now I will just try to boost my feel good factor hormone as it has tendency to get lost in my body, once I find these will cook wonderful dishes as you do !

Btw hows you now, do take care !

Vrinda said...

Nice n creamy gravy with cauliflower..lov it

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Your picture is making me hungry........drooling

Shama Nagarajan said...

delicious masala....

Anncoo said...

Oh..I love cauliflower and this looks delicious.

Preeti Kashyap said...

Ahhh..babe, don't feel bad. The teens are like that. They will realize your importance, don't worry. Nice recipe!

J said...

lovely recipe..very informative post..

Tina said...

Wow...so creamy and colourful dish...

Jay said...

very lovely dish ...tempting...it goes to my must try list...!

Latha said...

Creamy cauliflower curry.....nice write up...very informative.

SathyaSridhar said...

colourful curry looks delicious n yummy with perfect photography dear,,,

Pari said...

Dear Raks, actually the curry is not fiery, the color might portray it..but Kashmiri chilies add beautiful color and are less spicy.
Priya Vaasu, welcome to my blog and thanks for those encouraging words dear, I know I have to get used to it.
Preeti, how are u doing? I know babe, I'm learning, but it's difficult.

Pari said...

Dear Kanchan, do read the article, it surely is very informative and cook something nice ur Serotonin levels will surely shoot up.
Thanks J and Jay, let me know when u try.
Thanks so much Ancoo and Latha.

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Just looking at the dish is making me feel good. Yes the kashmiri chilli is so vibrant to look.

My son who is a toddler talks back to me and it does hurt.

kitchen queen said...

lovely and delicious step by step demo.

Srimathi said...

I love the color in your masala. Kashmiri chili, looks awesome.Don't get stressed with teen tantrums. Its not worth it as my yoga teacher would put it. You have only yourself because you came alone and you go alone so take care of yourself and smile.Please do keep cooking and do something you love.

Pari said...

Hi Lassie good to see u here again, I am glad u felt happy looking at the curry. Toddler's answering back, do something to curb it in a peaceful way. Today's kids get agitated very easily.
Thanks Srimathi for those words of wisdom, will surely keep it in my mind.
Thanks Kitchen queen.

Sarah Naveen said...

So creamy and yummy!!!..awesome recipe..

mk. said...

Yummm.... better than at any restaurant that I have eaten.

Gulmohar said...

Interesting read...I too love kashmir mirchi and it's very difficult to find it here :( I laways bring a big packet with me whenever I visit home :-)
Here is another wonderful recipe from you ,Pari :-)

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Pari, an interesting info.

And, let me tell you, one of the brightest and most tempting pic I have seen in a while. I have bookmarked it, have a cauliflower and this is what I am making out of that. Thank you very much for sharing it.

Swathi said...

pari,

Lovely write up. I need some good feel hormone, i have cauliflower in my hand too. I need to cook them. By the way cauliflower butter masala looks yummy.

notyet100 said...

yummy curry,..

Nithu Bala said...

Looks too colorful, creamy and delicious:-)

AshKuku said...

I am sorry for the delay in joining you... but OMG! I always thought I did..... Now I know I should not think when I really cannot.....;-)

I surely read the article & it is of primary importance to me now.... It has surely helped me to know my playful hormones..... literally screwing me up..... I have saved it too.... Thanks a ton deary.. It really meant a lot to know u thought of me...... Love u so much.....

Don worry about kids...... It is normal I guess & natural..... Realization & Repentance is a part of life..... How much ever one lectures or tries to make the little ones understand... they would not till they have one who reacts the same way as they did, when they were that age.... It goes on..... We have to eat our share...though not savor it.... But whateva said & done, I know it hurts, when we get that from FAMILY... we call our own....

I only pray God to give you all the strength to digest it all well... God Bless & CHEERS!!!!!

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

Ms.Chitchat said...

The dish is too tempting and has made me crave for some now. Take life easy,everyone of us have a bad day sometime or the other!! I have figured out that the best way to get rid of the 'low feeling' is to do some simple pranayams.Would let u all know how it works sometime later in my blog. Take care my dear. 'All is well'

Priya said...

Woww fantastic butter masala, looks truly catchy and beautiful..its really hurts when our kids talk after us..but wat to do, hope they will realize very soon na..

shriya said...

Very yummy recipe and curry looks so rich and creamy. Mouthwatering pics.

N S said...

From your post I got to know how to cheer up myself in low times. Thanks for the write-up. Curry looks excellent.

PS said...

So yummmmy, your pics make me drool...good one pari

ruchikacooks said...

Hope the gravy made you feel better, it looks so good that I want to get into the kitchen and make it. Smiles :)

PJ said...

wow, Pari, a very informative post! I knew about serotonin but very vaguely.. this is such a useful dose of information. I didn't know you were a pharmacist either! I am glad you are feeling better now. Cooking such delicious dish like gobi butter masala is a shot of serotonin indeed :D Dont worry too much about things, like my Mom says, worry only about things that you can do something about and forget the rest :)

Padhu said...

Rich ,creamy and colorful .I fell in love with it!!

Sushma Mallya said...

wow thats a beautiful colour..and nice idea to use cauliflower for a change..seems very delicious and creamy...

sowmya's creative saga said...

looks delicious...

Jayashree said...

The colour is so appetizing.....makes me want to scoop the curry out with some hot rotis. I too like using kashmiri chilli powder for the colour it imparts to dishes.

sulagna ™ said...

pari you are a darling..as a mommy and as a wife and of course as someone who cooks up a happy storm in the kitchen..the gobhi looks yummy and so do you when you have a big smile on your face..okie..cheer up ho jao abhi (hugs)

Meena said...

lovely lovely color in the gravy...mood uplifting like u said...i try to use kashmiri rd chillies too if i can.

Rekha shoban said...

wow!!really looks yummy and delicious...perfect combo with naan and chapathi!

Sandhya Hariharan said...

thoroughly enjoyed reading.. the write up... i totally agree.. its soo hard to accept the fact that kids reply back.. and feel its right..
i get frustrated whn my 2 yrs lil one does that.... but i try to console myself..saying.. its out of his innocence... we have to teach them nicer ways...

anyways.. cauliflower butter masala is rockin.g and i loved the color too.. will hunt in the market for the chilli

Pari said...

Thanks Sarah.
Suneetha, I am so glad u liked the recipe and the read. Wow, u love the mirch too. I am also a hoarder of things which I do not get here, stock them from back home.
Dear Swathi, I am glad u liked the write up. The feel good hormone is required by all of us dear, try this curry, I am sure it will bring a smile on ur face.
Thanks Priyanka

Pari said...

Thanks Nithu.
I am so glad Asha that u have joined my blog. Whenever I read ur posts I live ur pain so I can truly empathise with u dear and so I thought this will be a good read for u. Do not worry dear I am getting used to the idea that kids answer back and we have a very limited control as they grow up. I hate to believe that I can't control them when they err, but that's how they will learn. I guess no parents want to see their kids doing wrong!!
Dear Chitchat, I am looking forward to ur post on Pranayam. We all need some boosters in this stressful life.

Pari said...

I know Priya u can understand what I am going through as we have kids of the same age group. I am glad u like the curry.
Thanks Priya Mitharwal. I am truly overwhelmed by ur comment and I take it as an compliment. Do try and let me know.
Welcome to my blog Shriya.
PJ, I am so glad u found the read informative. U cheered me buddy.

Gita Jaishankar said...

Very interesting and useful info Pari...good one. Curry looks super delicious dear...very rich and creamy :)

simply.food said...

Beautiful mouthwatering gravy and awesome clickand presentation.

Suparna said...

hi padhu,
Reading ur post I can understand what u are going through...and I also learn from many friends who have already commented on the post...I dont have much left to say...kids are tough to handle in this particular period...it'll be wise to have conern and certain amount of detachment towards the happenings... be brave and take one day at a time :)inner strength is what is required to cope during these testing times :) you are a brave one dear...this is a phase and u know for sure it'll pass of like a cloud :)
This post is so informative otherwise :) my god!! got to know so much...thanks a ton
And the look of the dish makes me tempt to taste it :)
Good one :)
Be happy
God bless
TC

Renuka Bedre - Rao said...

Wat a lovely dish dear..so inviting pics...I hope u r not stressed now...cooking n eating gud food is always gr8 for elevating mood :)

AdukalaVishesham said...

looks very tempting.... And loved the detailed recipe/pic you have put

SS said...

Hi Pari.. It's always good to hear about how positive people handle their problems! I'm glad you felt better after cooking. :) Good luck and remember that the best wishes of your readers are always with you!

Gouri Guha said...

This dish looks so colourful and spicy.

M D said...

Ghosh!!! Such a good write up on health and women problems. As far as the adolescence goes, I think each of us have been through a same phase with our parents at some time or the other. It's a part of life, we need to accept the hard fact that the kids today are growing up in this super fast paced techno world. So they seem to be moving ahead of everything else. I can understand how challenging and difficult it can be to deal with them. U are a strong person! We love ur blog and it's great to see how cooking de-stresses us. On a better note, I have tagged a tag-award for u! Take care :)

Pari said...

dear Suparna, I guess by mistake u have called me Padhu.Thanks so much that u liked the post and the recipe. Growing adolescent kids is surely a challenging task.
Thanks Renuka and Adukala and Gouri.
Dear SS, I have a big family of friends with whom I share my feelings and am so glad u guys r there.Yes, kids throw in a huge challenge in front of us and sometimes it seems like climbing an avalanche.LOL, nevertheless there's no escape.
Dear MD, thanks so much that u enjoyed the read. And thanks so much for the tag.

Cooking with Laura said...

Honey so glad I found your blog, it is a huge source of inspiration for me since I am new at blogging.

Laura

Suma Rajesh said...

woo looks soo heavenly...

Ramya said...

Cheer up!!When Iam in stress,I alwyas try a new recipe and cooking is def a stress buster
The post was very useful
Gravy looks creamy and delicious

Dolly said...

Wow Pari...A very informative post indeed..I knew a bit abt Serotonin as I have my ups and downs and low and high days..So I blamed it on Serotonin...and also that the sun stimulates the production of Serotonin thats why we all feel so good when the sun is out and feel so low on dull on rainy days or dark winter days...Also did not know you were a pharmacist. Thats great..Looking fwd to more of such useful information...

As for me your recipe indeed is making me feel happy already. IT looks so creamy and rich and simply delicious..DIl khush ho gaya..Baaki its life don't stress over it Pari..Ur an awesome mother and ur doing the best u can..the rest the kids learn its part of their learning curve I guess..We can stand by and be there when they need us...Cheer up and Take good care of urself...I know its hard..but we'll all get over it and Its All well in the end...

R said...

so delicious, the color has come out beautifully!!

Simply Life said...

oh what a beautiful color!

Deepa said...

Pharmacist, thats so cool..what a great info, now next time I get into those mood swings will try to bost up my serotonin levels..

this curry is definitely a great shot of serotonin..looks so delicious and slurrrp, mouth watering..

Smitha said...

Hi Pari, Please accept an award from my blog!!
Smitha
http://smithasspicyflavors.blogspot.com/

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Pari, I made this curry last night and linked my blog to it. It came wonderful. I didn't have kahsmiri red chillies, so used regular instead, so color didn't come like yours, but taste was yummy !!! Thanks for a this delicious recipe :)

Jagruti said...

oh, seems every one having same problem..me too! and when hubby ask is it your time? I get more angry..hota hai, chalta hai...sorry pari too late here askids are at home not much time to do things for myself..your curry looks superb and awesome clicks!

Kiran said...

Hi Pari,

Wonderful words that are very helpful for me too.I get a lot stressed with my two little ones and cooking helps me relieve my stress.I observe that when I am stressed or depressed I tend to do more work maybe because I do not want people around me to pity me.I feel low many times and I started my blog as a get-away for myself.Well I have been feeling low for the past 2 weeks and really did not post any recipes in my blog.Somedays are like that inside and outside.Hope you have better days ahead and less stress.
Cauliflower butter masala looks so good and yummy.Sure to try it.
Have a good weekend.

Deepa said...

Hi

That was very informative post.
I have tagged you as 7 things about me ( I have been tagged! ) post.

Deepa
http://hamareerasoi.blogspot.com/

Parita said...

Looks so creamy yaar :)

Siddhi S said...

Hey pari howz u dear?...i was off from bloging from past few weeks and missed many of ur yummy dishes dear...hey dnt wory much , ur kids vl realise their mistak sun...u try to make up ur mud b dng nice things...hey loved this gravy....looks so yummy n tempting...loved the use of kashmiri red chllis, thy hv gvn a nice colour...

Rohini said...

I agree with your every word Pari.. I dont have kids yet, but still remember how mom n dad used to feel bad when I used to fight back and I still feel guilty about those days mom wept silently.. It sucks, I know..
But kids will eventually grow out of it.. Like women get mood swings in PMS, I guess kids also have something going in their brains when they reach adolescene..
Dont worry, things will be alright soon..And one day you and your son will look back and laugh at it..
Oh, Gobi butter looks tooo good!!

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Oh! This looks so delicious!! I'm hungry!!

Katy ~ said...

Hugs. Teenagers tend to become combative as a way to individuate themselves from their dependence on their parents. Though it may not seem soon enough, grins, they realize how much their parents really do know and all will be loving and peaceful again.

I have read about serotonin and see that it can be consumed naturally in foods.

In the meantime, this cauliflower would make me VERY happy indeed. It looks wonderful!

Silpa said...

Pari,
how z things going.
thats very tempting dish..Love ur idea of using cauliflower in place of paneer. will try it today..

Malar Gandhi said...

Good to know abt your background in Science, today. I was in researcha s well' endorphins, serotonin and dopamine are all so important to keep us happy:) Good to read ur anecdote:) Nice and fiery hot recipe, looks awesome:)

n33ma said...

Love the color!beautiful!

PS said...

there are some awards waiting for you in my blog, pls collect them

? said...

Informative post; rich creamy party dish!:-)

sangeeta said...

this is visual serotonin for the killer looks...
and about the teenage arrogance ....chill !!
there are some things which we can't control...so let it be...

indosungod said...

I have found exercising walking or listening to birds or even watching green treen or plants help to elevate the serotonin levels. But by the easiest and tastiest way is to prepare the absolutely gorgeous looking makhani you have here, MRF tyres or no.

jayasri said...

Hi pari, This is my first time here as I said earlier in ICC challenge, this colour wanted me to look into your post!!, I use Badgi a speciality chilli from the north of karnataka, which is not fiery actually tends to give a sweetness to the dish on its own, which I use a lot just to give the colour to the dish, this masala looks so gorgeous, and of course a lovely click too!!, I got so interested in your write up I am also in your state, after I turned 40, I have been blessed with lot of ugly things mainly concerned with health, every month I suffer from migraine, so I started collecting and reading lot of books, and my mood swings, so I started studying myself about this, Now I am not really out of migraine, but I have learnt lot of things like, I try to keep calm, whatever the situation is, as I too have a 16 yr old and sometimes we argue, I try to be silent and not talk to them at all, for the whole day!!, I just leave them to hear their own voice, and realise what have they been telling to me, and I have come to know that every month when the estrogen level goes down I crave to eat sweets, which I totally avoid now, and I never eat anything I bake as they butter and yeast!!, I keep a check on how much fried, oil, coconut, malai, creams I eat, which has helped me a lot!!, I certainly understand your problem, If you have any yoga classes it would help you, and try to do meditation, which will certainly help you, When children grow up it's the harsh truth I faced up that the much obedient kids have voices of their own!!, I feel I am too old fashioned and some trifle things I doesn't like my kids doing makes me upset!!, like my eldest cutting her lengthy hair!!, I cried the whole day!! :), That is kids for us!!, love you dear, made me write which I have been longing to write for a long time!!, It is too lengthy comment you don't have to publish it!!, take care dear, will visit you soon!!

Pari said...

Hi wonderful people out there thanks so much for ur words of wisdom.
Katy i agree to each and every word u said.
sangeeta, I am surely trying to chill..it's difficult but!!
Indosungod, I am so glad u visited my space. Yes, even I read green tea is a boost elevator and as such it is good for general health.
jayasri, i guess u have visited me ealier too, anyways, I am so happy u wrote that comment, and I have published that for others to get benefitted too. Yes, kids can be difficult, arguments and all is okay but what when they have a loose tongue, I find that extremely difficult to handle.

Raaga said...

I have to try this... I make mixed veg makhani: http://chefatwork.blogspot.com/2008/07/vegetable-makhanwala.html

Susan and Abraham said...

hi dear just to let you know that your wonderful recipe has been included in 'The 30 Best Recipes of 2010' - regards abraham and susan

Thas @ Cooking with Thas said...

Congratulations for making it to the 30 best recipes of 2010. What a delectable dish to go with naan.

lavina said...

Hi Pari!
I am new to this blogging world. Joined you recently. your writeup and the recipe were both a treat for the eyes!
Take care, lav

Abhi said...

Hi there! Just tried this, came out delicious!! I couldn't muster courage to add 4 Tb of butter, it still tasted awesome with 1 Tb. Thanks so much! :)

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