Gobi Musallam – Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Makhani Sauce

Gobi Musallam, a celebrated Indian dish, elevates the humble cauliflower to a star of indulgence. Imagine a whole cauliflower, tender and flavorful, adorned with a luxurious creamy Makhani sauce—a sumptuous combination that captures the essence of Indian cuisine. This dish is a testament to the culinary artistry that turns simple ingredients into an exquisite culinary experience.

The term “Musallam” in Hindi means “whole” or “entire,” indicating the preparation of the cauliflower as a full head, transforming it into a centerpiece dish that’s as stunning to the eyes as it is delightful to the taste buds. The cauliflower is parboiled, then coated and baked, resulting in a beautifully golden and tender exterior that encases a soft and flavorful interior.

What truly elevates this dish is the rich and velvety Makhani sauce. Makhani, originating from the word “Makhan” meaning butter, is a creamy and luscious sauce renowned for its combination of tomato richness, creaminess, and aromatic spices. This sauce is a symphony of flavors, blending tomatoes, cream, butter, and a medley of spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala. It’s a perfect accompaniment to the roasted cauliflower, infusing every bite with a harmonious blend of savory and comforting flavors.

Gobi Musallam with its creamy Makhani sauce embodies the essence of Indian cuisine, showcasing the intricate layers of flavors and the art of balancing spices. Beyond its visual appeal, this dish invites diners on a culinary journey, offering a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Whether enjoyed as a centerpiece for a special occasion or a delightful family dinner, Gobi Musallam stands as a testament to the brilliance of Indian culinary heritage, where a humble vegetable transforms into a magnificent dish worthy of celebration.


– 1 head Cauliflower, leaves and tough stem removed and washed
– Water for blanching
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

– 2 teaspoons oil
– 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
– 1-inch ginger, chopped
– 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 dry red chili or chili flakes (to taste)
– 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
– 1 teaspoon garam masala
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
– 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1 Tablespoon dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)
– 3/4 cup coconut milk (from can)
– 1/4 cup ground cashews or 1/3 cup soaked cashews
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon raw sugar or 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup


1. Blanching Cauliflower:
– Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
– Add salt, turmeric, and chili powder.
– Blanch the whole cauliflower, covering and cooking for 4 minutes on each side.

2. Sauce Preparation:
– In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute chopped onion until golden.
– Add ginger, garlic, chili, saute for 2 more minutes.
– Incorporate spices, then add tomatoes, salt, sugar, fenugreek leaves. Cook covered until tender, mash larger pieces.
– Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then blend with coconut milk and cashews into a smooth puree. Adjust seasoning.

3. Baking:
– Preheat oven to 400°F / 200ºC.
– Place the blanched cauliflower in a baking dish, pour the puree on top to cover it completely.
– Reserve 1/3 of the sauce for serving later.
– Bake at 400°F / 200ºC for 40-45 minutes until cauliflower is dry to touch and sauce thickens. Rotate dish after 30 minutes.

4. Finishing:
– Heat the reserved sauce until it thickens.
– Serve the roasted cauliflower hot with flatbreads, salads, or quinoa. It can also be chopped and used in wraps or sandwiches.

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