Caulishowers in my Garden

Yeah! I jump with joy like a little child, every time I see the tiny cauliflower curd peeping out of its giant leaf stalks even after a decade of home growing experience. Being in north India where winter garden bliss begins in September and goes on till March, we are blessed to easily grow the brassicaa family and cauliflower is the most favourite of all.

200 Years History

You will be surprised to know that popular vegetable is not a native to India. It was introduced just 200 years ago, in 1822 by Dr Jemson, then in charge of Company Bagh, Saharanpur who experimented with English varieties. Today Cauliflower is grown both in hills and plains, mainly in the northern part of the country and some parts of south.

Grow them Easy

The ideal time to sow saplings or seeds is August-September bringing harvest around November. Home growers may easily grow these in pots, crates or raised beds in a nutrient rich moist soil. The curds appear in almost 45 days and those should be protected from harsh sun to delay the buds to open. The easiest way to do this is by tying centre leaves together.

Monthly manuring, deep watering and sufficient 4-6 hours of sun is all that you need to grow your favourite cauliflowers. Remember they are actually a stalked inflorescence (bunch of flowers) that are best harvested before blooming.

Floral Tasty Treats

All of us who have got the hang of growing in home gardens or farms experience an abundance of harvest and have several ways to relish these in a variety of dishes. Paranthas, Pakodas, Tandoori Gobhi, Gobhi Dum, Achaari Gobhi, Gobhi Tahiri, Gobhi Adrakki are some desi regulars we all relish in Indian homes.

But I am always excited to try something unique and special across cuisines with home grown cauli babies every season. Creamy Cauliflower Soup, Cauliflower Steak and Gobhi Musallam, were some new ones on the platter.

The roasted Creamy-Cauli-Soup was the highlight of this season which we enjoyed frequently for winter suppers and I’m happy to share Chef Jayant Rohilla’s recipe here. You may like to do things your way but do compliment it with a big slice of ginger and a few garlic pods to ease digestion and balance its gastric property.

A Little More of Abundance

Though the curd or the centre head is the most prized and loved part, the entire plant including the stalk and leaves are edible. For example the Masaledar Dhanthal is a common traditional delicacy enjoyed with daal and roti in punjabi homes. The centre stalk can also be made into salads, slaw, soups and even chips.

Not to forget that any discarded part still can also go into your winter vegetable broth.

Florets for Keeps

And who wants this home grown abundance to sieze after the season. If we want to enjoy pure organic from the garden we must preserve some for the summer months. This takes me back to my childhood days when I used to see my granny sitting on the terrace, stringing the cauliflower garlands to be hung for days in the winter sun or lined up mason jars full of our typical Punjabi Gobhi Gajar Pickle.

Today in global times when we are coming closer to cuisines of the world, a simple Escabeche, that is spicy pickled florets in vinegar salt and sugar is also an easy idea for keeps. In whatever way you may like to enjoy these flower buds, cauliflowers will remain one of the most exciting ones to grow and enjoy. So keep growing what you eat and eating what you grow.

Creamy Cauli Soup Recipe


  • ½ kg Cauliflower
  • 75 gm Onion (chopped)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 50 ml Cream
  • ½ tbsp Olive Oil
  • 150 ml Vegetable Broth/Water
  • 10 gm Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
  • Salt and White Pepper (to taste)
  • Garlic Chives (optional)


  1. Cut the cauliflower florets and set aside.
  2. Heat a non stick pan and add olive oil.
  3. Once heated, add the chopped onion and sauté till translucent.
  4. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Now add cauliflower florets, sauté till light brown in colour.
  6. Season with salt, black pepper, sugar and stir well.
  7. Alternately you can coat the florets with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes at 200°C.
  8. Add vegetable broth or water, simmer for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower gets soft.
  9. Turn off the heat and let the cauliflower mixture cool down.
  10. Once cooled, transfer to a blender and blend till smooth.
  11. Bring back to heat for another 2 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Finish with cream, garlic chives or the toppings of your choice. You can use roasted florets, dill, parsley or thyme
  13. You can also add some croutons on top if you’d like.
  14. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice for a citrus pop

Voila! Your cauliflower soup is ready to be served!