Musallam literally means whole or complete.

Gobi Musallam is a dish made with a whole piece of roasted cauliflower which is cooked with mildly spiced creamy gravy.

Gobi Musallam is a dish which is inspired by the famous stuffed chicken dish called Murg Musallam, where the whole chicken was stuffed with boiled eggs, keema(minced lamb meat), which is marinated and cooked in a rich makhni gravy, and delicately flavoured with whole spices. This dish gained its popularity because of its royal heritage as it was cooked in the imperial kitchens of Mughals. This dish is also a centerpiece of Avadhi lavishness. Awadh (which is now known as Lucknow) invented 'dum' style of cooking or an art of cooking on slow fire. So basically, Gobi Musallam is actually a vegetarian version created by adapting these two imperial styles of cooking. The whole head of cauliflower is blanched then tossed in oil to fry or is roasted and drenched in makhani gravy, cooked on slow fire and served whole.

You can serve this with usual Indian fixes of flat breads like naan, parantha, roti or even with the rice or pulao.

I was introduced to this dish when I got married; my mum-in-law would prepare this dish on special occasions. I learnt it from her and gave my own little spin to it. It certainly is an attractive center piece dish. I love to serve this stunning dish whenever I have a get together or a lavish dinner party as this is one of those dishes which always grabs my guests’ attention.

I am really excited to share this beautiful finger-licking vegetarian dish which is deep, rich and perfectly balanced with harmony of spices blended together that elevates this humble cauliflower dish to a delicious gourmet standard.

Try making this dish following the step by step instructions given in the method, and I’m sure you will win the hearts of even your hardcore non-vegetarian eaters. Read the cook’s notes for a slight variation of cooking the recipe.

If you want to see all the processes in action, I've made an easy-to-follow tutorial as well for this royal dish, watch it below!


SERVES: 8-10

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOKING TIME: 45-50 minutes


For Blanching Cauliflower:

  • 4 small cauliflowers

  • Large cooking Pot

  • Water for boiling

  • 1/2 tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp turmeric/haldi

For Tempering:

  • 3 large onions, cut into eights

  • 5-6 fat garlic cloves

  • 2.5” piece ginger, peeled roughly chopped

  • 3 large tomatoes, blanched, deskinned and puréed

  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped

  • 6 tbsp oil

  • 4 cups oil for frying

  • 1 tsp cumin/jeera

  • 2 bay leaves/tej patta

  • 1 cinnamon stick/dalchini

  • 4-5 green cardamom, slightly bruised

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 2 tbsp coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 tsp salt or to taste

  • 2/3 cup yogurt

  • 3-4 tsp sugar

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 tsp kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves

  • 3-4 tbsp fresh cream (use coconut cream to make it vegan)

For Garnish:

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

  • 2-3 tsp fresh cream


  1. Wash and trim the green stalks or leaves from the cauliflowers. Remove the extra long stem, keeping intact some stem upto the base of cauliflower.

  2. In large cooking pot, pour enough water to fully immerse the cauliflowers. Bring it to boil. Once boiled, add salt and turmeric. Immerse the cauliflowers in the water, cover the lid and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes, until they are par boiled.