Gobi Masala

Thank you for all the lovely and thoughtful messages you left here on the blog and in my email inbox for Freddie. As much as we miss him, and will continue to miss him, we are grateful he went peacefully, knowing he was deeply loved.

Last week we also discovered our lovely calico cat Pubm, who had developed a mysterious limp in the past month that was initially diagnosed as arthritis, is harboring what seems to be a fast-spreading tumor in her hip. The day Freddie passed on, Pubm went through a biopsy. The results are expected next week.

In the past year, three of our five furry babies have been diagnosed with cancer. Each time I visit a vet or speak with a pet parent, I hear more stories about the incredibly high prevalence of cancer in cats and dogs today. Googling up the topic throws up all kinds of theories, with store-bought pet food being the prime suspect.


A good friend who does a lot of animal rescue work in India once told me that diseased and even dead animals are often used in food for pets by unscrupulous manufacturers, because standards in most countries are low or nonexistent, especially when compared to human food. Add to that a multitude of preservatives and carbohydrates and all those things we prefer not to feed ourselves, and you likely have a recipe for disaster.

Desi and I have always fed our kids store-bought pet food and although we try to buy the best, I am more and more becoming convinced that homemade food could be a healthier way to go. I do cook for my dogs at home a lot, but with the cats it is another story. Cats have very special nutrition needs but more than that they are extremely finicky about what they will eat. They are especially finicky about NOT eating homemade food.

If any of you feed your cats homemade food and have ideas to share, I would welcome them. For now, here is a recipe for a delicious side dish that is perfect with some dal and rice.

Have a nice week, all.

Gobi Masala

(Makes 4 good-sized servings)

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, separated into florets. Boil water in a pot and drop the florets into it. Bring back to a boil and let the cauliflower cook for about three minutes. Drain and set aside.

1 large onion, ends lopped off, cut into half, then sliced into half-moons

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp red chilli powder, like cayenne or paprika for a milder flavor

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp garam masala powder (use some Kolhapuri spice mix or tawa masala for a slightly different but delicious flavor)

2 tsp vegetable oil like canola

Heat oil in a skillet.

Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the onions and a little salt. Saute until the onions turn translucent, about five minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the powdered spices. Stir and let the tomatoes cook until they break down and start to express the oil.

Add the cauliflower florets and stir well. Cover and cook a few more minutes or until the cauliflower is al dente. You don’t want it to turn soft and mushy. Season with some fresh chopped coriander leaves.

(Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 93, Dietary Fiber 5.3 grams, Total fat 2.9 grams, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates  15.8 grams, Potassium 707.6 mg, Protein 4.2 grams)

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

Comments

  1. Manasi says

    Love the curry, such a vibrant color.
    For cat food, take a peek at Jugalbandi, they have info on what the feed Delta. Hope it helps.

  2. Richa says

    Vaishali, the gobi masala looks refreshing!

    As for the commercial pet foods, I recently posted about it on my pet blog http://find-me-a-happy-pet.blogspot.com/2011/02/euthanized-pets-in-pet-food.html
    Some articles and research about all the crap that goes in commercial food, and the homecooked food that I feed my dogs. I dont have any idea about cats..
    Hope you all are holding up well and i hope things turn out good with Pubm. Sending you all love and prayers.

  3. Sarah says

    Hi, only been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I’m feeding my cat a vegan diet, all homemade, and she loves it. It took her only a few days to get used to it (I suspect mostly because she was living solely on dried biscuits for so long before I got her that wet food was strange to her). Cats are more difficult nutritionally as not everything can be provided from plant sources but I use VegeCat supplements – a powder that you mix in to the food. They include recipes with their products that are based on lentils, chickpeas, rice, seitan, tofu, etc.
    Just thought I’d share my experience that it is possible and my cat loves the food.

  4. Linda says

    I was very sorry to read about Freddie. I’ve been lurking here for awhile And want you to know that you are inspiring me to change my diet, so thank you.
    As for cats, mine always loved veggies such as sweet potato and yam! She also had a thing for pineapple. She was finicky about her own oet food, not real food. Maaybe was unusual. Lately, I’ve benn reading about feeding pets raw foods, made at home, but its always recommended that this is done under a vets guidance.

  5. SS blogs here says

    Hey Vaishali.. visiting after a long time. Very sorry to hear about Freddie and your other pets. I never thought much about pet food (I don’t have pets). But your point about store-bought pet food standards sounds shocking and alarming. :( :( Its just too bad sometimes. Best wishes for your furry family.

  6. Jurema says

    Just to thank you very much for the awsome recipes!! they´re helping me a lot. I made the Cinamom Rols this weekend and everybody at home loved!!

    xoxo
    Jurema (from Porto, Portugal)

  7. Anonymous says

    Hi cats are purely carnivorous. If you want to cook at home please see
    jugalbandi blog where bee has written about her cat delta.I think it’ll help you.
    smitha

  8. Vaishali says

    Divya, Latha, Thanks.

    Manasi, thanks– I will.

    Sharmilee, Sireesha, Thanks.

    Richa, thanks for sharing this. It’s shocking and unfortunately very believable. It’s a good thing for all pet parents to be warned.

    Priya, thanks!

    Sarah, thanks for sharing your cat food recipe. It sounds very healthy and delicious enough that I want to eat it! :)

    Linda, thanks for your kind words and for sharing your tips. I should check with my vet about raw food– I’ve heard about others who do it and say their pets become really healthy. Your cat sounds adorable. :)

    SS: Thanks!

    Jurema, thanks for your kind words, and for the feedback on the cinnamon rolls. :)

    Smitha, Thanks for the tip. I too have often heard that cats must eat meat, but as Sarah points out above, they can get used to vegan diets. I am not sure I can get Pubm used to a new, vegan diet at this point where she is refusing to eat almost anything, but I do believe that overall it is possible to make cats accept a meat-free diet, and perhaps it’s healthier for them too, just like for humans.

    Kitchen Flavors, Thanks.

  9. Lita and the boys in Melbourne says

    Hi Vaishy,
    I stumbled across your blog a short while ago and the mix of delicious food and love of animals has kept me checking in every so often. Re feeding our pets, i am a total advocate of raw feeding for both cats and dogs. A good place to start is Dr Richard Pirtcairn’s website and book and the site Raw Fed Cats.
    Don’t forget cat’s are carnivore’s so they must have meat or they will go blind. There are probably supplements to cover the nutritional requirements they have if you were set on feeding them vegetarian. My 15 year old cat has been on raw food and supplements since he was 5, my 3 & 1 yr old cats have always had raw and actually walk away from tinned foods. They are a bit partial to dry though…Innova Evo and Felidae – both of these have no carbs, cats don’t need them. Anyway, if you want, I could email you a list of links and info. Commiserations for Freddie and I’d start feeding your cat Essiac supplements and apricot kernels, don’t worry about the cyanide propaganda, it doesn’t eventuate if there’s no cancer to counter. All the best.

  10. V says

    As much as I wish your pet speedy recovery, I wish you also to have all the mental strength required to go through this.
    i dont know if it helps you, but we used to feed our dog homemade food like “Ragi Ambli”. Its just a fluid ragi ball.

  11. V says

    Hi Vaishali, We used to feed our dog with eggs but no meat of any kind. To the ragi ambli, we used to mix one egg and serve it. Our dog used to gulp it down. Along with that, probably once a year or so, we used to feed her some vitamin suplements. Not too many. She was quite healthy. But I am not sure if you would like eggs for your pets.

    -Vidya

  12. mary says

    Hi Vaishali.
    I just made this dish, and it is so easy and deelish. I am on a super tight vegan budget diet. twenty five dollars a week cheap. It is nice to have a tasty dish for when cauliflower goes on sale. I had a pot of chick peas on the stove while I was preparing this so I thought “what the heck” and tosses some in. yum. Thank you so much for this. Green peas would be nice in this too!

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