Thursday, 21 October 2010

Phool Gophi (Cauliflower)

English: Cauliflower

Common Indian Name (Hindi): Phool Gobhi

  • Cauliflower is a vegetable belonging to the Brassica oleracea species, which also includes Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Kale, Broccoli and Collard Greens.
  • Cauliflower has a white compact head of undeveloped white flower buds, stalk and thick green leaves. However, the stalk and the leaves are usually discarded and only the head (white curd) is eaten. The thick green leaves that surround the head protect the flower buds from the sunlight. The lack of exposure to sunlight does not allow chlorophyll to develop. Therefore, color is not produced, and the head remains white in color.
  • Cauliflower is originated in the Northeast Mediterranean and is presently cultivated in most of the countries of the world.
  • Cauliflower can be had in the raw, cooked or pickled form, though it the raw form that holds the highest nutritional value.
  • The allicin in cauliflower is known to promote a healthy heart and reduce the risk of strokes. It has been associated with the maintenance of a healthy cholesterol level.
  • Cauliflower contains selenium and vitamin C, both of which work together to strengthen the immune system. Being rich in folate, it is known to help improve cell growth and replication.
  • The high amount of fiber in cauliflower improves colon health and can even help prevent cancer.
  • Recently, it was found that cauliflower contains ‘indole-3-carbinol’, a substance that can prevent breast and other female cancers.
  • The glucosinolates and thiocyanates, present in cauliflower, increase the ability of liver to neutralize potentially toxic substances.
  • To keep the flower head (white curd) creamy white, they should be protected from sunlight. This is done by tying the close-by leaves together over the heads when the heads are the size of a quarter. Over-maturity makes the heads get loose and grainy surfaced, and lose much of their tenderness.

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