Cactus Subzi

Cactus is a latin word which means a spiny plant. It is called #nagfani in Hindi, #Nagfana in Bengali & Marathi, #Nagamalli in Telagu and #Chaptukalli in Tamil. Though eating cactus is very popular in #Mexico but in India we have been using the cactus plant & fruit for various treatments. Also many farmers in India grow them around their fields to naturally protect the crops. Cooking cactus is like cooking Bhindi, quite easy & surprisingly very tasty. All you need to know is to know is how to cut a cactus. A lot of varieties of cactus that grow are quite beneficial for us in many ways.

I am cooking a variety of #Cactus called #Nopal or #Nopales which has a pad like shape. The same variety also bears a fruit called #PricklyPear which is that comes with a lot of health benefits. Both the Nopal Cactus & its fruit (prickly pear) are riddled with lots of thorns but carefully removing them gives us a cactus we can eat. Cactus is long know for its many health benefits like high on antioxidants, regulates blood sugar, reduces cholesterol, eliminates hangovers & high on vitamins, minerals & fibre.

Eating cactus fruit – Prickly Pear, prevents from peelia i.e. jaundice. It is specifically high in calcium, potassium, vitamin A, C & B, Iron & Magnesium. Currently there are no know cactus species that are poisonous but getting stung by a cactus thorn/spike causes irritation, pain and ay lead to bacterial infections. #KunalKapurRecipes #KunalKapur #ChefKunal #ChefKunalKapur

Serves 2

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Asafoetida(heeng) – ¼ tsp

Dry red chillies – 2 no

Cumin – ½ tsp

Fennel seeds (saunf) – 1/ tsp

Garlic chopped –  tsp

Cactus (Nopales variety, cleaned & cut into strips) – 3cups

Salt – to taste

Chilli powder – 1tsp

turmeric – ½ tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Dry mango pwd(amchur) – 2-3tsp

Onion chunks – 1 cup


Heat a pan and add ghee followed by heeng, dry red chillies, cumin and fennel seeds. Once they crackle add garlic and lightly brown it. Add the cleaned and cut cactus, increase the heat and toss it for 5-8min. Add all the powdered spices and lower the flame and cook for 2-3 mins.

Add onions, saute and then cover and cook till the cactus is soft and tender. Check seasoning and remove to a plate and serve with a roti or parantha.