Cauliflower Stalk Bai (Soupy bhaji)

Today I am posting a recipe from Mizoram. Every day this month I will post a recipe from a different state in India.

Mizoram is one of the northeastern states of India. I remember when I was in grade school my sister had performed a stick dance. Two people kneel facing each other holding the ends of long bamboo sticks one in each hand. They hit the sticks on the ground and against each other in a rhythm. The dancers step in and out. It is a beautiful dance. I remember all my friends and I were mesmerized by this dance and wished we could try it too.

Food from Mizoram is not known to be vegetarian and Baruk agrees with that in his blog. But he has this lovely vegetable soup recipe to show us that people in Mizoram also love their vegetables. 

A soup style vegetable side dish where the primary ingredient is something I routinely throw away - cauliflower stalk and leaves. I would never have imagined the resulting soup to be so flavorful.

Do you like clear broth soups that are full of flavor but not overloaded with ingredients and spices? Then this soup is for you. The next time you are ready to throw away the stalk and leaves of the cauliflower - don't ! Try this soup instead.

Whole foods where I got the cauliflower had already removed most of the leaves. If you have a cauliflower with leaves use them all.

You will need
Stalk and leaves from a cauliflower
1 small potato
7-8 green beans
3 tbsp. brown rice
2 red chillies
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. baking soda
salt to taste

Wash and cut the cauliflower stalk into cubes. Cut the leaves into small pieces. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in cubes. Cut the ends of the beans and cut them into 1 in long pieces.

Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a pan. Add baking soda and salt to the boiling water. Now add the rice and let it cook for medium heat uncovered. When the rice almost cooked add the beans and potato. After a couple of minutes add the cauliflower stalk. Add the red chilies and paprika.

Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer. When the vegetables are cooked turn off the heat.

Serve hot.

Cauliflower stalk can get slimy when overcooked. Make sure you add it last so it is just cooked but not slimy.


  1. baking soda is an interesting ingredient here, i think it will help in reducing the cooking time for other veggies , good one

  2. That's a good one..guess we just had couple of dishes to choose from..

  3. Weather is too chilled here, i can happily enjoy that bowl of bai rite now, very delicious.

  4. Same pinch yet again! Mild soup but I compensated by adding some chilli flakes :)

  5. looks inviting. wonderfully light and flavourful

  6. Today I am reading so many versions of this soup. Looks like a filling nutritious soup...

  7. Simple and Nutritious soup with cauliflower.

  8. Simple delicious and nutritious soup. Love it.

  9. Such a healthy and comforting soup..nice way to use the cauliflower stalks..

  10. what a nice healthy and light soup

  11. Yes, this sounds like my soup! Cauliflower stalk bai seems to be the recipe for this state. Came across so many versions.

  12. Wow, again using a usually wasted part of the vegetable to make a lovely soup!

  13. Same pinch! I made this too but with mixed veggies. Your version looks great :)

  14. thats an hearty and delicious bai from mizo, looks yummy .. loving your version !!

  15. I guess quite a few of us made this..I did not add any veggies. .wish I had. .This one looks perfect.


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