Aloo (Potato) and Gobi (Cauliflower): Aloo and Gobi are cooked with myriad of spices. A staple in most Indian restaurants, the name “Aloo gobi” generally refers to this aromatic combination of cauliflower and potato usually cooked in the Northern parts of India, esp. in Punjab. This ever popular dry vegetarian curry has been brought to worldwide fame in Gurindar Chaddha’s Bend it Like Beckham. If you haven’t seen the movie, you have got to see it; no not because of its association with “Aloo Gobi” .
Although the term “Aloo Gobi” typically refers to the Punjabi recipe, the combination of potatoes and cauliflower are cooked all over India; the same dish can differ in cooking process, the spices used and obviously the taste depending on the part of India it comes from. In Bengal, it is a much lighter dish cooked with less spices, in Southern India mustard seeds and curry leaves may be used instead of the spices that have been used here. Here is another variation of cauliflower and potatoes that I had posted quite some time back; Cauliflower and Potatoes in Cream Sauce.
I am not claiming here that is the the exact way the Aloo Gobi is done in Punjab; but this one tastes darn good and a big favorite in our family. The spices and ingredients here are the same as used in the northern region of India. I have however adapted the procedure to what works best for me. I have sauteed the potatoes and cauliflowers once before I have actually cooked along with the spices. You can skip this if you feel that you are in no mood for a long process.
Aloo Gobi / Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes
- 1 Head Cauliflower
- 3 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 Small Onion, Halved and sliced thin into half moons
- 3″ Fresh Ginger, grated/minced/made into a paste
- 3-4 Green Hot Peppers, sliced
- 1 Large Tomato, grated/pureed
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric, divided
- 1″ stick of Cinnamon
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Green Cardamon
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder (Optional)
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped for garnish
- 1/4 Cup Oil, divided + 1/4 Cup Oil
Wash and drain the cauliflower florets. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and salt on the florets and give them a good shake so the turmeric and salt roughly coats them.
Wash and drain the potatoes. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and salt on them and give them a good shake so the turmeric and salt roughly coats them.
Take 1/4 cup of oil and pour about half of it in a thick bottomed pan. Heat the oil and saute the cauliflower florets in the oil at medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, while tossing frequently, till there are light brown spots on some of the florets. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil (the other half of the 1/4 cup) in the same pan. Saute the potatoes the same way you did the cauliflower. Remove and set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil (the 1/4 Cup). Add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom; when a sizzle and get fragrant add the cumin seeds. When the seeds sizzle add the onion slices and fry at medium heat till they are clear and soft. Add the ginger,peppers and the tomatoes and fry for about 2-3 minutes everything gets mushy and soft. Add the turmeric, salt and the coriander powder and fry some more for about a minute or two; you will see the oil separate on the sides and entire mix will slightly bubble.
Add the pre sauteed potatoes to the pan and toss well along with all the cooked ingredient mix to combine well. Cover and cook at low to medium till the potatoes are about half cooked. Now add ll the florets of the cauliflower to the pan and toss well; all the pieces should be well coated with the mix.
Add 1/2 cup warm water to the pan and cover; cook at low to medium heat till the cauliflower florets and the potatoes are fork tender. Check to see that they do not get mushy.
Once they are fork tender, uncover, increase the heat and cook at high heat till there are almost no liquid left in pan. This is kind of dry dish and whatever spice mix remain will just coat the potatoes and florets; there should no liquid sauce left in the pan.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with naan, paratha or any Indian flat bread.
We had some Indian red chilli pickle and yogurt on the side along with some parathas.
Both my girls are big suckers for cauliflowers and this happens to be one of their favorite dish. They sniff around the house when I am making Aloo Gobi and cannot wait to sit down and start their meals. A well done dish from home land – a well deserved comfort food!