Aloo Gobi-Intro to the Indian Potato and Cauliflower

Last night pots were banging and knives were flashing, since it was my second Indian cooking lesson!  The head chef was my roomate Nikita.  The featured guests were Mr. Potato and Mr. Cauliflower- old buddies in her kitchen, but newer acquainances to me (growing up I never ate cauliflower!).  But there was no awkwardness.  For Nikita flawlessly handled the introductions, and together with our honored guests we pooled forces and created a mouth-watering north Indian vegetable dish called Aloo Gobi (literally translated to "Potato and Cauliflower").
Cheerio!  Let the Fun Begin.
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 potato, cubed
1 head of cauliflower, broken into large florets
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
3 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp coriander powder
3 tsp garam masala
2-3 tsp chili powder (modify for desired spice level)
salt to taste
Add 2 tablespoons of oil and sizzle whole cumin seeds for a few seconds.  Add chopped onion and cook until onions are completely transparent and brown (it looks burned but that's perfect).  Keep the heat on medium so that the onions don't blacken.
Add all spices, except salt.
Add chopped tomato and 1/4 cup water.  Stir and cover pan to steam for 5 minutes on medium heat.  This medium heat allows the spices to infuse into the mixture, without cooking off the flavor.  The goal is to create a pasty onion-tomato-spice mixture.

Add salt.
Precook potato by microwaving for 3-4 minutes in a bowl with a little water.
Add the semi-cooked potato and the cauliflower.  Stir in with onion-tomato mush.  Add a little water and cover pot to steam cook for 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is almost cooked.   To finish off the cauliflower, allow the aloo gobi to cook uncovered.  This will dry out the mixture.

Enjoy with roti (pictured below) or naan!

Nikita explained that a traditional Indian dinner consists of 4 things: roti/naan, yogurt, vegetable, and a lentil/curry dish.  The vegetable dish, such as Aloo Gobi, is usually a dry side dish to complement a curry-like lentil or legume dish.  Yogurt is an essential side for any wet dish, such as the lentils.
Naan is bread made from white flour.  Think of the traditional bread served at an Indian restaurant.
Roti is a bread made from whole grain flour.  Tonight I ate my Aloo Gobi with roti.
Don't forget!  I'm giving away Michael Pollan's newest book Food Rules!  Deadline to enter is midnight (EST) January 25th.  Click here to enter!


Lia Chen said...

Interesting! roti = bread, we also use that term here. I love this recipe as I only knew cheese naan with Indian curry in my Indian food dictionary. Thanks for sharing Rachel :)

Happy Little Bento said...

Mmm! I LOVE aloo gobi! And roti too!!
That stirring pot of spices looks mouthwatering.

Gina; The Candid RD said...

This looks AMAZING! I love Indian food. It's probably my favorite ethnic food available. I'd love to take a cooking class one day, and learn about the spices and other ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Emily said...

So jealous that you have an Indian roommate. One of my friends in grad school was Indian and made the most amazing meals. I have not been able to duplicate them at all. :-( Thanks for the recipe, though. It doesn't look to hard, and maybe I won't fail this time.

Meredith (Pursuing Balance) said...

This looks yummy! I love Indian food (just not too spicy!).

D weazy said...

rachel this is awesome! i invite u to follow my blog at
hope the east coast adventure is successfull so far for u :)

Nicole, RD said...

What a fun way to serve cauliflower! Looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Mm, yum rach. my mom looves this dish.

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Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.
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