March 31, 2014

Aloo Gobi Curry

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Indian cauliflower and potato curry is a great vegetarian main as well as a zippy side dish. I’ve seen some gorgeous cauliflower this season, so I perfected this traditional dish and have been making it nonstop. The leftovers are a bonus: I turn them into an amazing Aloo Gobi Soup.

2 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each: turmeric, pepper
1 small onion, grated
2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tsp (10 mL) puréed ginger
2 tbsp (30 mL) ghee
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
3 yellow-flesh potatoes (about 1 lb/500 g), peeled, cut in 1 to 1-1/2 inch (2.5 to 4 cm) chunks
1 cup (250 mL) canned tomatoes with juices, chopped
1-1/2 lb (750 g) cauliflower florets (1 to 1-1/2 inch/2.5 to 4 cm across top)
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped cilantro

In small bowl, stir together salt, garam masala, chili flakes, turmeric and pepper. In another small bowl, stir together onion, garlic and ginger.

Melt ghee in 12-inch (30 cm) skillet on medium heat until shimmery. Add cumin, stirring 1 minute, until seeds are fragrant, popping and starting to brown. Stir in onion paste 20 seconds. Stir in salt mixture 20 seconds. Stir in potatoes to coat, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, scraping bottom of pan. Add cauliflower. Cook 1 minute, stirring to coat. Pour water over top. Turn heat to medium-low, cover and cook about 30 minutes, stirring at halftime, until potatoes and cauliflower are tender and most of liquid has evaporated.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle lemon juice over top and stir gently. Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with cilantro.

  • The timing of this dish can be tricky, as you want the potatoes and cauliflower to end up equally tender just as the liquid evaporates. Cutting pieces to the proper small size is crucial. Also, I only use about half a cauliflower so the pan is not crammed.
  • Grating onion using the large holes of a box grater is an Indian kitchen trick. Don’t use a food processor instead – the onion may become bitter.
  • Garam masala is a spice mixture sold in Indian grocery stores and some supermarkets.
  • I purée the ginger using a kitchen rasp. You’ll need a piece about the size of a walnut, or 1/2 oz (15 g). 
  • Ghee is Indian clarified butter. It is sold in many supermarkets. If you don’t have any, use 1 tbsp (15 mL) each oil and unsalted butter.
  • Aloo Gobi is meant to be a so-called “dry” curry. It shouldn’t be saucy at the end of the cooking time, but if something goes awry, turn the heat up to medium-high and stir to evaporate excess liquid. 

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial