Friday, March 16, 2012

Authentic Aloo Gobi

I LOVE Indian food. I might have mentioned, I'm slowly cooking my way through The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. But I found myself with fresh potatoes and cauliflower from my local co-op, and there wasn't a recipe for aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower curry) in the book. So I set off to make up my own.

The results were dreamy! I guess the book's techniques are rubbing off on me because this recipe was outstanding. Easy too. I really think the secret to success here is the generous use of fresh cilantro, added early on in the cooking process. The veggies infused with the fresh herb, along with the Indian spices, are intoxicating.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into bite-sized florets
  • 3 medium potatoes (red skinned really nice), peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed (about 1 cup chopped leaves, packed)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 14.5-oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup or so of water
  • 2 tsp garam masala

Cut up the cauliflower and potatoes. You can do this in advance, keeping the cauliflower covered and the potatoes in cold water. It might be wise to de-leaf, wash, and chop the cilantro well in advance too, since this is really a time suck. (Doing fresh herbs in advance helps me greatly with time management!)

Heat canola oil and cumin seeds in a very large saucepan.

When the seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and saute for about 7-8 minutes over medium heat. You want to cook the onions to transluscent, not brown them.

Add cilantro, turmeric, and salt. Stir until well-combined.

Add tomatoes, juice and all, and the garlic and ginger. Stir well until heated through.

Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce plus water. Toss gently so that the veggies are coated with the sauce.

Cover pan and simmer for about 20 minutes. Test veggies to be sure they're tender.

Add the garam masala, stir again, and serve. I find that this tastes best if you let it sit in the pan (off the heat) for about 15 minutes, served warm rather than hot.

Serve with a whole grain and any Indian side dishes you like.