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Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is a well known dish in the West (certainly in the UK) and is normally eaten as a side dish (our carnivorous 'meat and two veg' attitude again). But aloo gobi can be very yummy on its own and my family and I have eaten this as a main dish with other side dishes.

This is a moderately dry dish from the North of India, probably originating in the Punjab, but there are variants of it all over India. One in particular is a version from Maharashtra which I had often when I was on business in Poona. With the addition of peas, this is very popular in this area where it is often eaten for lunch with a simple flatbread.

Basic Ingredients

1 small cauliflower.
2 medium large potatoes.
2 plum tomatoes (or 200g tinned tomatoes).
1 large onion.
2 cloves garlic.
Fresh green chilli.
inch (1 cm) root ginger.
Juice of a lime.
1 tablespoon yoghurt.
Coriander leaves for garnish.
Oil for frying

1 teaspoon coriander.
1 teaspoon cumin.
teaspoon fenugreek.
1 teaspoon black mustard seed.
pinch asafetida.
teaspoon turmeric

Notes on Ingredients

Tomatoes. I nearly always used tinned tomatoes for this - it is quite a dry dish and I find that tinned tomatoes add a little more liquid than fresh ones.

Chilli. As always the quantity is up to you. I have used 1 scotch bonnet in this and that was pretty hot. You can use less, remove the seeds or preferably just use milder chillis. Of course you can use more if you're a chilli-head.

Asafetida. This is optional, I like to add this to potato dishes as it adds and extra onion flavour and is a good digestive.

Yoghurt. Is also optional I have seen aloo gobi dishes both with and without - I like it. You can substitute milk or just water.

Oil. I usually use ghee to give a more buttery taste but have also used mustard oil.

Basic Method

Heat a dry frying pan and roast the coriander, cumin and fenugreek.
Allow these to cool and then grind to a fine powder.
Finely slice the onions.
Make a paste of the garlic ginger and chilli.
Peel potatoes, dice them and wash with cold water.
Cut cauliflower into florets.
Cut the tomatoes into small pieces.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan
Add the mustard seeds and the asafetida and fry until the mustard seeds start to pop.
Put in the onions and the garlic/ginger/chilli paste and fry until the onions are soft.
Add the ground spices and stir in well frying for another minute or so.
Add the tomatoes, let them heat up then add the potatoes and cauliflower and lime juice.
You may need to add a little water at this stage if the dish is too dry to cook properly.
After about 5 minutes add the turmeric and stir in.
Add the yoghurt and stir this in.
Turn the heat right down, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are done.
Turn out into a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.

Notes on Method

Potatoes. If I am short of time I sometimes blanche the potatoes first in a steamer or microwave

Water. Aloo gobi is quite a dry dish so you need to check that it doesn't get too dry and stick to the pan - add water and stir as necessary. Another alternative is to transfer to a slow cooker once all the ingredients have been added.

Aloo gobi can be used as a side dish to almost any Indian meal (or even a roast dinner for that matter). As a side dish these quantities could accompany up to about 6 meals. If you are cooking this as a main meal (and it is fairly strictly vegetarian) then serve with a flat bread like chapati and maybe another vegetable dish like okra.

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