Aloo Gobi – Potatoes and Cauliflower
I love finding recipes with “weird” sounding names (to me). As a Midwest Chicago Ashkenazi Jewish girl, my comfort zone isn’t with South Asian dishes, but I’m always willing to try something new with aromatic spices. When I saw the recipe for Aloo Gobi on the New York Times website, I knew I had to make it. We almost always have roasted cauliflower and potatoes on Shabbat, so a dish that combined the two was extremely appealing. I also had a bunch of the spices in my pantry, but not all, and had to do a little shopping. For the spices that weren’t readily available without a trip to The Spice House, I used similar spices that I already had on hand.
Here’s how the experience went.
Making Aloo Gobi
The biggest challenge, in my opinion, in making Aloo Gobi is in having all the spices on hand. If you plan ahead you can order the spices online (I’ll post some affiliate links below in the recipe), but if you don’t have time to order/shop there are some basic ones you probably have already in your cabinet that would make great substitutions.
The Aloo Gobi Spices
The spices you probably have already are turmeric and ground coriander. Maybe not, but I definitely use turmeric all the time in rice, chicken, roasted cauliflower and even homemade chicken soup. If you don’t already have a jar of turmeric, I strongly recommend getting the nutritional powerhouse to keep in your spice cabinet.
I actually thought I had cumin and cumin seeds in my spice drawer.
I was so frustrated because I had actually been at the store shopping for spices and could have bought it but of course I didn’t. How many times has that happened to you???
So…I went on our block Whatsapp Chat and begged for cumin. Luckily my Dear Friend Shoshi had ground cumin. I sent Dear Husband on a field trip with a little bowl to get my required amount of ground cumin. It basically took a villiage to make this recipe.
Going online I found that ground cumin and cumin seeds can be used in exactly the same quantities interchangeably, so I ended up using only ground cumin – because that’s what Dear Friend Shoshi had. The recipe still turned out delicious, but if you’re going to make this as the recipe states, be prepared. I’d highlight this ingredient in yellow if I could.
Kashmiri Red Chile Powder, Garam Masala and Amchur
Interestingly enough I happened to have Garam Masala and Amchur in my spice drawer. I must have been experimenting at another time and bought them. Hooray for me. Garam Masala is often used in Indian cooking. Amchur (or Amchoor) is basically ground dried mango and I used it when making Sumac Chicken with Baby Eggplant which is absolutely delicious!
I did some searching in local stores for Kashmiri Red Chile Powder but the only place that had it was The Spice House and I just didn’t have the time to go pick it up.
According to the NYT: Look for Kashmiri red chile powder, a mild chile powder, at South Asian markets and online. To substitute, combine ½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika with a dash of cayenne.
I punted and ended up just using some red chile powder I had in my cabinet and called it a day.
The rest of the ingredients in Aloo Gobi
While I normally avoid onion and garlic (they really don’t like me), I wanted to make this dish as authentic as possible. I used fresh garlic, onion and ginger and got to use my cute little box grater to grate the ginger. It was super fun.
Using Yukon Gold potatoes is a must. They have a buttery creaminess that really makes this dish extra special. I would not substitute any other type of potato unless absolutely necessary.
How long it takes to make Aloo Gobi
The NYT recipe states that it takes around 10 minutes of prep time and one hour of cook time. This is legit and with the exception of the 20-25 minutes when the recipe is simmering, you really need to be hands on.
The result is totally worth the time.
Here’s the recipe for Aloo Gobi – Cauliflower and Potatoes
I made this recipe directly from the New York Times Aloo Gobi recipe which can be found here. While I didn’t actually create this recipe, I can tell you it’s worth the effort to make it. My family loved it, and paired with (soon to come) Sheet Pan Turmeric Chicken and Rice, it produced an amazing Shabbat meal.
“Wonderfully fragrant and loaded with flavor thanks to garam masala, coriander and ground cumin as well as the mild heat of Kashmiri red chiles, this South Asian potato and cauliflower curry can be served as a vegetarian main or side dish. Preparation of aloo gobi (its name means “potatoes cauliflower”) can vary, but the one constant is that the vegetables must be cooked until tender but not falling apart. Some recipes call for deep-frying the vegetables first, while others roast or boil them; here, they’re partially sautéed, then finished by steaming, so everything is done in one pan. Tomatoes aren’t always typical in aloo gobi, but they add extra moisture and acidity to the dish. This version skews toward the drier side, so add just enough water to help the vegetables finish steaming. For a little tang, sprinkle on some amchur (dried mango powder), or drizzle with lemon juice. Serve aloo gobi with roti, or basmati rice and naan.”
Original recipe found here.
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 2 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green chile pepper, such as serrano or Thai bird’s eye, slit in the middle
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1(1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chile powder (see Tip)
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 1/2 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder), or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Cilantro leaves, for serving
- In a large, deep skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the potatoes, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are par-cooked and a little golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl. Add a little more oil to the skillet, if necessary, add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften on the outsides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Stir the cumin seeds into the pan and toast until they crackle and are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and green chile; cook, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the onion is soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle on a little salt and the turmeric; stir, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Return the potatoes and cauliflower to the pan, then stir in the tomatoes, garam masala, coriander, ground cumin and Kashmiri chile powder. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water around the sides of the pan, stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks, until the potatoes are almost fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (The vegetables will release liquid as they cook; drizzle on more water to help steam the potatoes, if necessary.)
- Season with salt. Re-cover and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and not mushy, and the cauliflower is tender but still has a bite, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Add more garam masala, if you like. Sprinkle with amchur and top with cilantro.
Look for Kashmiri red chile powder, a mild chile powder, at South Asian markets and online. To substitute, combine ½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika with a dash of cayenne.
I used avocado oil for the grapeseed or vegetable oil.
As I didn’t have cumin seeds, I substituted 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin. I was careful to stir it quickly to ensure it didn’t burn.
You can make the substitution for Kashmiri red chile powder, however I used a not-so-strong chili powder I had already and the result was delicious.
Keywords: Aloo Gobi, Cauliflower, Potato, Potatoes, Vegetable, Gluten Free, Indian Cooking, Healthy, Pareve, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Meat Free
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