Friday, 20 June 2014

Aloo Gobi





The word "aloo" or something phonetic of the like is used within several South Asian languages for potato. Similarly the word "gobi" denotes cauliflower (and sometimes cabbage). The term "aloo gobi" refers to a popular and classic Indian dish of curried potatoes and cauliflower. It is usually a dry curry, meaning there is little sauce that clings to the main ingredients rather than them swim in it and it is commonly served with bread. It packs a flavour punch while remaining hearty, wholesome, filling and vegetarian-friendly. Not to mention it's quick and simple to make.

There is not one definitive way to prepare this dish. This is just my version. Feel free to play around with this recipe. Indian recipes, especially curries, are fantastic for that because there are so many different spice combinations you can use. You could pair this dish with any kind of bread you like. Some examples that would be great are roti, paratha, chapati and naan. In this recipe I used whole wheat chapati, but I confess that they came from a take out place on my street. lol. I'd love to make homemade Indian bread from scratch on the blog though. It's only a matter of time. 

I like to add peas to aloo gobi because I find it adds colour, texture and sweetness though it is not necessarily traditional.  


Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 red skin potatoes, roughly chopped to 1/2" pieces
1 onion, finely diced
1/2" ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp red chili powder

Fresh cilantro (garnish)
1 bay leaf
1 pinch of chili flakes (optional or to taste)
Salt
Pepper


To begin, prepare a simple curry paste. Combine the turmeric, ground coriander and chili powder in a small bowl or ramekin.







Then add about 3 tbsp of water and stir to combine into a thin paste. The water will not only dissolve the spices but help prevent them from burning. Set aside.





Take a large pot or pan (that has a tight-fitting lid) and warm the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the whole cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Allow to fry for 30-60 seconds or until the mustard seeds pop and dance in the oil. Be careful not to burn them. Frying the spices will infuse the oil with their flavour, but burning them will turn it bitter.




Then add the onion. I recommend a little salt at this stage to assist in breaking the onions down.



 
Sautée until the onions caramelize and develop a golden colour (about five minutes).




Add the ginger, garlic and bay leaf and sautée until fragrant (a minute or two).




Then add the prepared curry paste that you made earlier and stir to incorporate.




Then add the potatoes and cauliflower.





Stir thoroughly before adding about a cup of water and continue to stir until fully distributed.





Season with additional salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.





Place a tight fitting lid over the pot and let it cook for about fifteen minutes or until the potatoes or tender. Every now and then remove the lid and stir the ingredients. You may need to add a little more water as required.




When the potatoes are about tender, add the frozen peas if you like. In the time it takes you to stir them in they will defrost completely (less than a minute).




Then add fresh, chopped cilantro and serve immediately.




As I mentioned, aloo gobi is best enjoyed with Indian bread. One of my favourite eating experiences is tearing apart warm, fresh flatbread and using it to shovel something spicy and saucy into your mouth. Any chance to relive that sounds good to me. 




As you may have noticed this dish is completely vegan so you know that it's wholesome and easy to digest. It's very hearty and satisfying. You should definitely try this recipe. It makes a great main feature or even a side dish. Since it doesn't take very long to make it's ideal for a weeknight dinner that you can enjoy any time of the year. If you like Indian food but don't have much experience making it this is a great dish to try as a beginner because it's not complicated and hard to mess up. The depth of flavour that you get in Indian cuisine is hard to match. Try this at home as soon as you can!

I have some exciting news, guys! It's Friday evening and I have all next week off work. I have some vacation time but I'm not going anywhere which has freed up a bunch of time for me to work on some new posts for the blog. I already have a few ideas underway that I cannot wait for! Be sure to come back.

Until then. Thanks again for checking out the blog!

B

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