Aloo Gobi – Potato & Cauliflower Curry

This is my earliest memory of making curry. 1981, the London Sivananda Yoga Ashram, my home at the time, is hosting a distinguished group of Indian scholars for a week of lectures on Vedanta philosophy. Declaring European fare as “bland” our guests have brought their own cook who is promptly dispatched to the kitchen.

A Brahmin, the highest of the Hindu casts, Rita handles food exclusively with her right hand, her left dedicated to supporting a long, shimmering fold of silken sari. She requests assistance. My luck is in.

Fetching, carrying, chopping and washing-up while Rita pours forth precious pearls of wisdom, I suggest taking notes. Raising a (right) hand in a detaining gesture she stops me: “In India, Mahadev” (that’s my yogi name) “we smell our food. Use your nose, and you’ll never forget.”

I can remember every detail of that first aloo gobi, a dish of perfect simplicity made into art by a final flourish of garam masala, a spice-blend incorporating some the world’s most sensuous and expensive spices.

Check out our masala recipe and unleash your nose for your best ever garam – it’s the spark in the machine.

aloo-boby - indian potato and cauliflower curry

Aloo Gobi: North Indian Spiced Potato and Cauliflower

Simply cooked with onions, cumin seed and turmeric the dish is perfumed with mango powder or lemon juice and freshly ground garam masala added after cooking. Enjoy with flatbreads such as chapati,, roti or naan.
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Course: any time
Cuisine: Indian, north Indian, pakistani
Keyword: chilli, curry, vegetables
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil, ghee, or a mixture of the two
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 bay-leaves
  • 2 fresh green chillies (with or without seeds - it's up to you finely chopped
  • 2 fresh tomatoes with or without skin - it's up to you) roughly chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 a cauliflower plus some of the paler, tender inner leaves cut into small florets / leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh or frozen peas (optional)

Cooked-In Spices

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric root

Garnish

  • 1 tsp dried mango powder (amchoor) OR
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp garam masala freshly ground
  • fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped

Instructions

  • For best results lightly brown the cauliflower florets and chopped leaves in batches and set aside. 
    Skip this step if you want to reduce the quantity of fat used
  • Add the cumin seeds to the remaining oil and fry until it just changes colour
  • Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, adding a splash of water as needed to stop them burning
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, chillies and bay and fry for a few seconds
  • Add the potatoes and sautée for a few minutes stirring to stop them sticking
  • Add the tomatoes, softern for a few minutes, then add the cauliflower florets, turmeric and mango powder. If you're using lemon instead, add it at the very end
  • Mix well, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked to your taste. Add the odd splash water as needed to prevent sticking or burning
  • 5 minutes before the end of cooking add the peas if you're using them
  • Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice (if you haven't already used mango powder) and garam masala and mix in
  • Garnish with chopped fresh coriander
  • Serve with rotis or other flat breads