Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Aloo gobi: Indian potatoes and cauliflower – mild version

Aloo gobi

I arrived at this recipe after some experimentation with different recipes for this classic Indian dish. In reality, I never measure for it, but this is close enough to the aloo gobi that I make. I generally don't put chilli peppers in it unless I have a cold, chilli being an excellent way of unclogging a stuffed nose.

Serves one as a main dish, two as a starter, three to four as a side dish.

2 medium potatoes, cubed
equal amount of cauliflower, divided into florets
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cm piece of ginger root, grated or very finely chopped
1 tsp yellow mustard seed
1 tsp cummin (or to taste)
2 tsp coriander (or to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
garlic to taste
1/2 cup water
1 tbs cooking oil (2 tbs if you are not using a non-stick pan)

For hot version, add as much fresh, chopped chili pepper as you can stand and remember to serve the raita – it's cooling.

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds and put a lid on the pan. Allow seeds to pop for about 20 seconds, lower the heat and add cummin, coriander, turmeric, garlic, ginger and onion, mix well and fry gently until the onion begins to turn transparent. Take care not to burn. Add the cauliflower and potato pieces and mix to coat with spices. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the water and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potato pieces are cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Serve as a side dish with meat, or as a main course with chappatis or naan and a raita (yogurt salad).

1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 tsp cummin seeds
1/2 tsp ground cummin
1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
dash of salt

Stir salt, spices and cucumber into yogurt and serve chilled. Very good with spicy dishes.

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