Aloo Gobi – My Brother’s Favourite Curry.

Aloo Gobi- or Potato-Cauliflower is a very unassuming name for this flavor packed superstar of a curry. My brother was a picky eater as a child and this was one of the few dishes he would eat. 

I used to stand by mum’s shoulder watching her cook this, absorbing all her tips on the proper technique for cooking the tomato onion gravy that is the heart of this dish. 

I’ve included all of my mum’s tips here. But drop me a note if any of this confuses you. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (any neutral oil will do)
  • 1  large shallot (or red onion), peeled and finely chopped.
  • 1  bunch of fresh coriander, washed and separated into stalks and leaves and then finely chopped (keep them separate)
  • 2 green chillies (Serrano peppers) chopped into small pieces 
  • 1  large cauliflower- cut into evenly sized (smallish) florets
  • 3  large potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces (around the same size as the cauliflower florets)
  • 3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (or 2 cans of diced tomatoes) blended to a paste
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1  teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (Paprika will do in a pinch)
  • 1 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam masala (any curry powder will do in a pinch). 
  • Salt to taste 

METHOD

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the chopped onion and cumin seeds to the oil.
  3. Stir together and cook until the onions turn golden brown (i.e. Caramelized). Patience- you have to do this with low to medium heat, or the onions will burn instead of caramelizing.
  4. Once the onions are caramelized, add finely chopped chopped coriander stalks, 1/2 tsp turmeric , and a pinch of salt. Stir through once.
  5. Then add the chopped chillis, ginger and garlic, and let them blister and fry (follow your nose here. The mixture is ready for its next step when the garlic and ginger lose their pungent raw smell and mellow out)
  6. Once that’s done add the blended tomatoes, chilli power and roasted cumin powder into onion mixture and stir through.
  7. Let the tomatoes cook. They need to loose all their moisture and the tomato onion gravy needs to reduce and become jam like in texture.
  8. You know your gravy is done when the oil separates from the tomato onion mixture. This takes about ten minutes of stirring at a low heat.
  9. Add the potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce, one teaspoon of garam masala, and a few tablespoons of water (ensuring that the mixture doesn’t stick to the saucepan).
  10. Ensure that the potatoes and cauliflower are coated completely with the curry sauce.
  11. Cover your pan and simmer until the potatoes and cauliflower is cooked.
  12. Garnish the curry with finely chopped coriander leaves when the curry is done.

You can enjoy this curry with fresh chapatis, roti bread, naans or rice. 

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