I know. Indian food two posts in a row.
In my defense, I have that great Indian corn dish that I just posted a day or so ago. I needed another dish to complement it for a proper Indian meal.
I’ve always particularly enjoyed the vivid turmeric-stained aloo gobi dishes that one always finds on Indian buffets–big succulent pieces of cauliflower and potato sauced in a spiced tomatoey sauce. (I looked it up. Tomatoey is a word.)
Ronald Reagan made this observation about people who pick out their favorite jellybeans from a jar: “You can tell a lot about a fella’s character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful.” Call it a character flaw, but I confess that I usually fish the big chunks of potato out of the buffet dish at the expense of the very healthy cauliflower.
Don’t get me wrong. I like cauliflower very much, but I’m Irish. For me, a day without potatoes is a day without sunshine.
I served this dish (and the spiced Indian corn dish previously posted on this site) with fluffy basmati rice. I should have had a yogurt raita as an accompaniment, but I didn’t have yogurt on hand. Next time. For sure.
A special thanks goes to my teacher friend Carol for her gift of a gourmet bottle of garam masala which I used in this dish. It was perfect.
This is an adaptation of a recipe from Kurma Das’ website. The link to his recipe appears at the bottom of this post.
Recipe: Cauliflower-Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi)
1/4 C. ghee or oil
1/2 t. black mustard seeds
1 t. whole cumin seeds
1/4 t. whole fennel seeds
1 t. minced fresh ginger
2 jalapeno chilies (seeded and chopped)
4 medium potatoes (cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
1/2 medium cauliflower (cut into small florets)
2 medium tomatoes (blanched, peeled and diced)
1/2 t. turmeric
1/2 t. garam masala
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. brown sugar
2 t. salt
2 T. coarsely chopped fresh coriander
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Chopped red onion and chopped red cherry tomato (for garnish)
Heat ghee or oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add mustard seeds when oil is hot and cook seeds until they begin to pop. This will happen in a matter of seconds if your oil is hot. Add whole cumin seeds and whole fennel seeds to the hot oil mixture and saute quickly until the seeds begin to darken. (Do not burn.) Add the minced ginger and diced chiles and saute them in the mixture for a minute or two. Add potato and cauliflower pieces to this mixture and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the spices will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, salt and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to mix.
Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally. The tomato will give off its juices to make the sauce in this dish. You can add a little water to the pan if there is not enough liquid in the tomatoes to make the sauce. Cook until potatoes and cauliflower are tender, 15 or 20 minutes.
When vegetables are cooked, garnish with fresh coriander, chopped red onions and a bit of chopped red tomato.
Cook’s Notes: I like my potatoes in this dish to be well done but not mushy. I microwaved my potatoes (in their skins) for a few minutes before I peeled them and added them to this dish. As the dish cooked, I kept checking the potatoes by piercing them with a knife. Also, I have found that the cauliflower cooks more quickly than the potatoes. Toward the end of cooking in the covered pan, I took the cooked cauliflower florets out of the pan and set them aside. When everything was ready to serve, I gently stirred the cauliflower back into the dish.
Here is the link to the original recipe: