aloo gobi

aloo gobi is my new favorite dish. it’s a fragrant mix of cauliflower (gobi), potatoes (aloo) and spices. the one-pot hot vegetarian dish is light and healthy, and simple to make. don’t shy away just because you’ll need a few unfamiliar spices! i made this in between a marathon dvd session last weekend, when i didn’t really want to stand in the kitchen but rather wanted to couch surf on end… but aloo gobi can be partially prepared ahead, easily.

i wouldn’t really change much the next time, but i’d love to try it with carrots or chickpeas.

1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into equally sized, large chunks
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large vegetable onion, peeled and chopped
1 cm piece red (hot) chili, deseeded and minced
1 piece of ginger, peeled and grated
olive oil
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground cilantro seeds
1-2 tsp. salt

1/2 lemon, juiced
1 plain yogurt
more cilantro leaves, chopped

cook the potatoes pieces and the cauliflower florets separately in salted water, until almost done (i like my cauliflower still al dente, so i only cook it for 4-5 minutes and the potatoes for about 30 minutes, depending on size). drain an cool both veggies, and set aside.

in a wok or a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. now add the cumin seeds and roast for half a minute. add the ground spices now: cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cilantro seeds, chili, and, while stirring constantly, roast for another half a minute or so, until an intense fragrance fills the air. but make sure not to burn the spices.

now, add the onion, garlic, ginger and minced chili, and sweat until the onion is golden. deglaze with the diced tomatoes. add a cup of water and the salt to the mix and let the tomato-spice-mix simmer for a few minutes with the lid closed. then, add the potatoes, cauliflower and cilantro leaves. reduce the heat and let cook for 5-10 minutes. season with more salt and ground chili or harissa, if necessary. add the lemon juice*. serve with a dollop of yogurt and some extra cilantro sprinkled on top.

* note: most recipes i found don’t include lemon juice, but since i love patata harra (which is an arab mezze dish, that includes a lot of lemon juice and cilantro) i thought some fresh lemon will add a nice tangy twist to the heavy spiced pot. you could also skip it though, or replace it with a dab of yogurt or coconut milk.

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