Aloo Gobi (North Indian Spiced Potato with Cauliflower)

This is from the beautiful recipe book The Indian Cookery Course by Monisha Bharadwaj. My flat mate Suchita bought it back from Delhi on her travels back to her motherland. Having very limited cooking experience with Indian cuisine, Suchita gave me a few pointers along the way and shared with me her preferred methods over Monisha’s.

I love how Indian cuisine can incorporate all the bright colours of the rainbow, through spices and fresh ingredients to create a feast for the eyes and your stomach!

If you have little experience making Indian Aloo Gobi is a great dish to try first, if you follow the instructions you cannot fail! As you can see the result is beautiful and I can tell you now it is delicious.

So my top tip in making Aloo Gobi would be; go fresh. This does not mean expensive, this dish is actually very inexpensive. It is vegetarian and the main ingredients are easily accessible throughout the year (in New Zealand anyway). This is also a great excuse to wander down to your local market, therefore avoiding expensive supermarkets and also going local is a great way to save the planet from nasty carbon. Take a bus or use it as your Sunday walk and be an even greener Kiwi by taking reusable shopping bags!

Since it was my maybe second time ever making an Indian dish I put some time into the preparation. I took a pew and cut up all the vegetables, thoroughly read through the instructions, and consulted my in-house expert Suchita (don’t feel bad if you don’t have one of these on the payroll, cooking is more fun when you just wing it anyway!).

What I discovered is if you want to eat this roti I would recommend cutting the vegetables to half the size recommended so you can scoop it up easier with the yummy sauce. Of course feel free to have it chunky also, this is what I have done and it’s still super yum.

The other challenge with Indian cooking is, do you have access to all the spices? Now supermarkets are pretty good at stocking most things nowadays, have a wander down the International section if you can’t find something on the normal shelf. Also you can find fresh herbs like coriander at your visit to the local market. But for everything else, substitution is key. Handily Monisha tells me for the Aloo Gobi I can substitute amchoor (dried mango powder) for lemon juice, what a GB.

My tip for substitution would be to research the actual ingredient, what form does it come in? What purpose does it have in the dish? Is it reactive, have a certain flavour i.e. sweet or sour, does it add substance to the dish? e.g., swapping potato for kumara. Mr. Google is super helpful, but remember you want to substitute with the right function in mind!

Suchita’s 5 Aloo Gobi Tips:

  1. If you need more colour add more turmeric!
  2. This is a dry dish, do worry about losing some moisture during the cooing process.
  3. For all those other hungry people like me, use a cover on the pan to cook the potato faster.
  4. Monisha adds the Garam Masala at the end, but you can also add this at the beginning of the cooking process to get the fragrance and flavour stronger.
  5. Add the coriander stalks! Adds a stronger coriander flavour and also some crunch.

I followed these tips and I must say I’m an Aloo Gobi convert for sure! This dish is sooo tasty with just the right amount on heat. I am a spice fan so use fewer green chilies than recipe if you are not.

 

Happy cooking!

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