Aloo Gobi is a Punjabi classic made with potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi). These humble vegetables may not sound like much, but they happen to be the perfect cavas to paint on the vibrant flavours of ginger, garlic, onions and cumin. The turmeric does it’s part by imparting a golden saffron hue that makes this dish a real head turner.
After going through a phase of steaks, roasts and confits, I was feeling my inner herbivore crying out for some love. These primal urges come and go, especially in winter when there just aren’t many appealing veggies in the markets. It’s probably my body’s way of telling me that I need less protein and more fiber. That said, I’m a carnivore at heart and the thought of having something as prosaic as a salad for dinner puts a real kibosh my appetite. My solution is to turn to the food of my South Asian brothers (and sisters).
I love Indian food because it’s inexpensive and relatively simple to prepare, but more importantly, it never fails to light up my eyes, nose and tastebuds with its piquant flavours and vivid colours — even on the dreariest of days. Aloo Gobi is one of my favourites, because it’s filling, without being a total carb bomb and the leftovers are good for a couple lunches during the week.
It may look like there are a lot of ingredients that go into this dish, but if you cook Indian food with any frequency, you should have most of these ingredients in your pantry already. I’ve given this version of Aloo Gobi my own twist with the addition of some honey, lemon juice, and peas to balance out all the flavors and colours. I like to serve this with some pulao which is essentially an Indian pilaf, but it’s also fantastic with some plain basmati rice or naan.
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 Tbs grated garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 Tbs grated ginger (about 1″ knob)
2 medium onions minced
1 chili minced (I used a habanero but if that’s too spicy you can use a Serano chili)
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp honey (or vegan sugar)
1/2 C water
3 yukon gold potatoes cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 small head cauliflower florets cut up
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 C green peas
cilantro hand torn (for garnish)
Heat heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until very hot and add the oil. Add the mustard seeds, cumin and cloves and stir until the spices begin to crackle. Add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant then add the onion. Fry this mixture until the onions are soft and just starting to turn brown, then add the chili, garam masala, turmeric, salt, honey, water and potatoes.
Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, add the cauliflower and cook until everything is tender, another 30-40 minutes. Add the lemon juice and peas at the very end and serve the Aloo Gobi garnished with cilantro alongside some basmati rice and raita.