Alu-gobi or cauliflower cooked with potatoes is a North Indian staple. It is also a dish that has no fixed recipe beyond calling for potatoes and cauliflower. Like most dishes from the home-cooking repertoire (which is almost all of Indian food) it is more a genre than a specific dish. While generally there’s a lot more cauliflower than potato in it, I’ve had and made versions where the ratio was 1:1. I’ve had and made versions that have a lot of gravy and I’ve had and made versions that are completely dry. I’ve had and made versions with pureed onions and had and made versions with fried onions. And I’ve had and made versions with various combinations of spices. I make various versions of it often. Today I have for you a recipe for a simple but extremely tasty version—as long as you are a fan of coriander seed.
- 1.5 lbs cauliflower, broken into small florets
- 3/4 lbs potatoes, diced small
- A small piece of cinnamon (optional)
- 1-2 tez patta/dried Indian “bay” leaves (optional)
- 1 tspn cumin seeds
- 3-5 dried hot red chillies
- 1 tblspn coriander seed, coarsely ground
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 1 tspn freshly crushed garlic
- 1 tspn freshly crushed ginger
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1.5 cups water
- One pinch sugar
- 2-3 slit green Thai chillies (optional)
- Oil, preferably mustard oil
- One pinch bhaja moshla or garam masala
- Dhania/cilantro for garnish
- Heat the oil and add the cinnamon and tez patta.
- As soon as they begin to darken add the cumin seeds and dried red chillies. Stir till the cumin seeds split, not letting the chillies scorch.
- Add the minced onions and stir-fry over medium heat till the edges begin to brown.
- Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for another minute or so till the raw aroma is gone.
- Add the coarsely ground coriander seed and stir-fry for another minutes.
- Add the potatoes, mix completely and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or till potatoes are half-done.
- Now add the cauliflower, mix thoroughly and stiry-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar and cook till tomatoes have completely broken down.
- Add the water and fresh green chillies (if using), mix, cover the pan and simmer till the potatoes are done.
- Mix in the peas and simmer for a few more minutes.
- Sprinkle the bhaja moshla or garam masala over, garnish with chopped dhania/cilantro and serve with chapatis or rice.
- If you want to be fancy you can first fry the potatoes, remove from the pan, then fry the cauliflower and remove from the pan and then add them back after making the gravy.
- You can puree the onion, ginger and garlic with the tomatoes and add them all together. If you do this make sure to saute the sauce till the raw smell of onion is completely gone and the oil separates.
- You can make this with more or less gravy as you choose—just adjust the salt accordingly.
- If you use garam masala instead of bhaja moshla, let the pan sit on the heat for another minute or two at the end after adding it.