My great grandmother would cook curried potatoes and cauliflower for the family three times a week. She liked it very spicy and used red pepper flakes not only for the heat, but also for the vibrant red color the spice exudes.
Aloo Gobhi is a well-known and loved dish in Punjab, a region of Northern India where my father was born and raised. In my house, it was typically eaten and enjoyed during lunch.
My love affair for this delicacy began in 1981 during a childhood trip to India for my uncle’s wedding. My grandmother passed down her recipe to me on this one very hot summer day. I remember peeling the potatoes and smelling the aromas as she added the cumin seeds, fresh ginger, turmeric, salt, and red pepper flakes to the hot burning oil in a kadhai (an Indian wok) over high heat, as she squatted next to the open air pit.
We used to eat this dish with raita, a yogurt condiment of shredded cucumbers and a raw onion and tomato salad dressed in light spices with a splash of lemon juice and chat masala.
I have fond memories of this comfort food. The beauty is that it’s so versatile. There are many renditions of Aloo Gohbi, as it varies from region to region. I treasure my family’s heirloom recipe, and will always associate it with the great mothers in my life. Over time, the recipe has evolved to East meets West, where I have added my own personal touch with the use of coconut oil, sweet potatoes and green peas (on occasion). iHeart purple cauliflower too!
You can serve Aloo Gobhi on the side or on a bed of raita (since the consistency is thick). It can serve as a nice tapas type appetizer, too.
Aloo Gobhi is special to me because it also happens to be my own mother’s favorite. The main ingredient is LOVE, and I am so happy to share its simplicity, aroma, and flavor with you all! May you and your family treasure this gem for generations.
Teena Arora emphasizes holistic eating and feeding the body with nutritious foods that are plant-based, seasonal, farm to table, re-invented Indian cuisine that is healthy, quick to prepare, and robust in flavor and medicinal qualities.
Aloo Gobhi—Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes with Raita
1 head cauliflower; cut into 1” pieces
2 medium sized sweet potatoes; peeled and cubed
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp Currysutra curry powder
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger; finely sliced
5-6 garlic cloves; minced or sliced
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp red chili/cayenne powder
½ cup water
1 tbsp butter (optional) (garnish)
½ – 1 tsp Currysutra garam masala (garnish)
½ tsp red chili flakes (optional for garnish)
pinch black pepper (garnish)
¼ – ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)
Cut and divide cauliflower into 1” florets; wash thoroughly and drain.
Heat oil in a wok or saucepan on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic; fry for 1 minute.
Add cumin seeds, turmeric, curry powder, salt and red chili powder/cayenne.
Stir and then, add water.
Add cauliflower and potatoes; mix and stir evenly.
Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the cauliflower pieces are tender.
Add butter, reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove the cover/lid and increase the heat to get rid of any excess water.
Add black pepper and stir slightly.
Transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with garam masala, red chili pepper flakes, and fresh cilantro.
Note: To make the entrée spicy, simply increase the amount of red chili powder and add diced green Thai chilies.
Raita—A yogurt condiment
1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or (red chili)
¼ to ½ tsp Currysutra garam masala
¼ cup diced red onion
½ cup cucumber
1 green Thai chili diced (optional)
½ tsp of raita masala (optional) for garnish
¼ cup fresh coriander/cilantro (garnish)
1. Mix all the above ingredients, except fresh coriander and raita masala.
2. Garnish with raita masala and fresh coriander/cilantro.
3. Chill, and then it’s ready to serve!