Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cauliflower and Potatoes: Aloo Gobi

This was another dish that Aarti made on her episode of favorite Indian take out dishes so I thought I'd try it alongside the curry dish. We don't eat much cauliflower; it's not a favorite vegetable of either of ours but I was anxious to see if we'd like it cooked differently with lots of spice added.

The potato and cauliflower take on a similar texture after they are cooked; it's hard to tell a difference between the two in the bowl. It was very flavorful and easy to prepare. I thought it had some heat behind it but I'm much more sensitive to spicy hot than others are. This is also a very inexpensive side dish!

Cauliflower and Potatoes: Aloo Gobi
2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows, or 2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large serrano pepper, split down the middle leaving halves attached
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (I haven't tracked this down yet, so I just used some ground cumin)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (similar size to cauliflower)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro leaves, to garnish

Directions
Mix the Ginger-Garlic Paste, coriander, turmeric, and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. This is a simple wet masala (spice mix). Set aside.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the serrano pepper, wait 30 seconds, and then add the cumin seeds and wait until they're done spluttering.

Add the wet masala (careful, it will also splutter). Cook until the paste thickens, deepens in color slightly, and oil oozes out of the perimeter of the masala, about 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and potatoes, stirring to coat the vegetables with the masala. Season with salt and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove the lid, stir, and cook until the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Ginger-Garlic Paste:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil

Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.

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