Saturday, April 24, 2010

Aloo Gobi: It'll Turn You Into an Indian Grandmother Too

I was told last night after I served Aloo Gobi that I "could pass for an Indian grandmother." I guess I should take that as a compliment. Though, I suppose I probably do have the liver of an Indian grandmother at this point... so why not the cooking skills too?

Anyhow, aloo gobi is a classic dry curry of potatoes and cauliflower that originates in the Punjab region. It is great served with rice, chapati, or naan. Note that this recipe calls for ghee. Ghee is clarified butter than can be found at any Asian grocer or natural food store. You can also make it easily at home using directions found online. If you're not on the butter program, substituting canola oil is fine (though not quite as tasty).

Prep time: 2 cocktails

2 jalapeño or Serrano chilies, chopped
2 tsp whole cumin seed
1 inch ginger piece, chopped finely or grated
½ tsp black mustard seeds
3 bay leaves
¼ cup ghee or oil
2 medium-large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 –inch cubes
1/2 head of cauliflower, divided into florets
1/2 cup water
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp salt
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Combine chilies, cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, and bay leaves in a small bowl. Set aside.

Melt the ghee in a wok on medium heat. Add the spice mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the seeds turn a shade darker and become nice and aromatic. Add potato and cauliflower. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until the veggies begin to brown just a bit and you can smell the potatoes really beginning to cook.

Add water, turmeric, coriander, paprika, salt, brown sugar, and bell pepper. Reduce to low/medium-low and saute until all the veggies are tender, but not mushy… about 15-20 minutes. If it starts to stick, add a couple tablespoons of water.

Add cilantro, stir well and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Serve over rice or with naan or chapati.

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