Aalu Gobi – Spicy Potato and Cauliflower Curry

This one’s for me. I know, I know, that sounds terrible. But it is.

It is so hard to cook like someone else, but for people like me who grew up only eating their mothers cooking so much of our sense of what food ought to taste like comes from mama. The other day I had this sudden craving for this dish, but truth is I had never made it before and I have had several versions of it which I do not like very much. So I took a risk, called my mother and this is the recipe she gave me. And it works. Mama Jafri, bless her heart, isn’t necessarily the most accurate recipe relayer – often times when I would complain about how something didn’t turn out well she would say “oohhh… but if you wanted to make it really good then you should have…”

Aalu Gobi / Spicy Potato and Cauliflower

Like on what planet am I aiming to cook mediocre food?

Anyway, points to Mama J on this one.

The reason I say this one is for me is this: I cannot afford to lose it. And if I scribbled it down  on a piece of paper somewhere then I most certainly would. Seemed best to put it out in the internet-verse where others can have access to it as well.

Aalu Gobi
(Serves 4)

1/2  cup diced onion
3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
3 cups potatoes diced into 2 cm pieces
2 tomatoes diced
3 cloves garlic crushed (1/2 tsp garlic paste)
1 heaped tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste (or about a heaped tsp)
1/4 cup oil
Chopped cilantro and/or green chilies for garnish

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Heat oil in a large saucepan or wok – remember you have  cups of veggies and you want room to move them around. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute till the edges start turning golden brown. Add the garlic/garlic paste and stir fry for a minute, then add the spices and fry for another minutes or so. If the mixture starts to stick then add a splash of water.

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Now add your vegetables and stir to coat them with the spices. Add the tomatoes, stir. Cover, bring the heat up and then drop it to low and check on it every 10 minutes. My veggies took 20 minutes to cook through. If they start to stick then add a splash of water. Once they are cooked through check for seasoning.

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Adjust if necessary – you can add more red chili and more salt, but adjusting the coriander and turmeric at this point isn’t a great idea – those spices taste best in this when cooked off first. Top with cilantro and/or green chilies and eat hot with some naan.

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36 Comments

  1. So instead of us meeting for a playdate, you do this and I sit in boring office talking about client issues 🙁 going to make this in the next day or 2 will let you know 🙂

    1. I’m Canadian but I love these foods and I’m going to try this tonight. I just wanted to let you know that where you miss your mama’s cooking, you accidentally put a naughty word in by spelling cooking wrong. you have a ‘c’ in the the third place. I don’t know if you can change it….just thought I would let you know.
      Laurel

  2. It looks so tempting! I went through an aloo gobhi phase when I was in school. I ate only aloo gobhi everyday for quite some time….lol. Yep…It does taste heavenly with lemon 🙂

  3. The best compliment I ever received for my cooking was “it tasted just like Amma’s” Cooking and eating is such a sensory experience, isn’t it? And so laden with elusive memories.

    I make a very similar aloo gobi, just more gobi and less aloo;and sometimes a handful of peas. 🙂 and ever since I saw Bend It Like Beckham, the name aloo gobi has become synonymous with the movie.

  4. we make it the same way too! Aloo gobhi is my absolute comfort food. I can have it with anything… roti, rice and even a slice of bread. A big thumbs up to your mom 🙂

  5. Aaah, I’m all too aware of the infamous post-its with mom’s recipes lol!
    This looks great! I didn’t grow up eating many sabziyaan, mostly because my father is a true karachiite and loves meat, but as of the past few years my tastes have been evolving and I’m growing to love veggies. One of my friend’s mom makes AMAZING allu gobi, and I’ve been pulling at her to give me the recipe, but it’s one of those “andaza” recipes. Yours looks very similar to that! Yeeeee so excited! 🙂

  6. My first time to make/eat aalu gobi, but since I’m eating a whole food plant based diet, I had all the ingredients on hand! Very yummy – I cut the recipe in half and cooked with no oil. Thanks!

  7. i usually get take out at our Indian restaurant but wanted to learn how to cook Indian food myself. All I can say is “Dee-ee-ee-licious”!!! I cooked with coconut oil. I’m vegan and this dish is definitely a recipe I will frequently use. I’m even having it for breakfast today! Thanks for sharing and I’m looking forward to cooking your other recipes. Take joy!

    1. Mary Lou! Thank you thank you thank you both for drying this recipe and for taking the time to share your thoughts! You have made my day 🙂

  8. Deelicious! Thanks for the helpful conversational style. So many recipes assume you will know to do certain things at the right moment – not!! Funny how we try to live up to family standards. Many years ago in Scotland my Aunt Agnes was the family baker par excellence. After sampling my first few attempts she told my mother “She’d better marry well for she’s no hand wi’ the pastry.” I didn’t bake again for years!

    1. your story made me laugh out loud! I think Scottish families must display the frankness of Pakistani ones. My aunt whose a plastic surgeon would regularly tell me “it’s a pity we can’t do anything about your small eyes”.

      thanks for sharing and for your comments. Both made me really happy 🙂

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