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 Aaloo Gobi, 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…”
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 this Aaloo Gobi out in the internet-verse where others can have access to it as well.
Recipe Note: This isn’t a restaurant style curry, but one made home style with less spices, less ‘masala’. Seasoning correctly to taste is key – a little extra salt or that squeeze of lemon juice goes a long way1
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
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.
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.
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.