Punjabi Cauliflower & Potatoes with Ginger (also called Aloo Gobi)

Source: World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

This everyday cauliflower and potato dish is generally eaten with flatbreads (rotis or paranthas) as well as a yogurt relish and some pickles. You may serve it as part of any meal, along with greens, beans, and rice or bread. (At KYL we served it at potluck with shelled edamame on the side for anyone wanting a little more protein hit!). This dish is complemented very nicely by a cucumber raita (recipe below).

  • Peanut or coconut oil, enough for shallow frying (or, you could roast the veggies with a bit of oil on them).

  • 1 lb boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into thick 2 x 1 x 1 inch fries

  • 1 head of cauliflower (1 ¾ lbs), cut into delicate florets according to directions below.

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped finely.

  • 2 tablespoon peeled finely chopped fresh ginger.

  • 1 tsp curry powder.

  • ¾ to 1 tsp salt.

  • ¼ tsp cayenne.

  • 2 tsp ground cumin.

  • 2 tsp ground coriander.

  • 2-3 TBS coarsely chopped fresh cilantro.

  1. Put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium heat. When it is hot, put in the potatoes and fry until they are golden and almost tender, about 10 minutes. Lift the potatoes out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Alternative, lightly coat the veggies with oil then oven roast them.

  2. Turn the heat to medium-high, put in the cauliflower florets and fry for 3-4 minutes, until they are golden brown. Lift the cauliflower out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

  3. Turn the heat off. Remove all the oil from the frying pan except for 2 tablespoons (the extra oil can be strained and re-used).

  4. Turn the heat to medium-high and put in the ginger and onions. Stir for 1 minute. Now return the potatoes and cauliflower to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium.

  5. Put in the curry powder, salt, cayenne, cumin and coriander. Stir gently to coat the vegetables with the spices. Add 3 tablespoons of water. Stir once and cover the pan. Turn the heat down to low and cook very gently for 4 minutes.

  6. Add the cilantro and toss gently. Serve hot. Serves 4.

How to cut cauliflower into florets: First, remove the leaves and cut off the thick central stem as high up near the head as you can. Now begin to break off the outside florets with as much stem attached to them as possible. It is the stem that provides the elegance to florets. The outside florets tend to be large and chunky. As you get to the inside of the head the florets will get smaller and so will the stems. Use a small paring knife and cut the center section lengthwise into as many sections as needed so that you have a head no wider than 1 inch and a stem about 1 ½ to 2 inches long. In some cases you will be creating a stem with what is actually the core of the cauliflower. Go back to the chunky outside florets. Each can be divided into 2, 3, or 4 delicate florets of the same size that you prepared earlier but start cutting lengthwise from the stem up. This will ensure you have a reasonable stem for each little head.

Gujarati Cucumber “Raita” Kheera Raita (From World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey)

This was served at KYL as a topping for the “Punjabi Cauliflower and Potatoes with Ginger.” May also be eaten as a snack!

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp sugar

  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

  • 1 medium cucumber (about 5 inches) peeled and grated

  • 1 TBS peanut or sesame oil

  • ½ tsp whole brown mustard seeds

  • ¼ tsp whole cumin seeds

Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the salt, sugar and cayenne and mix. Add the cucumber and mix again. Put the oil in a small frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard and cumin seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, a matter of seconds, pour the contents of the frying pan over the yogurt. Stir to mix. Serve chilled.


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