Saturday, September 09, 2006

Aloo Gobi

Aloo gobi is generally a delectably spicy Indian dish with potatoes and cauliflower in a flavorful curry sauce. I order it at Indian restaurants all the time. However, replicating it at home has proven to be difficult. I keep trying new recipes, and they all seem to come up short. Tonight's recipe, yoinked from the CLBB (and apparently originally found on the Bend it Like Beckham DVD extras), was probably the most disappointing one I have tried in my entire life. It had so many spices in it - garam masala and turmeric and cumin and ginger, etc. - but still managed to be one of the most flavorless Indian dishes I've ever had.

I did not alter the recipe much, except to reduce the amount of oil (to just a couple of tablespoons), add peas (I like my aloo gobi to have peas in it), and increase the cooking time (to about 30 minutes, because the potatoes took a long time to cook). I served it with some excellent store-bought tandoori naan, which I heated and sprinkled with melted butter, garlic, and cilantro. That naan was the best part of the meal by far. I would not make this particular aloo gobi recipe again.

Aloo Gobi
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into small pieces
Large bunch of fresh coriander, separated into stalks and leaves and roughly chopped
Small green chilies, chopped into small pieces (or one teaspoon chili powder)
1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and cut evenly into eighths
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces
1 LARGE 28oz can of diced tomatoes with juice (or two regular cans)
Fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Fresh garlic, chopped
1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 Teaspoons Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Garam Masala

Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and one tablespoon of cumin seeds to the oil. Stir together and cook until onions become creamy, golden, and translucent.

Add chopped coriander stalks, two teaspoons of turmeric, and one teaspoon of salt. Add chopped chillis (according to taste). Stir tomatoes into onion mixture. Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly. Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce plus a few tablespoons of water (ensuring that the mixture doesn't stick to the saucepan). Ensure that the potatoes and cauliflower are coated with the curry sauce.

Cover and allow to simmer for twenty minutes (or until potatoes are cooked). Add two teaspoons of Garam Masala and stir. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry. Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for as long as possible before serving.

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