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Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower & Potato Curry) is a popular Pakistani and North Indian vegetarian curry. This recipe is authentic, easy to follow and packed with flavor. Tested to perfection!
Aloo Gobi is a traditional dish in which potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi) are cooked in an onion-tomato masala (or simply curry).
Cauliflower and potatoes are both flavor-absorbing veggies (similar to zucchini), so it's no surprise they make a great curry. Aloo Gobi can be traced back to Punjab (a region of northern India and Pakistan), and like many Punjabi dishes, it often features on the menus of restaurants in India.
Not only does this recipe use a key technique that's crucial to getting the most flavor, but it also has a secret ingredient...
The typical Aloo Gobi consists of all the usual suspects - onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilli, spices, etc.
While this recipe includes all of these traditional ingredients, it's topped off with...
Soy Sauce! (or gluten-free soy sauce or tamari).
Now you may be thinking… Soy sauce in a South Asian dish?
The best way I can describe what soy sauce does is that it enhances the umami factor of Aloo Gobi.
If you're not familiar with the term "umami," it's actually called the "fifth taste," after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. It's that deep, intense flavor that's hard to describe, but now that I pointed it out, you can already taste it.
Key Technique - Searing and Steaming: Restaurants often deep fry the potatoes and cauliflower before adding them to the ready-made curry base or masala. Here the potatoes and cauliflower are baked/baked (called bhunai) and then slowly steamed without water (called dum). Adding water can lead to tasteless, soggy vegetables. Cooking the veggies in their own juices brings out their natural sugars, creating a more nuanced flavor and juicy texture.
This recipe calls for easy-to-find ingredients commonly used in South Asian cooking:
Oil: Pretty much any oil will work here. Even olive oil should be fine.
Cumin seed: an important spice in South Asian cuisine.
Onion: Usually yellow, but red onion also works. Feel free to use the pulse function of your food processor to finely chop it.
Garlic + ginger: You can use a mortar and pestle to crush them or toss them in a food processor to chop them finely.
Tomatoes: Both Roma and truss tomatoes do well here. Again, feel free to pulse to coarsely chop in a food processor.
Ground spice powders: You will need ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, black pepper, and red chili powder (or cayenne pepper).
Cauliflower: The recipe calls for a small cauliflower, which yields about 450 grams of cauliflower florets. See below how to cut cauliflower for this curry.
Potatoes: Use quick-cooking potatoes because of their soft texture and faster cooking time. If you choose a different variety, you may need to add/cook it before adding the cauliflower (similar to how Aloo Baingan cooks).
Green Chilli: Adjust according to spiciness preference.
Optional: Soy Sauce: This is not a traditional Aloo Gobi ingredient, so this is an option.
Garnish: Lemon or lime, garam masala and chopped coriander.
Chop cauliflower into florets:
Step 1: Add the cumin seeds and onion and fry until the onions are golden brown. This is an essential component for forming the base (or masala) of many curries.
Step 2: Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry so that the raw smell disappears and the onions become even deeper in color. Once the onions are a deep golden brown, add the tomatoes along with the spice powders and salt. (If you add the tomatoes too early, the acid in the tomatoes will prevent the onions from browning properly).
Cook the tomatoes here until fully cooked until you see the oil separating from the curry.
Step 3: Add the potatoes, cauliflower and green chilli and stir-fry until softened. Cover and let the vegetables steam over low heat. If there is still moisture left from the vegetables after cooking, fry it. If you notice that the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pan, deglaze them with a splash of water. You want the veggies to be extremely tender so there's no resistance when you scoop them up.
Aloo Gobi is a very flexible and versatile dish. Here are some ideas:
Cilantro Mint Chutney, Cucumber Raita or plain yogurt go well with Aloo Gobi. Like most curries with a drier consistency, Aloo Gobi is usually served with roti, naan or other bread. You can also combine it with rice, serve it in a wrap, make tacos with it, use it as a filling for parathas and much more!
Aloo Gobi will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I wouldn't recommend freezing it because you'll notice the diced potatoes lose flavor and texture after they're thawed.