A Month of Side Dishes: Gobi Aloo (Spicy Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes)

Month of Side DishesDecember is BlogHer's Month of Side Dishes, and we want you to share your favorite side! Click here to see how to play along. And check out all the sides we're craving in the Month of Side Dishes series.

 

 **Please note: all food posts are from my previous blog The Flexitarian Kitchen. I've kept them here because... well, they're good recipes. And it's late. And I'm tired of adjusting my settings. Think of these recipes as the free prize in the bottom of the cereal box!

 

I have to preemptively confess that I am not normally a cauliflower fan. No siree Bob, not at all. Cauliflower has always been at the top of the trifecta of what I call my Big Three: vegetables I won't touch with a ten foot pole – or a ten inch skillet (the other two are cooked carrots, and beets in any form. Thanks for asking). I can't explain my hostility toward this pale and unassuming vegetable. It's never really done me wrong. It's just there: one of those deep-seated and inexplicable food aversions that most of us have.

 

Until.

 

Until I accidentally tried this once at an Indian restaurant, and it changed my life forever. Gobi Aloo has made me a better person, a kinder person, a person with clear skin and a winning smile. Life before this dish is a dim memory, one I strive to forget.

 

Well, OK, that's a little over the top. But this stuff is good. It's cheap, it's quick, it's Indian food, hel-LO. What's not to love? You need this dish in your repertoire.

 

All this yammering is getting in the way of the good stuff though. So just two quick words, and then we'll get on with things. First, this is a dry curry: it's not supposed to have a sauce or a gravy on it. Second, “Gobi” is Hindi for “cauliflower,” and “Aloo” translates to “potatoes.” You are now modestly multilingual. You're welcome.

 

And with that, I give you the star of our show:

 

Gobi Aloo (spicy Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes)

 

For 2 big main dish, or 4 side dish servings you will need:

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1” cubes

  • ¼ C vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets (or a 1 lb bag of frozen florets, halfway defrosted. I go this way.)

  • ½ C water (¼ C if you're using frozen cauliflower)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into shreds

  • 2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Salt

Here's the rule again: If veggies grows above ground (beans, peas, corn), you start them cooking in boiling water. If veggies grows underground (potatoes, carrots, um, rutabagas) you start them cooking in cold water. If you start root veggies in boiling water the outside cooks to mush before the inside is done.

 

Toss the potato cubes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover them. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Don't let them get soggy! Drain them well.

 

Heat 3 TBSP of the oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. You can use a wok if you have one, and I won't be jealous. Much. I wish I had a wok.

 

When the oil is hot add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and minced jalapeno. Let them sizzle together for a few minutes. Smell that? Mmmm! This is gonna be really good.

 

Toss in the cauliflower and the water into the pan and stir it all together on medium-high heat for six or seven minutes. You want the cauliflower crisp-tender. Add the potatoes and stir-fry for another 2 minutes or so. Add salt to taste and remove to a pretty serving dish.

 

Heat the remaining oil in the now-empty pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the garlic and cook until the garlic jusssssst starts to turn brown. Pour this over the Gobi Aloo and sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.

 

Vow to never slander cauliflower again.

 

Let me know how you like it!

 

Follow me at http://theflexitariancooks.blogspot.com

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