Though seen as a purely Indian dish, Aloo Gobi (aloo gobhi/alu gobi/potato and cauliflower curry) is widely and frequently consumed across South Asia, most prevalently in Pakistan and Nepal. Happily, it’s also one of those Asian dishes that has its perfectly manicured feet firmly under the table of British cuisine.
Even in Britain there are many, many differing recipes for aloo gobi so let’s not get too bogged down in authenticity. The main thrust of this ubiquitous dish is that it contains both potato (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi). There are no real ground rules when preparing aloo gobi. Some have a sauce, some are drier. In many recipes the vegetables are sautéed, but in others they are deep fried.
At the end of the day, no recipe is necessarily better than any other, but what you’ll find below is my personal favourite, both for its flavour and relative simplicity. Easily whipped up in under 30 minutes, it is not only frugal, but perfect for those sunny summer nights after work when all you really want to do is get outside.
Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower Curry)
- 1 head cauliflower, in florets
- 300g new potatoes, in rough chunks
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
- 2 dried chillies, slit
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of root ginger, finely chopped
- a little finely sliced red onion to serve
- Take a large, lidded pan and heat the oil. Tip in the ground cumin, chillies and turmeric. After the spices have been cooking for 30 seconds add the tomato, garlic and ginger.
- After 1 minute has elapsed add the florets of cauliflower and chunks of potato. Sauté the vegetables over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, making sure every side gets coated in the oil.
- Add a splash of water to the pan, turn down a little, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. You may need to add a splash more water to keep things from sticking.
- Serve immediately as a main course or side dish with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of finely sliced red onion.
Cost: Available more or less year round, cauliflower is cheap whatever the weather. Do a little shopping around and you’ll easily pick up a large head for £1 or less. Indeed, the relative cheapness of the main ingredients used here allow for an exceptionally frugal recipe. The entire dish, enough for 4 decent portions, should set you back no more than £1.80.