I have to admit, growing up I wasn't a fan of Indian food. It wasn't until my university days in Leeds in the north of England that I started to appreciate the flavor profile of Indian spices. I think the first time I really enjoyed Indian food it happened to be in a restaurant in the middle of Hyde Park in Leeds that was once a public restroom (that story is for another time.) However, even now I find myself steering toward the less pungent dishes available, such as kormas and toned down (usually cut with cream) tikka masala. It's strange, I'm a lover of all foods spicy in other cuisines, piling on the jalapeno in any Mexican dish makes me a happy chap.
A friend asked me if I was familiar with Aloo Gobi, he was reminded of a scene from the movie Bend It Like Beckham, when the character Jess played by Parminder Nagra makes reference to the dish; "Anyone can cook aloo gobi, but who can bend a ball like Beckham?" Admittedly I hadn't heard of the dish, but I have seen the movie, but once the ingredients were explained to me I knew it was something I had tried before as a side dish. Aloo Gobi is traditionally a spicy vegetable dish of potatoes and cauliflower, with various spices and hot pepper. It's definitely one of those dishes that can be adapted to an individuals taste, mixing up the spices and adding in different vegetables.
Aloo Gobi would be served well with lamb or pulled chicken as a main dish.
- 3 medium russet potatoes, diced
- 1 cauliflower, small-medium florets
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3-4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 4 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric, ground
- ½ -1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbs ginger, crushed
- 1 2inch piece of ginger, peeled julienne
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
- ½ lime
In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over medium to high heat, add the cumin seeds followed by the onion and saute until the onion is soft and slightly translucent. Add the crushed ginger and garlic and cook for about ten seconds then adding the jalapeno and potatoes for a few minutes. Stir in the turmeric and a pinch or two of salt, slowly mixing in the cauliflower - ensuring not to break the florets. Stir until all of the ingredients are coated in the spices. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and garam masala and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart (I use two wooden spoons gently lifting the vegetables), add the squeezed lime, sliced ginger and cilantro, season with salt to taste. Serve with garlic naan and enjoy.