Bust Out the Cauliflower

Sometimes I love my veg box delivery and sometimes… well, sometimes, it serves its purpose. I started ordering the veg box because I’m not keen on many of the green leafy ground growers. I thought that if someone came to my door every other week shoving things I hate into my home, I’d be forced by sheer cheapness at having paid this man to shove these offensive bits at me to actually eat veggies.

There have been beets which I have pawned off on my son. There have squashes and other root vegetables that I detest. I have taken all of these in good stride. But, when for the third delivery in a row, I have gotten an entire head of cauliflower, I start getting irked. Yes, you can puree cauliflower and mix it with potatoes. Yes, you can steam them and roast them and put them in pasta dishes. Yes, you can eat them raw dipped in hummus. I know, because I’ve done all of it.

And, now as they often say, for something completely different. Bust out the Indian spices, it’s aloo gobi time. Aloo is potato and gobi is cauliflower. And, that’s really what this dish is… potatoes, cauliflower, and spices. You might it served with peas (ick) or tomatoes (yum). I really do like the sweetness that the tomatoes bring, so here is a recipe I like based on one I found at food.com. (I’ve made some significant changes.)

Aloo Gobi

  • ¼ C vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 2 t turmeric
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained of half the juice
  • 1 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed (I know, I’m crazy, but it doesn’t quite taste the same if it’s all pressed or all chopped.)
  • ¾ large cauliflower, leaves and core removed, cut into large chunks
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces
  • 1 t garam masala

Over medium-high heat vegetable oil in a very large saucepan. Add the onion and cumin seeds to the oil. Stir together and cook until onions become translucent (I’d go with 5-10 minutes.)

Add turmeric, salt, and chili powder. Stir for a bit. Then, add the tomatoes with half the liquid from the can. Cook into bubbling happily.

Add ginger and garlic, mixing thoroughly.

Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce. Mix gently to make sure that all of the vegetables are covered with the sauce. This is supposed to be a dry dish (so not swimming in sauce), but if it looks like the vegetables are going to stick and scorch the bottom of the pan, add a bit of water.

Reduce heat. Cover and allow to simmer until potatoes are cooked through. (The original recipe said 20 minutes, but I found it was more like 40. The cauliflower can still be a bit crunchy, but no one wants crunchy potatoes.) Check on the liquid level a few times. If it looks like you need more, splash in some water. But, if you’ve added too much liquid from the tomatoes, uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Add the garam masala and stir. Turn off heat, cover and leave as long as possible before serving.

Results

This recipe makes a ton… enough for eight side dishes or four main dishes. Again, there’s not enough sauce to serve over rice (but it includes potatoes, so I’m not sure you’d need to serve it over rice). And, because of the limited chili powder, this isn’t an overly spicy dish. The original recipe called for 2 t garam masala, but I since it is added at the end, you really taste that flavor first. So, I recommended cutting it back to just 1 t. Or, if you really feel you need it, sauté the spice in a tablespoon of oil before adding to the end product. This will mellow the garam masala and cut down on that cinnamon up front flavor.

Aloo Gobi

Otherwise, put a win in the vegetarian column!

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