Have you heard about or watched the movie “Bend it Like Beckham”? It is a British-Indian comedy set in London and is about a Punjabi family whose daughter wants to play soccer, but the family does not approve of it. It is a great movie and if you have not watched it, try to find it and watch it. You will not be disappointed. Anywho, what does “Bend it like Beckham” has to do with this post, you ask? You see, the girl’s (Jess, I think is her name in the movie) mom does not want her to play soccer but insists that she should learn to cook and do some other household chores. The mom mentions to Jess that she should at least learn to make Aloo Gobhi, indicating that this dish is the ultimate representation of Punjabiism. If you do not cook Aloo Gobhi, you are not Punjabi enough, or something on similar lines.
Since moving to the States, I have not been a big fan of cooking Aloo Gobhi the traditional way. In my observation, the Gobhi (cauliflower) that we grow or get here at the grocery stores has a high water content in it, which causes the cauliflower to get very mushy in the time the potatoes are cooked. Therefore, over time, and after trying many different permutations and combinations of cooking times and methods, I have found that the recipe that I share today is my favorite way to cook and eat Aloo Gobhi. The flavor profile is the same, texture is much better since both the Gobhi and Aloo hold their form, and the extras that I add are major upgrades to the basic recipe. I hope you will try this one and if you do, let me know via the World Wide Web (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or by simply leaving a comment below).
Potatoes – 3, medium, cut into cubes
Cauliflower – 1, medium, cut into florets
Olive oil – 2 tablespoon (divided)
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ⅛ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon (divided)
Onion – 1 medium, sliced
Red bell pepper – 1, cut into 4ths and then sliced
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Green chili – 1, chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, grated
Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Fennel seeds – ½ teaspoon
Red chili powder – ¼ teaspoon (optional)
Coriander powder – 3 teaspoon
Garam masala – ¼ teaspoon
Lime juice – from half a lime
Cilantro – 4-5 sprigs, tough stems removed and chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C. Line a big cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, add the potatoes and cauliflower. Mix in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon (just over a pinch) turmeric powder, stir well. Lay the cauliflower and potatoes in a single layer on the cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, shaking the cookie sheet once at about 10 minute mark.
While the vegetables are roasting, set a heavy bottomed skillet or kadaahi on medium high heat. Add remaining 1-tablespoon oil and let the oil heat up. Once the oil is shimmering, add the cumin and fennel seeds and wait for them to slightly splutter. Then add in garlic and green chili (if using), followed by sliced onions. Lower the heat to medium, cook for a minute or two, and then add ginger and cook for another minute or until the raw smell of ginger goes away. Then add remaining ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder, mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the sliced bell pepper and let the masala cook for 5- 6 minutes or till the red bell peppers are slightly cooked but have not completely lost their crunch. Turn the heat to low.
Once the potatoes and cauliflower are roasted (check a potato with a fork), take them out of the oven and mix in with the masala of onions and bell peppers. Add salt, garam masala and lime juice. Let everything mingle, check and adjust seasonings and sprinkle cilantro. Serve hot with chapathi/roti (recipe here).
Love – Vaishali.
I always recommend fresh ground coriander powder. You do not have to grind it fresh every time you cook anything, but grind a small batch and once done, grind another one. Find more details here in my Indian Spices 101 post.
The cauliflower and potatoes, once roasted, should have some light brown spots on them. That is where the flavor lies.
Do not cover the pan while cooking.
You can also use ½ red and ½ green bell pepper. Or not use any. Your call!
Heavy bottomed skillet/kadaahi