Cauliflower and potatoes, or aloo gobi, is one of my favorite Indian dishes. I love the fragrant roasted coriander and cumin, the tartness of the dried mango powder, the bright lemon juice, and the earthy fragrant garam masala. This way of preparing aloo gobi is dry, in that it doesn't have a liquid gravy, all of the liquid from the cooking process is cooked off so the spices become very concentrated.
Cooking vegetables Indian style is really straightforward, especially if you follow a few helpful tips. I used a head of cauliflower and beautiful red fingerling potatoes from my CSA box.
The first tip is to make sure you cut all of the vegetables to the same size so they cook evenly.
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan or a very large saute pan with a lid. Add cumin seeds, cooking until start to sizzle. Add asofetida, ginger, garlic, and green chile, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. The next tip is to roast all of the spices in oil to release the flavor, except for the garam masala, until fragrant about 1 minute.
Boil the potatoes in salted water, and meanwhile cook the cauliflower in the spices until crisp tender. Add the cauliflower to the spices and cook uncovered for about 3 minutes, add 1/2 cup of water. Then cover and continue cooking the cauliflower another 5 to 10 minutes, until desired doneness reached.
Then I halved the boiled potatoes, and tossed them with the cauliflower and spices. Add a little fresh lemon juice and dried mango powder and then finish with garam masala. Always add garam masla at the very end just before removing the pan from the skillet. Serve hot with roti and yogurt.
1 medium cauliflower, washed and stems removed
2/3 lb fingerling potatoes, washed and scrubbed
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asofetida
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 green chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)*see note1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garam masala
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and potatoes and boil for 10 to 15 minutes until tender when pierced but still intact. Drain and once cool enough to handle, peel skin and slice into half or quarter.
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed saute pan over moderate heat. Once the oil is shimmery, add cumin seeds, and once start to brown, add asofetida. Add ginger, garlic, and green chile and let cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, and red cayenne pepper, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add cauliflower, season with salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water, stir to coat well, cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove lid, add potatoes, stir to coat well, and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. If any liquid remains in pan, increase heat to high.
Sprinkle with dried mango powder and lemon juice, stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Finish with garam masala, stir to combine well and remove from heat.
Note: You can find dried mango powder at Indian grocery stores. If not available, you can skip it and add additional lemon juice to taste.