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What Is Aloo Gobi?
Aloo is potatoes and gobi is cauliflower; aloo gobi is a potato cauliflower curry originating in the North Indian Punjab region. Considered a cornerstone dish for its simplicity and flexible format, aloo gobi styles vary across the country—sometimes incorporating a tomato-based sauce, sometimes fresh chilies— but at its core, aloo gobi is potatoes and cauliflower florets sautéed in spiced oil
6 Tips for Making Perfect Aloo Gobi
- Use aromatics. The dish gets its bright marigold hue from turmeric, and features aromatics from cumin, coriander, and garam masala, with a light kick of heat from a red chili powder like paprika.
- Go with ginger, garlic, and onions. Making aloo gobi is a perfect way to witness the three foundational ingredients of Indian cuisine—ginger, garlic, and onions—at work. In most recipes, you’ll find they are simply sautéed together, although some prefer a combined garlic-ginger paste for added potency.
- Pick good potatoes. There’s no hard fast rule as far as types of potatoes that should be used, but generally a Russet will dry out (and thus fry up) much nicer than a waxier potato.
- Leave the skin on. Some recipes advise skinning the potatoes before dicing; if your preference is skin-on, leave them. They may fall off and look messy, but once all the little bits fry up in the spice oil, it gives your aloo gobi a little extra crunch in all the right places.
- Get an even dice. Try to keep your potato and cauliflower diced to relatively equal sizes for even cooking.
- If you can’t find something...skip it or swap it. Some recipes feature coriander leaves or fenugreek leaves, but if you’re having trouble finding them, feel free to leave them out. It’s meant to be easy!
Where to Find Indian Spices for Aloo Gobi
The main spices in aloo gobi can easily be found at most grocery stores, but if you want to fully immerse yourself in the sensory highs of Indian cuisine, visit an Indian grocery store and get lost in the aisles. Ask about making aloo gobi and be prepared for more recommendations than you thought possible.
Quick and Easy Aloo Gobi Recipe
Consider this a basic aloo gobi to get familiar with the form, then feel free to adjust spice levels and incorporate different ingredients as preferred.
- 4 medium potatoes, preferably Russet, diced into medium-sized chunks
- 1 head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed, cut into florets
- 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
- Vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 knob fresh ginger, minced to a paste
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp cayenne (to preferred heat level)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Heat 3 tbsp oil (think of it as a solid glug) in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, and fry until golden brown and beginning to pop. Reduce heat, and stir in the onion. Cook until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic and ginger, combine for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the garam masala, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, and stir to combine.
- Transfer the potato and cauliflower to the pan; season with salt and stir to combine. Cover, and steam until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- When tender, uncover and increase heat. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil around the edges of the pan and fry up until potatoes are golden brown and crisp, stirring occasionally (but carefully, to keep cauliflower intact.
- Turn off the heat and top with lemon juice. Season to taste.