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What Is Aloo Gobi?
Aloo gobi is a potato and cauliflower curry recipe originating in the North Indian Punjab region. (“Aloo” is Urdu for potato, while “gobi” means cauliflower.) Considered one of the cornerstone Indian recipes for its simplicity and flexible format, aloo gobi recipes vary from place to place—sometimes incorporating a tomato-based sauce, sometimes fresh chilies. At its core, though, aloo gobi consists of potatoes and cauliflower florets sautéed in spiced oil.
4 Tips for Making Perfect Aloo Gobi
A well executed aloo gobi is hearty, filling, and flavorful. Here are four tips for achieving the perfect aloo gobi.
- Use plenty of spices. Without meat or dairy to enrich the dish, aloo gobi relies on its mix spices. The dish gets its bright marigold hue from turmeric powder, while cumin, coriander, and garam masala round out its flavors. Cayenne pepper rounds the dish out with a final kick. Skimp on any of these spices, and you may find your aloo gobi lacking.
- Use the right potatoes. While there’s no hard fast rule for which potatoes should be used in aloo gobi, Russet potatoes have more starch than waxier red or Yukon Gold potatoes, making them perfect for frying.
- Leave the skin on your potatoes. Many aloo gobi recipes advise peeling your potatoes before dicing. Leaving your potato skins on and frying them in your spice oil will add texture, and provide a little extra crunch in all the right places.
- Dice your vegetables evenly. For best results, dice your potatoes and cauliflower into uniform sized pieces, leaving your cauliflower florets slightly larger. This ensures that all the ingredients are cooked through at the same time.
Where Do You Find Indian Spices for Aloo Gobi?
The primary spices in aloo gobi can 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.
Love Indian flavors? Learn how to prepare vegetables with Indian spices from Alice Waters here.
Quick and Easy Aloo Gobi Recipe
Prep Time10 min
Total Time45 min
Cook Time35 min
- Vegetable oil
- 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
- 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
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Heat 3 tablespoons (or a solid glug) of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and fry until golden brown and beginning to pop. Reduce to medium heat and stir in onion. Cook until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the garam masala, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, and stir to combine.
- Add 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 stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Season to taste.
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