Modern Aloo Gobi (Indian Cauliflower with Potatoes and Peas)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Aloo Gobi, that savory combination of cauliflower and potatoes, is the perfect dish to continue my series on the familiar white crucifer while also introducing my next set on Indian food. This dish is no Navratan Korma, I won’t lie, but it’s a great, easy meal to have as part of your plant-based repertoire—and it takes a fraction of the time to prepare.

I’ve made Aloo Gobi a number of times over the years. My husband and I agreed that this recipe was the most authentic and delicious, which I used as a guide. The modifications I made were:

  • Including sautéed onion
  • Roasting the cauliflower and potatoes instead of boiling
  • Using a mix of fingerling potatoes rather than simple white or yukon
  • Adding green peas

The change that made the key difference was—you guessed it—roasting the cauliflower and potatoes. Boiling simply cannot compare, which extricates flavor and nutrients. The other changes helped, too. The colorful fingering potatoes are more interesting and higher in nutrition than the Russets commonly used. It’s hard for me to make anything without sautéed onion, which adds flavor and complexity to any dish, so I did that, too. Finally, I included peas because I always prefer to see green in my dishes. For all of these reasons I call this a “modern” take on the classic that yielded a definite improvement in taste, texture, aesthetics, and nutrition over the traditional.

Below are some cooking photos and instructions to supplement Aarti’s recipe.

Aloo Gobi

1. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, tossing every 20 minutes. Note: This is the longest step, and it does take a while given how hard potatoes are.

AlooGobi_Fingerlings

2. Prepare roasted cauliflower, described here. Note: it can be in the oven the same time as the potatoes and will take far less time to cook. 

3. While vegetables are roasting, prepare the wet masala, described here.Note: I used 2 tablespoons grated ginger and 2 tablespoons crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon canola in lieu of the paste. Works just fine. I also sautéed a finely diced onion in a bit of oil before adding the masala. I almost took a photograph. But then I didn’t. Sorry.

4. Cut the cooked potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Aren’t those prettier than white? Purple is my favorite.

5. Following the recipe, mix everything together, minus the peas, making sure to cook on very low heat an additional 10 minutes or so to let the flavors come together. (Since the vegetables were not boiled in the sauce, this is an important step.)

6. Add peas, allowing to sit and addition 3- 5 minutes until they are cooked and still green. Taste to ensure all flavors are incorporated.

Best Aloo Gobi I’ve ever made, by far. (And if you can’t find colorful fingerlings, whatever potatoes of your choosing will work just fine. I can’t always find them, either; below is a pic where I used red bliss.

And you thought only cauliflower came in purple!

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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