“She helped me wash the net curtains and she made lovely aloo gobi last week. ...”
Ever since watching Bend It Like Beckham ( a movie we loved so much when we first got the DVD that we watched it ten times in a row), I’ve had a vague desire to learn to make aloo gobi myself. I didn’t actually know what it was, but it sounded so satisfying, especially when Jess’ mother pronounced it. But I was cooking for small kids at the time and the most adventurous we got was chicken korma.
A few weeks ago I was researching some Indian recipes for a client and the aloo gobi quote popped immediately into my mind. Once the articles were despatched, I was left with several mouth-watering recipes begging to be tried out. The lamb dopiaza recipe I’ve already written about, so now I have to share the aloo gobi recipe with you, which was a revelation to me.
Cauliflower has never been a favourite vegetable for anyone in the family, so I knew I was taking a risk serving it up, even combined with the potatoes, which my family love in most guises. But I got away with it! Maybe because the cauliflower florets were small, just a little bit cooked out of shape and the same colour as the potatoes when coated with spices, but the girls gobbled up the aloo gobi without a protest. (Our son of course never touched it in the first place, but then I knew that was too much to expect.) I thought I was home and dry. Unfortunately the next time I cooked it they cottoned on and separated out the cauliflower pieces; my dastardly plot foiled...!
Anyway we loved it, deep spice flavours adding intensity to the bland vegetables but still allowing the creamy nuttiness of fresh cauliflower to come through. The recipe I eventually found is authentically Indian and though I have most of the spices, I don’t have asafoetida or mango powder. So I left them out and used a squeeze of lemon juice to add a touch of light acidity instead of the mango powder.
|Lamb dopiaza and aloo gobi go really well together|
Recipe for Aloo Gobi
2 cups cut cauliflower florets
2 medium potatoes
2 cm fresh ginger root shredded
3 teaspoons ground coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons water
Pinch asafoetida (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green chillies
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
Mix the shredded ginger, coriander powder, cayenne and turmeric together in a small bowl then add the 3 tablespoons water to make a paste.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it is hot enough, a cumin seed dropped in will crack immediately. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida to the oil. As soon as the seeds crack add the green chillies and bay leaves and stir. Now add the spice paste and stir for one minute until the spices separate out from the oil.
Add the cauliflower and potatoes with salt and 2 tablespoons water. Stir them into the spice mix until they are well covered. Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir carefully every 4 minutes or so to make sure it is not sticking to the pan.
Once the vegetables are tender, remove the pot from the heat and add the mango powder and chopped coriander. Stir it in and leave covered for a minute or two for the flavours to develop. Serve hot.
“Anyone can cook aloo gobi, - but who can bend a ball like Beckham?”