Learn how to make Punjabi Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi ~ Simple stir fry of potatoes and cauliflower flavoured with aromatic Indian spices
The summer that never was is really over! While the world enjoyed basking under the glorious sun and BBQs, we in Britain looked enviously at them but still hopeful for few days of sun and fun! We whined about the gloomy weather and dark clouds, grumbled about non-stop drizzles and cold nights, and then rejoiced when a mother nature showed little mercy with few days of clear blue skies and summer like weather! But it was no enough… It is never enough!
We had street parties for Queen’s diamond jubilee with gushing wind threatening to carry with her the rows of tables laden with goodies. We danced to the beats of Dhol and Bollywood beats of the annual Indian Mela and to the sounds of Drums in the Caribbean Carnivals while the pitter-patter rain matched our steps. We tasted wine and sampled the world cuisine in town’s Wine and Food Festival under the grey skies. We fed the geese and swans in the lake, fluttered away with bumble bees and butter flies, sunk our feet in the wet green lawn and dirtied our cloths when digging the mud and making sand castles. We braved the weather by barbequing on a rainy day with damp cloths and wet hair and high spirits. We visited parks, zoos and safaris with Lil Dumpling, matching his joy and reliving our own childhood bringing it back to full spectre of colours from blurred happy memories! We celebrated the spirit summer even when the weather felt far from all summer-y! Oh yes! We celebrated the summer, which was never a summer, like never before…
Classic Punjabi Alu Gobi or Aloo Gobi
Now that the summer is long gone and autumn has spread its delightful colours, we are busy again enjoying the colour bursts in shades of yellows, oranges and reds! The trees sway to the cold winds and the gold, coral and ruby red leaves flutter around us, laying beautiful and colourful carpet on the path fit for the royals. We tread carefully on these leaves on our evening walks, taking small breaks in between to pick them up and admire their beauty. The colours feel more vibrant against the stark greys of the sky and dark grey of cobblestoned path. As the days become shorter and nights longer, we are up and eager to welcome the sun who paints the sky from orange to scarlet red. Come evening, we are ready to bid him a farewell behind the dark clouds only to welcome him again the next morning with anticipation. The whole world seems to be in a hurry, trying to catch few more days of sun and little warmth. The bees are buzzing with more energy, sucking the nectars from last few blooms of summer. The birds are flying high in the sky, in groups, singing the songs of season of bounty! The little ants seem to be in a great hurry, collecting the food for the cold winter days.
Stir fried potatoes and cauliflowers with flavourful Indian spices ~ Aloo Gobi
And we? Well, we are busy trying to make happy memories of last few days of sunshine and warmth! Soon we will have to get our winter cloths from the storage… Long jackets and thick coats… Fleece jumpers with woolly hats… Leather gloves and knee high boots…Big brollies and warm scarves… We will be ready to face another winter… We will get ready to welcome the cold days and freezing nights!
With the change in season, the food that graces our table has also changed. The air is heavy with the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. The warmth of aromatic spices spread their warmth in our soul! While the pot of soup is simmering on the stove, the oven is hot with baking breads and roasting the vegetables. Like the vibrant colours outside our window, the food on our plates also has the warm hue. As much as we love the soups and breads, we crave for the food from our roots if we skip them for 2-3 days in a row! From chilled Raitas, healing Tambuli and mild Pachadis of summer, we have been treating ourselves to some spicy Indian foods these days that keeps both our body and heart warm. I have been liberal with the use of spices these days keeping the recipe simple but adding much complex flavours.
Simple yet flavoursome ~ Alu Gobi/Aloo Gobi
One such simple recipe with complex flavour combination is the popular Punjabi recipe of Aloo Gobi. Aloo Gobi or Alu Gobi is a simple dry curry of potatoes and cauliflowers sautéed with a combination of aromatic spices. Some use as little as 2-3 spice mixes and some uses as many as 7-10 spice combinations. My recipe of Aloo Gobi falls some where in the middle. I am bit heavy handed when it comes to the use of ground spices. The most common spice powders that I always have, like 24/7, in my kitchen pantry are turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, and the garam masala. Either you can prepare these spices at home or buy from any good Indian grocery shop. These days almost all top supermarkets in UK sell these Indian spices in their speciality aisle.
Every cook in India has their own version of Aloo Gobi and here is my take on this classic recipe. Other than the above mentioned spice powders, I also love Kitchen king masala, amchur powder (dry mango powder), hing (asafoetida) and the kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). You can find them in most of well stocked Indian grocery stores and grab a pack or two when you make a trip to Indian stores next time. Why? Because they add the much talked ‘oomph’ factor to any Indian curries they touch, both in terms of flavour and aroma! The best example of use of these special spice mixes is shown in this recipe of Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi. Simple, quick to make and absolutely delightful! I love it so much that I end up eating them on their own for most of the time. So here is my recipe of the classic Punjabi Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi recipe and with it I bid good bye to summer and welcome autumn.
Potatoes, cauliflower and onions for Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi
Fresh and dried herbs and aromatic spices for Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi
Ingredients for decilicious Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi
Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves
Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi
Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi (Simple stir fry of potatoes and cauliflower flavoured with aromatic Indian spices)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Spice Level: Medium
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Serves: 4-6 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 1 month
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice
2 large Potatoes (about 2 cups), scrubbed, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium Cauliflower (about 3-4 cups), cut into medium sized florets
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
2-3 Green Chillies, roughly chopped (Adjust acc to taste)
2-3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Freshly squeezed Lime/Lemon Juice to taste
Salt to taste
1½-2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida (Optional)
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
¾ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tbsp Dhania/Coriander Powder
½ tsp Garam Masala (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional)
½ tbsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Optional but recommended)
Aloo Gobi for allMethod:
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. When cumin seeds crackle and change colour, about 30 seconds, add finely chopped onions.
- Sauté the onions till they turn translucent and then add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and crushed kasuri methi leaves. Give it a good stir till the raw smell of ginger-garlic paste disappears, about 1 minute.
- Next add all the spice powders and give it a good stir for 30 seconds.
- Mix in cubed potatoes and give them a good stir for 3-4 minutes.
- Add cauliflower florets and salt to taste and stir them for 2-3 minutes, making sure every individual cauliflower florets are coated with spice mix.
- Cover the lid and let it cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring in between to make sure that vegetables don’t stick the bottom of the pan. By now the vegetables gets cooked through but still retain their shape. If not, cover and let them cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Switch off the gas and add freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice to taste. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and mix them well before serving this delicious Aloo Gobi with any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice. You can also serve this Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi in a wrap topped with few salad leaves and sour cream or Greek yogurt! Heaven!
Aloo Gobi/Alu Gobi sprinkled with chilli flakes and love!
- The combination of spice powders used here are the ones I use often in any north Indian curries. You can use as little or as much of these spice combinations.
- This Aloo Gobi is a versatile dish and many times I end up using them in wraps, sandwiches and even as pizza toppings to give Indian twist to Italian cuisine!