Thursday, April 11, 2013

Aloo Gobhi

Indian food always seems so mysterious, with its complex flavors and rich mixtures of spices. And some of it can be complex - I have yet to mess around with making my own curry pastes, which has always seemed beyond my expertise (although now that I have an actual spice grinder and won't have to struggle with a mortar and pestle, I might change my tune).

This dish, however, is not complex at all. It's extremely simple and low stress. Just chop a few things, toss your ingredients in the pot and let them go. Minimal watching is involved to make sure the liquid doesn't boil off too soon. Other than that, sit back and wait for your house to fill with lovely spicy smells. (I haven't made this recipe in a while, so I forgot how easy it actually was. I had assumed I was going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen and, instead, got to spend some extra time on the couch with a book!)

Aloo Gobhi
From Jamie's Food Revolution.

3 tbsp canola oil
small bunch cilantro
1 onion, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, minced
1" fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric (it might be interesting to try fresh turmeric in here some time - I've seen it at Whole Foods, looking just like ginger except yellow-orange under the skin)
1 tsp ground cumin
3 c cauliflower, chopped into florets (I used about half of a medium-sized one - you can include chunks of the stem in this dish, too, if you'd like)
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Pour the oil into a large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Separate the cilantro leaves from the stems and set aside. Mince the stems finely. When the oil is hot, add the onion, chiles, ginger, cilantro stems, mustard seeds, turmeric, and cumin and stir to combine.

Cook 7-10 minutes until the onions are softened. Stir in the cauliflower, potatoes, coconut, salt and pepper.

Add 1 2/3 c water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer 10-12 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot (you can also add a bit of water here, if you think it needs it). Cover the pot and stick it in the oven for another 20 minutes. Check seasonings and add more if necessary.

Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Serve over rice.

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