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Aloo Ghobi

by Nisha Katona from The Spice Tree

Cheap and healthy ingredients combine alongside store-cupboard spices to create this Indian staple, Aloo Ghobi.


It would be a lie to say that Indians do not judge people by how they cook, and this dish is the ultimate and most ruthless barometer. My aunty says, 'You can taste the chef's hand best in an aloo ghobi'. In this dish there is nowhere to hide, with such simple spicings and the most-humble of vegetables – but hold your nerve! Don't over-meddle or overheat. This is the dish for which my mother is best known and when we call round for a brew, it's straight to her hob to frantically lift every pan lid, on the hunt for her aloo ghobi. 

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4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large green chilli, pierced
1 large potato, 200g, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
1 large cauliflower, 500g, cut into florets
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
obligatory backup jug of water, to loosen the dish to your taste
handful of fresh coriander leaves


Put the vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and green chilli and fry until the cumin seeds turn deep golden brown and become fragrant. Turn the heat down to low and add the cubed potato, cooking gently for 8 minutes until it starts to soften at the edges. 

Add the cauliflower florets, ground turmeric, chilli powder, salt and sugar and give everything a good mix together until the cauliflower is fully coated with the spices.

Cover with a lid and cook gently for 15-20 minutes, adding a splash of water only if absolutely necessary and stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and cooked through. Stir through the chopped coriander leaves, then serve. 


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