Cauliflower with Potatoes (aloo gobi)

Aloo gobi, or cauliflower with potatoes, is a classic Punjabi dish with a variety of interpretations, Madhur Jaffrey's recipe features garlic, fenugreek and green chillies.

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This is a Punjabi classic and, needless to say, there are many ways of cooking it. While we were filming the cookery series that accompanies this book, we spent a great deal of time searching for our ideal aloo gobi. There were many opinions. We tasted this, we tasted that. In the end, we all agreed that the perfect dish was produced by the mother of one of our own crew members. So, for me at any rate, this will always be Harjit’s mum’s aloo gobi. Gurbax uses all the leaf bottoms and stem sections that come with the cauliflower head. She just chops them up coarsely and cooks them with the spice mixture.

This is generally eaten with Indian breads, dal and yogurt raita.

Serves 6


For the deep-frying stage:
Sunflower oil, to deep-fry
600g (1lb 4oz) cauliflower florets, plus about 150g (5½oz) stalks and leaves, chopped
450g (1lb) potato, peeled and roughly chopped
For the rest:
2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp finely grated or crushed garlic
1 tbsp peeled, finely grated root ginger
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3-4 hot green chillies, finely chopped
1¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
¾ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Start with the deep-frying. Pour the oil into a karhai or wok and set it over a medium-high heat. Wait for it to get very hot. Fry the cauliflower florets (not the stalks or leaves) in two batches, for about two minutes each batch, or until light brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Ensure the oil has time to reheat between batches. Now carefully add the potato to the oil, standing back in case of splashes, and fry for five to six minutes, or until golden all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. (Strain the oil and save it for future use.)

Now for the rest. Set a clean karhai, wok or heavy-based pan, about 20 centimetres (8 inches) in diameter, over a medium heat. Pour in the oil and, when hot, add the onion. Sauté for two minutes, then add the cumin seeds. Stir for three to five minutes, or until the onion is light brown. Spoon in the garlic and ginger. Stir for two minutes, adding a splash of hot water if it starts to stick. Add the tomato and cook for five minutes, or until completely integrated. Sprinkle in the chillies and salt and stir for one minute. Crumble in the fenugreek, stirring for one minute. Spoon in the turmeric and mix well. Add another splash of water if necessary, then tip in the cauliflower stalks and leaves and cook, stirring, for six minutes, or until soft. Add a little water if the pan seems to dry out. Now put in the deep-fried cauliflower florets and potato and the chopped coriander, mix gently and cook for a final two minutes, then serve.

Recipe adapted for the Curry Nation cookbook from an original recipe by Gurbax Kaur (Bradford).

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