In the wake of such disturbing news around the world I was looking for ways to calm the spirit and indulge in simplicity. Yes, simplicity is an indulgence these day with the hectic world we live in.
Fall continues to soothe this part of the world and the recipes have taken the hues of rust and gold. I find peace in nature, inmy abundant curry leaf plant and the magical herbs and vegetables still flourishing in my garden.
In the market I found a ready good head of cauliflower and some beautiful potatoes which are the crown of this simple dish.
Aloo Gobi (Potatoes and Cauliflower) is a staple in many households around India…accompanied with rice or chapati (bread).With fragrant spices, fresh ginger, cilantro and garden chilis, it settles your heart and soul. The twist here is that I have served it with Quinoa to make is a little healthier.
Here is what you need:
Quinoa – 1 cup (thoroughly washed)
1/2 head of Cauliflower cut in chucks
2 potatoes peeled and cubed
1 or 2 green chilis chopped
1 red onion – slices
2 inch ginger chopped or julienned finely
Curry leaves – a handful
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp nigella (caraway) seeds
1/2 fennels seed
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/tsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
1/2 of lemon
Cilantro or parsley
Putting it together
I cooked the Quinoa in a rice cooker with the setting of white rice. Please use any method that works for you.
Par boil the potatoes – I put them in water and in the microwave for 10 mins
In a wok, add olive oil and the seeds
Sauté for a minute until they pop
Add curry leaves for a minutes
Add onions and ginger and sauce for 4- 5 minutes
Add the Cauliflower and fry until mixed
Add turmeric, cayenne, salt and let everything mix together for a couple of mix.
Add the par boiled potatoes and water.
Cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked but still firm.
A beautiful spring Sunday and early morning quality time perusing through cookbooks inspired this flavorful dish.
This Dum Aloo dish is infused with amazing fragrant spices like fennel, cinnamon and cardamons used in Kashmiri cooking. Every household has it’s own variation of a Kashmiri Dum Aloo recipe, some use onions and others use Asafetida (hing). Mine is with fried onion paste for which I used a mortar and pestle the old fashioned way. Onion paste is also commonly used in Mughlai cooking.
Kashmiri red chili powder is what makes it hot. I also carried some cockscomb flower (mawal) powder with me during my last visit which just adds color to the dish. This is totally optional and I have not listed it as an ingredient.
“Dum” cooking is simply a slow cooking method that uses needs a tight lid on the container so the steam can do its magic. History tells us the technique may be based on earlier Persian cooking methods introduced to India.
The recipe can be thought of in 2 parts so it does not look so intimidating. Get the potatoes ready; get the sauce ready. Mix them and slow cook…easy 🙂
I used round organic red potatoes for this but you can use any variety that is 1 to 1 1/2 inch round. Frankly you could cut up large potatoes in big pieces and use that too. The round potatoes are authentic and look cool.
Don’t forget that you need to use a toothpick to prick holes in the boiled potatoes before frying. This creates the avenue for the spices to seep into the core of the potato.
Wash potatoes and boil until cooked but firm. Use the toothpick test but remember they should be firm.
Peel the potatoes and prick them well with a toothpick.
Heat oil in a wide pan and then add potatoes. Fry until slightly golden ( see picture)
Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside
Fry the onion in the same oil, remove and grind.
Using the same pan with a tablespoon or so of oil in it, add cardamons, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, fennel, ginger, red chili, yoghurt, garlic and the onion paste.
Stir for few minutes until everything is well mixed.
Add 3 cups of water, turmeric and salt and let it come to a boil. Add potatoes, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes until the gravy is thick and potatoes have absorbed the color and spices.
Add the black cumin seeds and mix.
Serve with naan or rice. A dash of lemon juice will add bring out more of the flavor.