I have spent more time than is reasonable wondering whether this recipe should actually be called aloo gobi or just cauliflower and potato curry. My hesitation is because I went so freeform here that I didn’t know how much resemblance this would end up having to the original. Whatever, it’s quite a sprightly version and I don’t, on reflection, feel I should be apologizing for it.
You do need the potatoes, relatively waxy ones, to be ready cooked, so get on with that a day before if it helps. It wouldn’t hurt to give the cauliflower florets 2 minutes in the boiling potato water too, but as a general rule, I just reheat the potatoes and make sure the florets are small enough to cook in the allotted time.
Yield: Serves 8-10
1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled, cooked, cooled and cut into 1 1/2 inch dice to make 3 cups
1 large head cauliflower
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook the potatoes whole and leave them to get cold, and then dice them into 3–4cm cubes when you come to cook the aloo gobi.
Slice the scallions into ¼ inch rings. Cut or break the cauliflower into small florets, about 1½ inches across the top of the floret.
Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the cumin and mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add the scallions and cauliflower florets and cook over a medium to high heat until the cauliflower is scorched in places. Add ½ cup water, cover the pan either with a saucepan lid or aluminum foil and cook for 10 minutes, turning down the heat if there’s too much fizz and splutter going on inside the pan.
Take off the lid, and add the other spices, along with the lemon juice, diced cooked potatoes, salt and a little pepper. Turn the pan and stir carefully to mix everything well and let it cook together for another 5–7 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and the potatoes are heated through.