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Aloo Gobi (Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes)

I’ve enjoyed this recipe for years.  I think it came from Madhur Jaffrey’s Feast from the East cookbook.  Not only do I love the flavor, but the bright yellow color is beautiful too. 

Here’s what the cookbook has to say about it:

“This North Indiand dish, supplemented with stuffed Parathas and Sour Line Pickle, is put into small brass “tiffin-carriers” and taken as lunch by thousands of school children and office workers.  Rolled in the same parathas, it may be taken on picnics or log car journeys.”

It does require an initial investment in spices, but once you have them you’ll make this dish again and again.  (Be careful, turmeric stains!)

2 pounds cauliflower (1 medium head)
2 medium-sized boiling potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Measure into a small bowl or cup:
1/4 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 or 2 whole dried hot red peppers

Measure into a second small bowl or cup:
3/4 teaspoon ground termeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 to 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon feshly ground black pepper

Optional:
1 teaspoon garam masala (this is an Indian spice blend)

Discard leaves and coarse stem of cauliflower.  Break head into 2-inch-long flowerettes, then cut each flowerette lengthwise into very slim pieces, with heades never wider than 1/2 inch.  Soak in cold water for half an hour.

Peel the potatoes.  Cut them into dice, about 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 1/3″.  Soak in a bowl of cold water for half an hour.

Drain cauliflower and potatoes and dry them in a dish towel.  Heat oil in a large 12″- to 14″ skillet over high heat.  When the oil begins to smoke, scatter in the contents of the first cup (the whole seeds).  Stir once and quickly add the cauliflower and potatoes.  Stir again and turn the heat to medium.  Sprinkle the contents of the second cup (the ground spices) over the vegetables and saute them for 8-10 minutes  Add 1/4 water and cover immediately.  Turn heat to very low and steam vegetables gently for 7-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle the garam masala over the vegetables, stir once and serve.

Serves 6.

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