Aloo gobi is an irresistible Punjabi cauliflower and potato curry. It’s easy to prepare and it makes a fabulous vegan main, a go to side dish or part of a greater curry feast. Serve with rice or flatbreads and maybe some yoghurt.
When cauliflowers are in season, we eat this cauliflower potato curry a lot. It’s not only delicious and easy to make, but it’s also cheap and deeply comforting. The potatoes soak up the spicy flavours and the cauliflower is cooked just enough so that it’s no longer crunchy, but isn’t too soft either.
What Is Aloo Gobi?
Aloo gobi is a popular Indian curry made with potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices. Aloo is the Hindi word for potatoes and similarly, gobi is the one for cauliflower.
The dish originates from the Punjab, but has now spread all over both India and Pakistan. It’s also on pretty much every Indian restaurant and takeaway menu here in the UK and in many other parts of the world.
How to Make Aloo Gobi
This is a lovely recipe to make as it’s not only quite easy, but you can prepare the ingredients while the curry cooks. Each main ingredients goes in at a different stage, so you can scrub and cut the potatoes as the onions are cooking, for example.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to get the rice on, if that’s what you’re going to eat with your aloo gobi. It doesn’t matter if it’s ready before the curry as it will benefit from steaming in the pot. Just don’t take the lid off.
Ensure your onions are peeled and sliced before you start cooking. The first thing to do is stir-fry the seeds and curry leaves in hot oil. This only takes a minute, so you need to add the onions in as soon as the spices are ready to avoid them burning. That would be a tragedy.
Once you’ve got the onions cooking, prepare the potatoes and add them to the pot. Whilst they’re frying, you can get on with cutting the cauliflower into florets. You just need to give the occasional stir to ensure nothing is sticking to the pan.
You can grate in the ginger and garlic as soon as you’ve added the cauliflower. Then get on with chopping the tomatoes or opening the tin. This is a good time to find your spices too.
That’s pretty much job done.
Most recipes call for you to peel your potatoes. But why on earth would you take off the most nutritious part? It’s very rare for me to peel potatoes for any dish and I certainly don’t for this one. There’s absolutely no need. Just give them a good scrub.
Main crop potatoes are the best ones to use for aloo gobi as they will soak up the flavours better than new or waxy ones. But it’s absolutely fine to use whatever you have in the house. Your curry will still be delicious.
Cut your potatoes into bite sized chunks, about 2 ½ cm (1 inch) square. As potatoes take longer to cook than cauliflower, you need to fry them along with the onions for a few minutes before adding the cauli.
Although you can get cauliflowers all year round, they’re actually a cool weather crop. So they’re at their best from autumn to early spring.
Cut the cauliflower into bite size florets, slightly larger than the potatoes. But don’t throw away the stems or green leaves, they make up an important part of the curry. Cut thick stems into small pieces as they will take longer to cook than the florets. If the green leaves are in good shape, cut them to a suitable size and add them to the curry along with the rest. Waste not, want not.
Cauliflower doesn’t take as long to cook as potato, so the florets go into the pot once the potatoes have had a chance to start cooking.
Tomatoes play a crucial role in this cauliflower and potato curry. They give the much needed umami notes, but they also provide sweet and sour tones.
You can use whatever type of tomato you like, but I prefer fresh ones when they’re in season. I pretty much used the last of our homegrown tomatoes in the recipe you can see here, so it will have to be tinned toms the next time I make aloo gobi.
If your tomatoes aren’t quite flavoursome enough, either fresh or tinned, just squeeze a little lemon juice in at the end of cooking. Take the curry off the heat and wait for it to stop bubbling, then stir in the freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon.
As with most Indian dishes, spices play a key role. Nigella seeds (kalonji), cumin and turmeric are integral to aloo gobi and curry leaves are desirable if you can get them. Crushed, minced or grated garlic and fresh ginger are also de rigeur.
When it comes to other spices, things get a bit more flexible. I like to add ground coriander, a few fenugreek seeds, chilli and a little curry powder. I also add garam marsala to lift the flavours and add a few top notes of sweetness.
A scattering of fresh zingy coriander leaves finishes off the dish most beautifully. Somehow that cauliflower and potato curry just doesn’t taste as good without it.
You need to add the aromatics in four stages. Start by quickly frying the seeds and curry leaves, if using. This flavours the oil and thus the whole dish. Stir-fry for a minute or until everything is fragrant, the seeds are popping and the curry leaves are translucent. You then add the onion, followed by the potatoes and then the cauliflower.
It’s at this stage that you add the garlic and ginger. They then have a chance to cook down along with the cauliflower.
The remaining spices, bar the coriander leaves, go into the curry along with the tomatoes. And as already mentioned, you keep the coriander leaves to scatter over the curry just before serving.
Fresh curry leaves give a lovely flavour, but they’re not that easy to get hold of. I’ve not found dried ones to ever have much flavour, so I prefer to leave them out if I can’t get fresh.
Luckily, CT has obliged as he’s grown a lovely crop of curry leaves for me this year. They really embody the essence of Indian cuisine.
How Long Will Aloo Gobi Last?
Like most curries, aloo gobi is more delicious on the day after making than it is on the actual day. This is because the spices have time to percolate and infiltrate. I always make double quantities for the household so that we can enjoy it for dinner one day and then doubly enjoy it the next day.
It will, however, keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for at least two days. You can also freeze it for a month, though it might go a bit mushy when you reheat it.
Other Indian Curry Recipes You Might Like
- Bean curry in a bread bowl
- Black bean curry bowls
- Green split pea curry
- Lentil dhal with kale and red peppers
- Mushroom curry
- Spinach chickpea curry
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try this recipe for aloo gobi, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate it. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more cauliflower recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have a few. All delicious, of course.
Aloo Gobi. PIN IT.
Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potato Curry) – The Recipe
Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi)
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 4 sprigs fresh curry leaves – optional If you can get hold of fresh curry leaves, use them. But if not, just leave them out.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- ½ tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 1 large onions – halved and finely sliced
- 400 g potatoes – scrubbed and cut into bite size cubes Main crop are best, but it's ok to use whatever potatoes you happen to have.
- 1 medium to large cauliflower – divided into small florets and stem cut into small chunks
- 4 cloves garlic – finely chopped or grated
- 1-2 chillies – finely chopped The number will depend on what type of chilli you use and how hot you want your curry. Remove seeds for a milder heat, but keep them in if you like it hot.
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger – grated
- 400 g tomatoes – chopped Fresh are good in season, but otherwise tinned are fine.
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- a few sprigs coriander leaves – chopped (for scattering over the top)
- ½ lemon (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat. Add the curry leaves and seeds and stir-fry for a minute or until everything is fragrant, the seeds are popping and the curry leaves are translucent.
- Add the onions and continue to fry for five minutes or until the onions are soft, but not brown.
- Add the potatoes and fry for another five minutes. Stir in the cauliflower, garlic, chillies and ginger. Add a splash of water and put the lid on the pan. Turn down the heat slightly and allow the veg to cook for ten minutes or until the potatoes are almost soft.
- Add the tomatoes, salt and remaining spices. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further five to ten minutes. The potatoes should be soft and the cauliflower tender, but not mushy.
- Test for flavour and seasoning. Take off the heat and squeeze in the juice from the lemon half, if needed.
- Serve as a main or side with a generous amount of coriander leaves scattered over the top. Rice or flatbreads are the perfect accompaniment, as is yoghurt if this is a main dish.
I’m sharing this recipe for cauliflower potato curry with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare.