Wasn’t sure i’d get this posted this week but i have – Alu phul gobhi ki bhaji is Cauliflower and potatoes in yogurt sauce from The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking by Adiraja Dasa. Now, before you run away screaming, i am not part of the Hare Krishna religion (or any, come to that) but some years ago this was about the only decent vegetarian Indian cookbook you could get and my OtherHalf was browsing at the weekend trying to see how we could use up some frozen veg before moving house, specifically a load of frozen Cauliflower, and came across this recipe.
So, i absolutely can’t take any credit for making this at all but it was so delicious i couldn’t not share it. My OH also said it was ridiculously easy and took less than half an hour. He also made a quick red lentil dahl to go with it too. One thing to note about Hare Krishna Indian cooking is that they don’t use Onion (goes against Vedic principles). The book actually has some really intesting chapters on Vegetarianism (bear in mind i’m not vegetarian – still an interesting read though) aswell as useful information on the kinds of Utensils used in Indian cooking as well as some handy suggested menus and has sections on Spices and Herbs, Milk products, Rice, Dals and Soups, Breads and Pancakes, Vegetables, Savories, Chutneys and Raitas, Sweets and Beverages. Definately worth hunting down if you want to try some authentic Indian vegetarian dishes, and simply skip past the Hare Krishna stuff if it’s not your bag.
Recipe copied from the book:
This technique of frying vegetables first in a masala, then steaming them, can be applied to other types of vegetables as well. People sometimes refer to this method as “curried” vegetables.
1 medium-sized cauliflower (we used few handfuls of frozen veg which we defrosted first)
5 tbs ghee or vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 or 2 dried chillies, crushed
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp asafetida
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tbs water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (250ml) plain yogurt
3/4 tsp garam masala
2 firm ripe tomatoes, washed and sliced
1 lemon or lime (we used a bit of lemon juice)
Trim the cauliflower and cut it into flowerets 1 1/2 inches (4cm) long by 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. Rinse them in a colander and let drain.
Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Drop in the cumin seeds and crushed chillies and fry them for 30 to 45 seconds, until the cumin seeds turn golden brown. Add the powdered spices, fry for a few seconds longer, then immediately add the cubed potatoes. Turn the potatoes for 2 or 3 minutes, letting them brown in spots, Now stir in the cauliflower and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the water and salt and put the lid on the pan to trap the steam. Cook over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but still firm.
Finally, stir in the yogurt and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thick. Sprinkle with garam masala and stir gently to mix. Garnish each serving with slices of tomato and a twist of lemon or lime.
Preparation and cooking time: 25 min
(above recipe for 4 people – we reduced amount of potato and cauliflower by roughly half for 2 people).