Roasted Aloo Gobhi is excerpted from Indian-ish© 2019 by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna. Photography © 2019 by Mackenzie Kelley. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Now, here’s one you have probably heard of: aloo gobhi, the classic potato-and-cauliflower dish that’s ubiquitous on Indian restaurant menus and in movies that feature an Indian family (I see you, Bend It Like Beckham). The problem is that most versions I’ve tried are overly mushy and way too heavy, usually from deep-frying. Enter my mom’s simple but game-changing technique of roasting the cauliflower and potatoes before sautéing them, thereby allowing the vegetables to get that smoky, crunchy, charred exterior and also hold their shape in the pan without any excess oiliness. This is a great make-ahead party dish, as you can pre-roast the vegetables, and then whenever you’re ready, throw them in the pan with your spices and onions to finish the dish in 15 minutes.
• 2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch-long sticks
• 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
• 3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
• Pinch of asafetida (optional, but really great)
• Pinch of red chile powder
• 1 tablespoon julienned fresh ginger (see Tip, page 42)
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from about half a lime), plus more if needed
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
• ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves), for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Spread the potatoes and cauliflower over the prepared baking sheet and toss them with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Spread them in an even layer and roast for 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower and potatoes have browned and slightly crisped, tossing them once halfway through the cooking time. Set the vegetables aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the cumin seeds and cook until they turn a medium shade of brown, about 1 minute max. Reduce the heat to medium and swirl in the turmeric. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, for 4 to 6 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the asafetida (if using), red chile powder, and ginger and cook for another minute.
4. Stir in the roasted potatoes and cauliflower, including any charred bits from the foil, and gently mix everything together (don’t overmix, or the cauliflower will fall apart). Add the salt and cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender (but not soggy!). Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Taste and adjust the lime juice and salt, if needed. Garnish with the cilantro before serving.
Tip: The easiest way to julienne ginger is to cut the piece of ginger in half lengthwise, cut it into slices, also lengthwise, then cut each slice into thin strips. Cut with, not against, the grain (you know you’re going against the grain if you see tiny threads coming out of the ginger as you cut it).
Connie cooks Aloo Gobhi with Priya Krishna on Instagram Live.