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Feb 28, 2008 03:16 PM

really great Aloo Gobi Recipe?

Anyone have a really good recipe for this? I searched online but keep coming up with the same basic ones - half include Garam Masala and the others don't. I have never done any Indian cooking so I am not clear on how important adding the Garam Masala is. My gut tells me that it is the "necessary spice" so I don't want to attempt it without if it is.

Also, if in fact Garam Masala is the magic ingredient...anyone have a good online source for it?

thanks in advance!

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  1. Here's a garam masala thread from a couple of months ago

    What spices and spice mixes do you have?


    1. The Bend it Like Beckham director actually makes a semingly good version of this dish on the movie DVD, I keep meaning to try it.

      1. The typical North Indian style aloo gobhi contains garam masala, both ground and some whole, as a standard. It is like a classic way of making it. It is like you are asking to make a Texas chili without any chile in it. I am not sure why you are against garam masala. When used correctly (as in not too much) it is magical stuff. If you are against it, you could try to do it with a South Indian recipe, or with a Bengali type recipe that uses "panch phoran," or Bengali 5 whole spices mix, the Bengali version may actually have garam masala in it, too, though. Do you have an Indo-Pak grocer near to you? If so, I recommend you go check it out. You should buy a packet of whole "khara" garam masala, and a small box of preground stuff. I can't recommend a brand for the pre-ground cuz the truth is my mother in law brings me her home ground one.

        Anyway, here is my recipe for aloo gobhi. The trick is not to add any water. It is a dry veg, not a wet one. If you want a wet gravy with it, make sure the recipe you select will result in a gravy. This is easisest to cook in a non-stick wok shaped pot with a lid, but any deep non-stick pot with a lid will do.

        1 small head phool gobhi--cauliflower, chopped into florets and washed
        3 quick cooking potatoes, (they must be the kind that cook in 20 minutes, not the baking kind that take an hour) cut into small cubes and soaking in water
        1 small oniol sliced
        4 garlic cloves cut into slivers
        1 tsp crushed fresh ginger
        1 tsp whole cumin seeds
        1/2 tsp turmeric
        1/2-1 tsp red chili powder
        1 heaping tsp ground cumin
        1 stick cinnamon
        3-4 cardamon pods
        2 bayleaves
        5 black pepper corns
        5 cloves
        (all of these whole spices come together in your small packet of whole garam masala in small quantities to make it easy for you)
        2-3 whole red dried chilies
        2 fresh green chilies cut in bite sized chunks (de-seed if u like)
        2 table spoons of roughly chopped fresh cilantro
        1/2-1 tsp garam masala powder
        2 tables spoons oil
        salt to taste

        Heat oil in wok until very hot. Add in the whole red chilies, the cumin seeds, the bay leafs, cloves, pepper corns, cardamon, cinnamon stick, and fry around for about 1 minute. Then add in the onions, garlic, ginger. Fry until onions look translucent and garlic looks crispy. Then add in the turmeric, red chili powder, and cumin powder. Let this sizzle for one moment, then add in the potato cubes. They must still be wet from soaking in water...this creates steam to help them cook. Stir around well for a few minutes, getting the masala color on them. Then lower heat to medium and cover. Leave for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times to prevent bottom sticking. Then turn up the heat and add in the gobhi---it helps if you gobhi is a tad wet from being washed as well. Stir again coating in the masala oil. You should add your salt now, too. Then lower heat to medium again and cover for about 10-15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. By now the potato and cauliflower are both cooked, and it is done. They should be fully cooked, but slightly crisp. Definately not mushy and falling apart. Now add the pinch of ground garam masala and the chopped green chilies. With the heat off, cover again and allow the green chilies to steam a bit for a few minutes. Then uncover, add in the chopped cilantro garnish, and serve.

        6 Replies
        1. re: luckyfatima

          You keep posting the most delicious sounding recipes, thank you! That sounds great.

          1. re: luckyfatima

            My guess is that the OP isn't against Garam Masala , but rather just doesn't have it, and so, is debating whether to get some or not, before trying this dish.

            In a crude sense, GM is 'curry powder' without the yellow turmeric and a few other spices. I'd say if you have conventional curry powder on hand, try one of these recipes, using this instead of the other spices. To simulate the effect of GM, add some extra ground cinnamon and cumin toward the end. This use of GM serves to brighten the flavors right before serving.

            Looking at various recipes makes it clear that there is no one correct spice mix. Rather there are typical combinations, which cooks vary depending on regional and personal preferences.


            1. re: paulj

              oh yes sorry, i hope that didn't sound terribly rude about being against garam masala. Anyway, I suppose a curry powder would do, but if one plans on getting in to more Indian cooking, it would surely be worth it to hunt down some garam masala.

              1. re: luckyfatima

                The OP could easily make his/her own garam masala, which would be better than a packaged blend anyway. It's not a standard mixture, there are many regional variations.

                Here is one from Madhur Jaffrey: Grind together in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder for about 35 seconds, the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds (green pods give a more delicate flavor), one 2-inch stick of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds (or substitute regular cumin seeds), 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, and 1/4 of a nutmeg. This makes about 3 tablespoons; Ms. Jaffrey says it's best to grind in small amounts so it's always fresh. Should be stored in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid away from heat and sunlight.

            2. re: luckyfatima

              paulj is correct about the Garam Masala... I was just wondering on whether or not to purchase it as I don't have it. I figured it was important to the dish, but wanted to make sure... I couldn't have anything against it as I don't even know what it tastes like!! :)

              Luckyfatima... I think your recipe sounds great. I will have to check and see if we have an Indo-Pak grocer near by... if not I may just order it online. Thanks for posting your recipe!

              1. re: tapas gal

                It doesn't take much hunting down. I've bought it at my regular Safeway in the spice section. I agreed that the you should go ahead and buy it, since it is a finishing spice in many Indian dishes. If you have any interest in cooking more Indian, you will get plenty of use out of it.

            3. I transcribed this from the "Bend It Like Beckham" DVD as best I could...

              Indian-style Cauliflower and Potatoes
              (Aloo Gobi)

              1 head cauliflower
              3T oil or clarified butter
              2t cumin seeds
              2t coriander seeds
              1T finely minced fresh ginger
              1 small jalapeno, minced
              ½t ground turmeric
              ½t coarse salt
              ¾lb red skinned potatoes, cubed
              ½C water
              fresh cilantro

              Cut the cauliflower head into florets, approximately the same size as the potatoes. Heat the oil or clarified butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ginger, and jalapeno, stirring constantly, to release the flavors of the spices. After about ten seconds, add the turmeric and salt. Stir. Immediately add the potatoes and cauliflower, and stir to coat with the spices. Add water, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, checking periodically to make sure the water has not completely evaporated – add a small amount of water, if necessary. Uncover and increase heat to high to evaporate the remaining water. Remove to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ricepad

                I've used a recipe like this using just cauliflower. That started with heating cumin, fennel, and black mustard seeds till they start to pop, then adding the turmeric and cauliflower and just enough water to steam the vegetable. Then finish with cilantro.


                1. re: ricepad

                  Didn't the "Bend it Like Beckham" Aloo Gobi recipe include grated tomato's?

                2. Wondering if anyone wants to share any other favourite aloo gobi recipes? Making one using onion, ginger, chiles, coriander, turmeric, tomatoes tonight.