A few weekends ago I took a cooking class on making French chocolates from a French chef, Suzanne (Cuisine By Suzanne). We found out about this class when we we were at a Japanese festival in Seattle and that it was being offered at a Japanese chef’s house (Hiroko Sugiyama). I jumped at the chance to learn something new as I like taking cooking classes, no matter what cuisine. I especially like taking classes that are hands on. It is no fun just watching the chef show how to make something if you cannot participate. Not only is a hands-on class more fun but you learn much more by doing it yourself. I usually try to apply that to my cooking as it triggers new ideas. Over the years I have taken lots of classes – 5-day class for the basics of cooking, Pizza making, Chocolate and so on.
We made a variety of chocolates – Hazelnut Orange Toffee, Vanilla and Chocolate Macaroons, Canneles Bordelais, Rasberry Truffle and Rosemary and Olives Cracker. I love macaroons but the French macaroons are different. They look like little mini burgers – white chocolate buns with dark chocolate sandwiched between them. They were amazing! I had a filling of chocolates that day along with some excellent white wine (chardonnay) and the rosemary olive crackers.
The rosemary olive crackers were excellent and gave me some ideas of how to make crackers with Indian spices. My mom used to make various kinds of crackers and I decided to apply the technique I learnt in this class. When all was said and done, my experiment failed. The crackers came out dry since I had completely forgotten to put an essential ingredient – oil! My plan was to add the cracker recipe to the blog but that did not pan out. Anyway, I will posting that soon in the near future. So I had to think of something else. I saw that I had potatoes, cauliflower, red onions. That’s when I decided to make the Aloo Gobi recipe.
Not sure if you have seen the movie, Bend it like Beckham. It shows a Indian girls quest to make it big in soccer in spite of her parents wish for her to become a doctor or an engineer. Anyway, they have Aloo Gobi in the movie. At the end of the movie is a video of the director showing how to make Aloo Gobi with the director’s mom guiding her.
Aloo Gobi (literal translation – Potato Cauliflower) is one of my favorite ways to eat potato and cauliflower. Even though the name of the dish is very unassuming, it is a really tasty dish and very easy to make. It goes really well with Naan or Roti (or Chappati).
Aloo Gobi (Braised Potato and Cauliflower)
This dish tastes better when eaten with Naan or Chappati (or Soft Tortilla). Majority of the cooking time is due to braising the vegetables.
Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 – 30 minutes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/2 cup of cilantro stalk, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Turmeric
1 teaspoon Salt
1 serrano chili, chopped (use 2-3 for a spicier dish)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped (or one 28oz can of diced tomatoes with juice)
1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and cut evenly into eighths
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cumin seeds to the oil. Stir together and cook until onions become creamy, golden, and translucent.
Add chopped coriander stalks, two teaspoons of turmeric, and one teaspoon of salt. Add chopped chilies and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir tomatoes into onion mixture. Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly. Cook for another 4-5 minutes
Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce plus a few tablespoons of water (ensuring that the mixture doesn’t stick to the saucepan). Ensure that the potatoes and cauliflower are coated with the curry sauce. Cover and allow to simmer for twenty minutes (or until potatoes are cooked).
Add two teaspoons of Garam Masala and stir. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry. Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for as long as possible before serving.
Enough for 4 people