I first discovered Indian food in my first year of college. There were at least three Indian buffets around campus, so I had plenty of places to choose from for lunch. I've always been an adventurous eater so trying all the traditional Indian dishes was extremely fun for me. And I often brought along my Indian friends to show me what was good.
One of my favorite dishes to this day is aloo gobi or potatoes and cauliflower. What makes it special is the flavorful blend of spices including turmeric, which tinges the vegetables a beautiful yellow. Turmeric also happens to have many health benefits. I love this dish because of the spices but also because I'm a fan of cauliflower. And in this dish it plays especially well with potatoes.
This recipe couldn't be easier to make. You start by quickly sautéing ginger and garlic then toasting the spices. Add the vegetables and a bit of water. Cover, cook, and you're done. Just make sure not to overcook the vegetables. Pair this side with some basmati rice and maybe chicken tikka masala and it's an Indian dinner.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 1/2-inch piece)
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup water
fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Warm oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes. Add spices and toast until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and potatoes; stir to coat with spices. Pour in water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until knife tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Toss with cilantro and serve. Yield: 6 servings as a side dish.