Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aloo gobi

Today we had some friends over for Indian food, so I made samosas (frozen), chicken tikka masala, aloo gobi, black lentils, and rice. Only the aloo gobi and lentils are new, and since the lentils didn't exactly turned out as planned, I'll blog that tomorrow and just do the aloo gobi now.

Aloo gobi is a famous potato and cauliflower dish from India, and cauliflower isn't really my favorite, so I've never exactly jumped at the chance to make this. However, I always thought it was funny that a recipe was included in the DVD of "Bend it Like Beckham," which is a cute movie, so I managed to find that very recipe.

I did everything according to the recipe except (1) no fresh coriander could be located, (2) left out peppers because one of our lunch guests is sensitive to spicy food, and (3) no tomatoes, I hate tomatoes. (Plus, the recipe says "2 cans diced tomatoes," which I hate - what does "cans" mean? How many ounces? B.S.)

So I sauteed the onions and cumin seeds in some oil, then added the turmeric and salt. The turmeric is what gives this dish such an insane yellow color. You also add some minced ginger and garlic at this point. As the onions are cooking, you chop three potatoes and one cauliflower head, then throw it all into the pot to simmer for 20 minutes. I had to add quite a bit of water to keep it from sticking. At the end, throw in some garam masala and serve.

This photo doesn't quite get the yellow color right, but the one with the flash looks so crazy yellow that I didn't want to burn anyone's eyes.

The dish was very, very good. Next time I'll definitely add the chilies, although it was nice to have this dish not be so mind-bendingly hot as the tikka masala.

My friend brought a homemade Indonesian spice cake, the recipe for which came from her grandmother. It's a heavy cake made with egg and butter, and you alternate layers of regular cake and a spice cake mixture. Each layer is baked in turn under a broiler, and in the end you get a bunch of 2 mm thick layers. It was adorable.

And very delicious! We had it with a little bit of vanilla bean ice cream. If she is kind enough to send me the recipe, I will post it here for others to try!

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