I really love vegetarian curry dishes, and today's recipe is a favourite of mine, a basic Aloo Gobi, an Indian style cauliflower and potato curry. I'm not claiming to be an expert in Indian cuisine, or even close, but I like to try. I happen to live close to a good vegetarian Indian restaurant, so out of convenience I rarely need to cook my own curries. This one is fairly easy, so I would encourage you to try to make it too!
400 g potatoes
200 g carrots
2 garlic cloves
Fresh ginger (similar amount to the garlic)
1-2 small dried chillies
250 g tomatoes
70 g cashew nuts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
Either use 1½ tbsp of a ready made Garam Masala spice mix, or make your own with the following instructions:
Garam Masala spice mix
4 tbsps coriander seeds
2½ tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
3-4 large black cardamom pods
¾ tsp cloves
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp crushed bay leaves
1½ tsp dry ginger (don't toast)
I especially enjoyed making the Garam Masala spice mix.
Toast all the ingredients apart from the ginger powder for a few minutes in a dry, heavy frying pan on a medium heat, until they get slightly darker. Be careful that the pan isn't too hot. After the toasting remove the pods of cardamom, keeping the seeds, and grind the spices together. Add the ginger powder to the mix.
This makes about three times the amount of the spice mix needed for this dish, but I froze the left overs to be used again soon.
Finely chop the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, fresh ginger and chilli. Cube the potatoes, slice the carrots and cut off the cauliflower florets. Coarsely crush the cashew nuts, keeping lots of large bits to add texture.
Cook the shallots, garlic, fresh ginger and chilli with a little vegetable oil in a large pan until soft. Add the Garam Masala to the pan and then the tomatoes.
After a little while add the cashew nuts, potatoes, cauliflower and carrots and simmer under the lid until the vegetables are fully cooked and the spices have developed their flavours nicely. Add small amounts of water to the pan when needed. That will make the potatoes cook quicker. However try not to rush this dish as it's nicer after a longer simmering.
Season the curry with turmeric and fresh coriander leaves. Serve with warm naan bread, or you could also pair it with some rice.