How to cook the perfect aloo gobi
This Punjabi potato and cauliflower curry is now a prized dish across India and Pakistan. But for the best texture, should the potatoes be waxy or floury? And which spices bring out its comforting warmth?
According to chef Vivek Singh, this hearty cauliflower and potato dish is likely the more common and basic vegetable curry you will find anywhere in India. Cheap, filling and only coincidentally vegan, its a recipe you definitely need in your repertoire.
The problem is, although aloo gobi has its origins in the Punjab, its now a firm favourite across India and Pakistan and, as Singh find, one of the disadvantages of its universal appeal is that there is no such thing as a universal recipe. Consider this, then, as one very good place to start.
Aloo, of course, means potato the backbone of this dish. Most recipes are pretty vague on this point, with only Kaushy Patels volume Prashad based on recipes from their own families Bradford vegetarian eatery of the same name identify the waxy variety; and Sumayya Usmani writer of the new volume Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes and Memories from Pakistan recommending more floury Maris Pipers in a recipe from her maternal grandmother, Nani. The latter soften more easily during cook, giving a fluffier result more comforting, perhaps, but more prone to fall apart in the pan. It seems in the spirit of this thrifty dish to use up what it is you happen to have in the house, but if youre buying them specially, Id recommend waxy potatoes.