- Some Aloo Gobi Mistakes I Made in the Past
- What does this Aloo Gobi taste like?
- How do you make Aloo Gobi?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What to serve with Aloo Gobi
- How to make Aloo Gobi Paratha with leftovers
- What else can you do with Aloo Gobi leftovers?
- Some additional Aloo Gobi tips
- Other recipes you may enjoy
Getting out a good Aloo Gobi recipe has been something that’s been playing on the back of my mind for YEARS.
It’s been this one supposedly very simple, basic dish that I just wasn’t able to perfect. I have about 6 different versions of Aloo Gobi recipes I’ve tried to develop and just not liked enough to be able to post here. Here I was out here, impressing people with my lamb and chicken recipes, unable to produce a shareable Aloo Gobi recipe *hangs head in shame*.
Some Aloo Gobi Mistakes I Made in the Past
- Added too much water to the Aloo Gobi – generally speaking in my experience, adding water to any quick-ish cooking vegetable dish hasn’t worked out too well. The texture becomes soggy because the vegetables release their own moisture too. I would always notice excess, unnecessary water pooling in the serving dish after taking on the approach of ‘add lots of water and dry it out later’. And of course, soggy cauliflower, ughhhhh! Which brings me onto my next mistake…
- Adding the tomatoes too early. Hear me out, this may not be how you’ve seen Aloo Gobi being made. Before, I used to make an onion and tomato masala and make sure it was nice and jammy before adding the potatoes and cauliflower. The problem with this, however, was that the potatoes and cauliflower would take some time to release their own moisture, and I would end up forced into adding quite a bit of water to make sure nothing burns. And adding water, like I just mentioned, is no Bueno. Adding the tomatoes later, which have LOADS of moisture, helps us keep additional water to a minimum
- Been too light-handed on the spices – Lets get real, cauliflower isn’t the most interesting of vegetables. It definitely needs some flavour oomph, I have learnt throughout my trials (and tribulations – ha)
- Generally just messing up the cauliflower and potato ratio. We like a nice, even ratio of both, right? I’ve usually been guilty of getting the potato ratio too high.
So, I’ve FINALLY gotten down a recipe I’m happy with. I was ever so close to posting the version just before this one, but I just had to have one final go before posting. And I’m SO happy I waited, because my rather picky, high-standards-for-Aloo-Gobi-coz-Maa-Jee-made-it-real-good husband has given it the thumbs up. And now I’m SO psyched to finally share it here!
What does this Aloo Gobi taste like?
This Aloo Gobi is…
- A simple, homely, wholesome recipe. The flavours are simple and comforting.
- A dry-style vegetable curry. By dry, I don’t mean it’ll have you reaching for gulps of water after every bite. I mean it’s more of a steamed vegetable dish as opposed to a more saucy or creamy affair.
- The potatoes and cauliflower are tender and soft, but not mushy and soggy
How do you make Aloo Gobi?
I like to start by chopping everything up and getting it ready to use, since the potatoes and cauliflower take a little bit of prep.
- Peel the potatoes and chop them up. I prefer them to be medium sized cubes, so they retain their shape. Cut them too fine and they risk getting mashed.
- For the cauliflower, set aside the stems. You can use them for something else, such a vegetable broth, but they just aren’t so good in this recipe as they remain tough and don’t work so well with the texture of things. Chop the cauliflower into medium-sized florets slightly larger in size than the potato cubes.
- For the tomatoes, you can either blend them into a puree or chop them finely. In the images shown, I’ve blended them. But I also chop them up too, it’s fine either way.
- Chop the onions finely – this makes the onions melt into the curry quicker and more easily.
Start off by heating some oil in a pot or pan. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and fry them on a medium to high heat, until the onions just begin to turn golden. Stir often, ensuring everything is browned evenly.
Add all the spices and green chillies. Allow this to fry for 2-3 minutes.
Then in go the potatoes and cauliflower. Allow these about 3-4 minutes just to get some frying action with the onions – this helps add a bit more depth of flavour and a more golden colour.
Add in the tomatoes. Mine were pureed in the blender, so quite liquid.
Turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer for about half an hour, checking in between and giving a stir just to ensure nothing is burning. If needed, added a very minimal amount of water to prevent burning – 1/4 cup or less at a time if and as needed is a safe bet.
Once the potatoes and cauliflower are tender, the curry is complete. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the tabs to read the answers
What kind of cauliflower is best to use in Aloo Gobi?
I always recommend using fresh cauliflower florets. Frozen feels lacklustre to me personally and it also has a tendency to become soggy upon cooking due to all the moisture they hold. A bonus with using fresh cauliflower is you will also get the large green leaves, which you can also chop add the curry!
Wait, can I actually use cauliflower leaves in my cooking?
Yep, absolutely! I’ve been adding the leaves to my Aloo Gobi for AGES because, well… why not? It felt wasteful to throw the leaves away when they can be utilised. You can just chop them up finely and add them into the curry alongside the cauliflower. I haven’t got a stat on how nutritious they are, but they surely can’t be doing any harm in there. And also, if you’re concerned, they don’t taste of anything so it will definitely not ruin your Aloo Gobi 🙂
What are the best potatoes to use in Aloo Gobi?
I’m a HUGE fan of using baby potatoes in curries. They just work so well and I also find the shape of them means they just look good in the curry too. If you can’t use those, russet potatoes work well too! Try not to cut them too small, otherwise they can overcook and lose their shape.
How can I prevent mushy potatoes?
Mushy potatoes are a common problem. I mean, no wonder why I’ve struggled to get this recipe right. It feels like a science experiment, not a simple vegetable curry.
Mushy potatoes are a result of overcooking and breaking. Here are some possible solutions to this:
- Avoid overcooking them – once they’re done, they’re DONE and they don’t need extra time. Overcooked potatoes are bound to break.
- Handle the entire curry quite gentle once they begin to get tender. Don’t use an aggressive hand when stirring as this can break the potatoes.
- Avoid slicing the potatoes – I prefer to cut mine into medium sized cubes. The reason for this is, if they are thinly sliced they will cook quicker, thus more likely to become overcooked and will be more delicate, thus more likely to break
Help! My cauliflower always ends up soggy!
I hear you, I hear you. I’ve had this problem A LOT too, and it is so frustrating. Soggy, moist cauliflower is so offensive and it has no place in this Aloo Gobi recipe.
Soggy cauliflower is a result of too much moisture + overcooking. Cauliflower is a high moisture-content vegetable – it doesn’t need lots of water added to cook it. When we add too much water, this + the moisture already present in the cauliflower = a recipe for a soggy and sorry Aloo Gobi. And that’s why I bang on quite a lot about not adding water if you can help it.
So here’s what we’re going to do to combat it:
- Limit the amount of water you add. We want to add JUST enough to ensure it doesn’t burn, but NOTHING more than that because the cauliflower WILL release it’s own moisture when given time. And when that happens, you’ll end up a lot of sad sogginess. Just think about boiled cauliflower vs steamed cauliflower. When you add too much water and cook the curry, you end up with boiled cauliflower in a curry. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of boiled cauliflower one bit.
- Don’t overcook. You want to get in there just as everything is tender and stop right there. It doesn’t need ANY more time, otherwise things will get soggy and mushy. This is also another reason why adding a limited amount of water is good – because if there’s still water in the pan when the veggies are cooked, you’re in trouble.
Do I have to make the Aloo Gobi dry? What if I want more sauce?
Aloo Gobi as many Pakistanis will make and eat it will be similar to the kind I have shown here – dry and with minimal sauce. If you want more sauce though, that’s absolutely fine too!
If you want more sauce, I would recommend doubling the amount of onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic and x0.5 the spices (so if the recipe says 2tsp coriander powder, add 3tsp) and adjust the taste to your liking. This should create an ample amount of sauce.
Can you freeze Aloo Gobi?
Yes, Aloo Gobi can be frozen. However, it does change in texture once defrosted and doesn’t remain quite the same. Think frozen cauliflower vs fresh cauliflower. There is a difference – and that’s the difference here too. It’s still doable though, and it could be that the change in texture doesn’t particularly bother you!
Store in an airtight container – it will be good for 3-4 months.
What to serve with Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi has always been a stand-alone dish for us. It’s perfect with a hot, buttered roti or freshly cooked paratha. We also like serving it with some sweetened yogurt – I hear it is meant to make the cauliflower easier to digest.
It also does really well with salad – even having some vegetables just cut up and served as I’ve shown in the images is good enough. Especially the red onions *drools*. A squeeze of lemon also does wonders.
Additionally, Aloo Gobi would go wonderful with some pickle (achaar).
Some people like to add peas to their Aloo Gobi, to make it Aloo Matar Gobi. If you wanna do that too, I’d say add the peas in about 15 minutes before cook time is up.
You can also add other quick cooking vegetables like spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi) 5 minutes before cook time is over.
How to make Aloo Gobi Paratha with leftovers
One of my favourite things about Aloo Gobi is the delicious leftovers that make for the most delicious parathas the next day. Getting the Aloo Gobi curry ready to use as stuffing for parathas is super easy.
- First, make sure the Aloo Gobi mixture isn’t moist. If the mixture has too much moisture, your paratha dough will get too moist and may break
- If your Aloo Gobi mixture is too moist, heat it up over a pan and dry out the excess moisture. The drier, the better.
- Once you’ve made sure the curry isn’t dry, you can just mash everything up using the back of a spoon or your hands. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth, just mashed enough to be able to roll out without creating holes in the paratha dough.
- Once you’ve done all this, you can use this mixture as desired to stuff your parathas with.
What else can you do with Aloo Gobi leftovers?
Aloo Gobi leftovers are the best kind of leftovers. The kind you can do a little happy dance for before tucking it away in the fridge. There are SO many possibilities – including:
- Parathas, of course, as mentioned above
- Mash them up and make little Aloo Gobi patties/cakes/tikkis/whatever you’d like to call them
- Use them to fill sandwiches with. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’m a fan of a good sabzi and cheese toastie 😉
- They go good in quesadillas too!
- I’ve actually once gone ahead and baked them with a huge, healthy hand of cheddar cheese. Spicy cauliflower cheese, ftw.
Some additional Aloo Gobi tips
- Be gentle when handling the cooked Aloo Gobi since it will mash easily once tender
- Keeping everything on a low and slow flame is really important as it will help coax out all the moisture from the vegetables to help with the cooking process. It may be tempting to cook on a higher flame and add water, especially if you’re in a rush, but trust me, waiting it out is worth it.
- You can add a heaped tbsp of Achaar if you feel like a bit of a kick!
- This is a mild recipe in terms of heat. Very child friendly. If you would prefer some more heat than this recipe has, I would recommend chopping up the green chillies as opposed to keeping them whole.
- Ghee tastes FANTASTIC not only in this, but also in most vegetable dishes! So I highly recommend using that over oil if possible
- Making sure all your potato cubes are the same size will ensure everything cooks evenly.
Other recipes you may enjoy
Achari Aloo | Mixed Sabzi | Cheats Aloo Paratha | Aloo ki Tikki
Aloo Gobi | Delicious Pakistani Recipe
A super easy and simple vegetarian dish, an Aloo Gobi is a classic many of us will remember our Mums making.
- 1/3-1/4 cup oil (as per preference)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1tbsp minced ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green chillies
- 1.5tsp salt, or to taste
- 0.5tsp red chilli powder
- 0.5tsp turmeric
- 2tsp cumin seeds
- 2tsp coriander powder
- 350g cauliflower (one small head), stems removed and cut into florets
- 250g potatoes, peeled and in medium-sized cubes
- 2 tomatoes, chopped or pureed
- Fresh coriander, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a pot or pan. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and fry them over a medium-high heat, till they begin to turn golden
- Add the spices and green chillies. Fry for 2-3 minutes
- Add the potatoes and cauliflower pieces. Allow these to fry for 3-4 minutes. It may start to smell like roasted spices - this is a good thing!
- Add the tomatoes in. Give everything a stir - if things look like they need a splash of water, add some in. We really want to avoid adding excess water in, so please only add water if you think the curry will burn without it
- Turn the heat to low, put the lid on and allow everything to steam-cook. Ideally, we want to avoid adding water, but keep checking in between. If you do need to add water, add a very small amount at a time.
- Once the cauliflower and potatoes are tender, turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Wednesday 2nd of February 2022
This is just terrific -- very helpful. I've been making aloo gobi for many years -- now it will be better. I do wish you had provided a link to making that gorgeous paratha ...
Thursday 3rd of February 2022
Thank you, Toby! A paratha post is soon in the works :-) nice to know it caught your attention!