One of the very nice things about travelling on the Indian Subcontinent – which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Butan and Sri Lanka – is the predominance of vegetarian and vegan dishes. The fact that you specifically have to ask for dishes that are ’non-veg’ if you want to eat meat or fish tells you everything you need to know! This dish made with aloo (potatoes) and gobi (cauliflower) from the Hindi ālū gobhī is popular in both India and Pakistan – but known by my daughter’s Pakistani family as gobi aloo. Either way round its a delicious mixture of roasted vegetables sitting in a rich and deeply spiced tomato sauce with a chilli kick. I served mine with a creamy squash, red lentil and coconut dahl, basmati rice and a squeeze of fresh lime.
A large cauliflower
2 tins chopped tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chilli powder
Some dried kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Juice of a lime
I began by cutting the cauliflower into florets and dicing the potatoes. Both are very seasonal right now and were purchased from my local farmer’s market (mercato contadino).
Drizzle with oil season, generously with salt and pepper and place on seperate baking trays so the vegetables have plenty of room to cook and don’t stick together.
Roast in a hot oven for around 20 minutes or until the vegetables start to get some colour.
Now you need to make the curry sauce. Assemble the spices and crush the garlic. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pan – I used coconut oil but vegetable or olive oil is also fine.
Add the garlic and lime leaves (if being used) and fry for a few minutes taking care that it doesn’t burn. Add the spices and cook through for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Then add the chopped tomatoes and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Finally add the roasted vegetables and the juice of a lime and that’s it! Heat through and serve with a twist of lime.