I have a new recipe for you – Aloo Gobi!
I know, I know. There are as many versions of Aloo Gobi as there are South Asian households. And now it’s gaining well-deserved fame in Western culture too.
You really don’t need another Aloo Gobi recipe.
But what if I told you I have a special one?
One with a secret ingredient…
What’s the Secret Ingredient?
Now that I’ve built up all this suspense, I’ll keep you waiting for a liiittle longer.
You see, your typical Aloo Gobi consists of all the usual suspects – onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chili pepper, spices, the works.
And while this Aloo Gobi boasts all the aforementioned ingredients, it is elevated with black seeds (kalonji), an extra sprinkle of fresh coriander powder, and it’s finished off with a secret ingredient…
Now you might be thinking…soy sauce in a South Asian dish?
You may be shaking your head. My ancestors may be frowning down upon me.
But hear me out.
The best way I can describe what soy sauce does is that it amplifies the umami factor of Aloo Gobi.
If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘umami’, it’s basically called the “fifth taste,” after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. It’s that deep, intense flavor that’s hard to describe but now that I pointed it out, you can kind of already taste it.
I’ve tried so many variations and additions in Aloo Gobi. Dry mango (amchur) powder for an extra sour kick. Tomato paste for extra color. Yogurt for a little creaminess. Of course, you can add in whichever of these appeals to you.
But for this recipe, I stuck with the must-have ingredients for an authentic, juicy, mouthwatering Aloo Gobi.
With that extra umami touch.
Secret Ingredient Aloo Gobi – Potato and Cauliflower Curry
Aloo Gobi is a well-loved Pakistani/Indian Punjabi dish. Potatoes and Cauliflower are coated in curry and steamed to perfection. This gluten-free and vegan recipe contains a secret ingredient that amplifies the umami factor of Aloo Gobi.
- ¼ cup grapeseed avocado, or other neutral oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp nigella seeds - (kalonji) optional
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 3/4 inch piece ginger crushed
- 3 small to medium tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ tsp red chili powder or more to taste
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 small head cauliflower cut into small florets (about 1 lb or 500 grams chopped)
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (around 350 grams), and placed in a bowl of water to prevent browning
- 1 green chili pepper sliced or chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 tsp lemon or lime juice or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves to garnish
Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and nigella seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until they turn lightly golden, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until the raw smell disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, spice powders (coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chili) and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil begins to separate from them, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cauliflower, and green chili pepper. Stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low-medium, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice in between.*
When the vegetables are cooked and all the moisture is gone, turn off the heat and add the soy sauce and lemon juice. Mix well and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with roti, naan, or rice.
*The goal is to let the vegetables cook in their own juices, adding only a bit of water if absolutely necessary.