Pakistani Aloo Gobi (Potato & Cauliflower Curry)
Aloo Gobi is a well-loved Pakistani & Punjabi dish in which potatoes and Cauliflower are coated in curry and steamed to perfection. This Aloo Gobi curry recipe is authentic, juicy, and mouthwatering with a surprising added touch of umami!
“Absolutely scrumptious! Your recipes are always a hit, thank you!”Fatema
Aloo Gobi – The Classic Potato & Cauliflower Dish
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.
Your typical Aloo Gobi consists of all the usual suspects – onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chili pepper, spices, the works.
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…
Soy Sauce! (or Tamari – to make it gluten-free)
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 of Aloo Gobi. Indian-style using 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 Pakistani-style Aloo Gobi.
With that extra umami touch.
Tips for Cooking Aloo Gobi
Here are some tips for making Aloo Gobi:
- As with Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry and other vegetarian curries, it’s always best to cover and let the vegetables cook over low heat in their own moisture. Adding water can make them soggy and less flavorful.
- I don’t know about you, but I love both my cauliflower and potatoes to be well done. I’ve tried other recipes and there’s often a bite to the cauliflower. I add the potatoes with the cauliflower to prevent it from being underdone.
- The soy sauce at the end is a subtle addition that you won’t be able to taste once you stir it in. Don’t be afraid to use it or even increase to a teaspoon. And if you just want a traditional (but amazing!!) aloo gobi, feel free to omit it. With or without it, this recipe is so deeply flavorful and the vegetables are cooked to perfection.
What to serve with Aloo Gobi
More Vegan and Vegetarian curry recipes:
- Chana Masala – (Authentic Chickpea Curry)
- Aloo Palak (Spinach & Potato Curry)
- Zucchini/Courgette Curry (Toriyan)
- Okra Curry (Bhindi)
- Smoked Eggplant Curry (Baingan Bharta)
Pakistani Aloo Gobi – Potato and Cauliflower Curry
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp nigella seeds – (kalonji), optional
- 1 (~220-240 g) medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3/4-1 inch piece ginger, crushed
- 3 (~315 g) small to medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder, or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, optional
- 1 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 small (~1 lb chopped) head of cauliflower, cut into small florets with excess stems sliced
- 2 small (~350 g) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and placed in a bowl of water to prevent browning
- 1 small green chili pepper, sliced or chopped
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2-1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp lemon or lime juice, plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and nigella seeds (if using) and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until it turns golden (~6-7 min).
- 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, black pepper (if using)) and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil begins to separate from them (~4-5 min).
- Add the potatoes, cauliflower, and green chili pepper. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Turn the heat down to low-medium, cover, and let cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. (See Note 1)
- When the vegetables are completely tender and all the moisture is gone (See Note 2), turn off the heat. Add the soy sauce, garam masala, and lemon juice. Taste and add salt, if needed. (If you didn't add soy sauce, you'll probably need a bit more salt.) Mix well and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with roti, naan, or rice.