If you’re a vegetarian or vegan who enjoys going out for Indian food, chances are you’ve ordered aloo gobi, a classic dish of mildly spiced, curried cauliflower and potatoes. This quick aloo gobi recipe is made with a couple of shortcuts, but still tastes deliciously authentic.
This shortcut version of aloo gobi comes together quickly with frozen cauliflower and, more importantly, a jar of tomato-based Indian simmer sauce. These convenient sauces contain up to twenty traditional Indian seasonings, giving great depth of flavor and allowing us lazy cooks to make Indian-style dishes at home.
Frozen vs. fresh cauliflower I don’t know about you, but at the end of a busy day, I just don’t have the patience to deal with a fresh cauliflower and the mess it makes. That’s why I call for a bag of frozen cauliflower in this shortcut recipe.
That said, you’ll find a variation of the recipe to use fresh, if that’s what you prefer, in the Notes area of the recipe box. Admittedly, fresh cauliflower is more flavorful than frozen if you’d like to take the extra step.
Complete the meal: Though it may be a little redundant as far as carbs, rice or couscous as a bed of grain work well to stretch the meal.
Otherwise, serve with a fresh flatbread — many natural foods stores and supermarkets offer naan (which isn’t always vegan, so you may enjoy making your own) roti, or chapati (the latter are always vegan, and even easier to make if you’d like to DIY roti).
This version of aloo gobi is light on protein, so serve a simple salad that contains chickpeas or tofu. Or, take a different route by pairing this dish with Black Bean and Mango Salad with Avocado.
About Indian simmer sauces: These amazing sauces are available in the Asian foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets and natural foods stores, and usually come in 12-ounce jars. They contain the wide array of spices, in varying combinations, that make Indian food so delicious.
For us Western cooks, Indian simmer sauces are a lifesaver for making homemade curries taste more authentic
Choose a dairy-free variety like Jalfrezi or Rogan Josh (both of these are mild). Madras Curry is also usually dairy-free, and that variety your ideal choice if you want a spicier effect. My favorite brands are Patak’s and Maya Kaimal. There are store brands as well, including Trader Joe’s.
Photos above: FomaA/Bigstock
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil or vegan butter
- 1 medium onion, quarter and thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 4 medium or 2 large potatoes, scrubbed (if organic) or peeled and diced
- 16-ounce bag frozen cauliflower, thawed (or use fresh, see Note)
- 12-ounce jar Indian simmer sauce (dairy-free, mild Jalfrezi and Rogan Josh work well)
- 2 medium firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
- Salt to taste
- Chopped cilantro or parsley, as desired
- Hot seasoning (sriracha or other hot sauce, dried hot red pepper flakes, etc.), optional
- Heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Add the potato dice and a cup or so of water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover, cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until the potato is just tender.
- Stir in the cauliflower, simmer sauce, and tomatoes. Continue to simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and stir in the cilantro or parsley. Add hot seasoning to taste, or better yet, pass it around so that everyone can spice up their dish to their own taste.
If you prefer using fresh cauliflower, go for it! A small cauliflower is just about right, cut into bite-sized pieces or florets, or 5 to 6 cups worth of pieces and florets from a larger cauliflower.
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See lots more easy and delectable vegan main dishes.