Curried Cauliflower (Aloo Gobi without the aloo, or is it without the gobi? I forget)

29 Oct

(About to lose power! So let me post this quickly and wish us luck during Hurricane Sandy!)

I saw one of those manager’s specials at the local supermarket recently – a styrofoam and plastic wrap missile loaded with a pound cauliflower florets for about 99 cents, so I grabbed it impulsively, intentionally forgetting that cauliflower is not yet on my son’s List of Acceptable Vegetables. I can easily eat a pound of cauliflower on my own, I thought, if I don’t try to do it all in one day.

Cauliflower in the pot with spices

Then, a day or two later, there was the cauliflower, looking at me rather expectantly, mournfully, accusatory-like from its tightly wrapped package, while I prepared other vegetables from Leandro’s List of Acceptable Vegetables. We know the manager doesn’t put vegetables on special if they are at their peak of freshness, so the cauliflower needed doing before it fell off Natalia’s List of Acceptable Vegetables.

I made an executive decision. The manager’s special cauliflower was not going towards another vain attempt to interest Leandro in expanding his List after which I would be obligated to eat all of it. No. It was curry time. And so, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes) without the aloo (potatoes). This is, of course, not in any way to be judged as an attempt at authentic Indian food. In fact, I had a handful of peeled apple slices left over from the little guy’s lunch, and threw them in for sweetness. It was more than tasty enough  and served me not just for a dinner, but a couple of microwaveable office lunches.

The whole office will be sniffing around your lunch when this comes out of the microwave

Leandro wouldn’t taste it, but that doesn’t mean progress was not made. He crushed the spices in the mortar and pestle, and was entranced by the fragrances.  So it is just a matter of time.

Note: (I withheld the turmeric from the pestle, until I threw it all in the skillet – turmeric stains permanently, so it’s best not to let a five-year-old with a club mess with it. Additional note: Bend It Like Beckham is one of my favorite movies. Aloo gobi figures prominently in the film.)

curried cauliflower and rice at my desk. Note nice light from the window!

Curried Cauliflower (Aloo Gobi without the aloo)


½ tsp curry powder (mild or hot)

1 Tbs grated fresh ginger (I don’t bother peeling)

1 Tbs cumin powder

¼ tsp black peppercorns

¼ tsp coriander seed

½ tsp cumin seed

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp turmeric (careful, it stains!)

Salt to taste


2 Tbs mixed olive oil/vegetable oil

½ cup chopped onion (I also added a 1/2 Cup of chopped chard stems because I had them)

1 lb cauliflower, cut in fork-size pieces

(optional 1/2 Cup of peeled apple slices)

In a mortar and pestle crush all the spice ingredients at least enough to release their flavors. They don’t have to be finely crushed.

Heat the oil in a large skillet until loose and fragrant. Add the onions, stir and lower heat. Allow to soften at least five minutes. Add the cauliflower (and optional apple slices), stir to cover and cook for a few minutes to begin tenderizing. Add spice mixture, stir to coat, add ¼ Cup water (or other flavorful broth if you like) if you want a softer texture. Cover and cook until you reach desired tenderness. Salt to taste and serve with rice.



9 Responses to “Curried Cauliflower (Aloo Gobi without the aloo, or is it without the gobi? I forget)”

  1. Karen November 1, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Curried cauliflower sounds terrific. I hope you were not affected too badly by the storm. Good luck!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy November 4, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Thanks Karen, just getting back and glad to report that we made it through okay!

      • Mad Dog November 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

        Excellent news 🙂
        I’m just about to cook Tandoori chicken and thinking about doing aloo gobi with it 😉

  2. Bluejellybeans October 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    ¡Qué rico Natalia! Espero que sigas bien y que Sandy no se pase demasiado 🙂
    Hasta pronto!

  3. Conor Bofin October 29, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    You are pretty business-like in your post today. I note managers and executive decisions. That aside the thought of cauliflower and curry is very pleasing particularly with the added apple. My thoughts are with you all over there. Hopefully Sandy has been exaggerated (as usual) by the news media.

  4. Mad Dog October 29, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    I buy lots of cauliflower – the fantastic farmer at the farmers’ market (near me) sells them quite cheap. It really is fantastic with curry, but maybe Leandro would eat it with cheese rather than curry…
    Strap yourselves in for the storm 😉

  5. Mary Frances October 29, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    I love cooking with cumin and curry. This is my take, We are facing Sandy too, good luck!

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