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This Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potatoes served with dal) recipe is both traditional and absolutely full of amazing flavours. Try it for yourself.


  • 2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • ½  teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated or crushed garlic

  • 1 tablespoon peeled, finely grated root ginger

  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped

  • 3–4 hot green chillies, finely chopped

  • 1 ¼  teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves

  • ¼  teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

  • For the deep-frying stage

  • sunflower oil, to deep-fry

  • 600g (1lb 4oz) cauliflower florets, plus about

  • 150g (5 ½ oz) stalks and leaves, chopped

  • 450g (1lb) potato, peeled and roughly chopped

  • Mixed black dal (serves 8)

  • 100g (3 ½ oz) whole urad dal with skin

  • 100g (3 ½ oz) whole mung dal with skin

  • 100g (3 ½ oz) chana dal

  • 100g (3 ½ oz) moth beans

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 2 centimetres ( ¾ inch) peeled root ginger, cut into slivers

  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped hot green chilli

  • 60g (2oz) unsalted butter

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt

  • ½  teaspoon turmeric

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala


  • 1.

    Start with the deep-frying. Pour the oil into a karhai or wok and set it over a medium-high

  • 2.

    Heat. Wait for it to get very hot.

  • 3.

    Fry the cauliflower florets (not the stalks or leaves) in two batches, for about two minutes each batch, or until light brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

  • 4.

    Ensure the oil has time to reheat between batches. Now carefully add the potato to the oil, standing back in case of splashes, and fry for five to six minutes, or until golden all over.

  • 5.

    Remove and drain on kitchen paper. (Strain the oil and save it for future use.)

  • 6.

    Now for the rest. Set a clean karhai, wok or heavy-based pan, about 20 centimetres (8 inches) in diameter, over a medium heat.

  • 7.

    Pour in the oil and, when hot, add the onion. Sauté for two minutes, then add the cumin seeds. Stir for three to five minutes, or until the onion is light brown.

  • 8.

    Spoon in the garlic and ginger. Stir for two minutes, adding a splash of hot water if it starts to stick.

  • 9.

    Add the tomato and cook for five minutes, or until completely integrated.

  • 10.

    Sprinkle in the chillies and salt and stir for one minute. Crumble in the fenugreek, stirring for one minute.

  • 11.

    Spoon in the turmeric and mix well. Add another splash of water if necessary, then tip in the cauliflower stalks and leaves and cook, stirring, for six minutes, or until soft.

  • 12.

    Add a little water if the pan seems to dry out. Now put in the deep-fried cauliflower florets and potato and the chopped coriander, mix gently and cook for a final two minutes, then serve.

  • Mixed black dal:

  • 1.

    The night before, pick over all four types of dal and rinse them all well.

  • 2.

    Combine all the dals in a large, heavy-based pan about 25 centimetres (10 inches) in diameter. Pour in

  • 3.

    2 litres (3 ½ pints) of water and leave to soak overnight.

  • 4.

    Next day, place the pan over a high heat and add the onions, ginger, chilli, butter, salt and turmeric. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer at a gentle bubble for about two and a half hours, stirring occasionally.

  • 5.

    Check for seasoning, then add the garam masala, mix thoroughly, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes, then serve.

  • 6.

    Heat 3 tbs of veg oil in a small pan.

  • 7.

    Drop in 1 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds followed by 2 dried red chillis.

  • 8.

    When the chillis have darkened in colour pour this mixture onto the Dal, and mix through.

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