One of my favorite South Asian vegan curries is aloo gobi. It's made of spiced potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi). Even though there are quite a few ingredients, it's actually really quick and simple to make. Just get everything prepped while the potatoes are cooking.
I like to use a russet baking potato for this recipe. I find it helps to thicken the juices from the cauliflower and tomato. And my top tip is to be sure to take your time cooking the tomato, onion and spice mixture. You want the tomato to break down and slightly sweeten, and you want to the spices to become toasted. If you find the mixture is sticking, add a splash of water to lift that goodness from the bottom of the pan.
Serve this vegetable curry with steamed basmati rice and warm naan bread or alongside other curries for a South Asian feast.
Serves 2 to 4
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
1 green chili pepper, sliced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups cauliflower florets (1/2 a large head)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. Place potatoes in a pot, add enough water to cover by 1-inch and add salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil the potato until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add cumin seeds, and cook until they start to dance and pop, about 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric, cayenne and salt; cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes break down and become saucy, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in 1/4 cup of water and the cauliflower. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in potato, lemon juice, garam masala and cilantro. Season to taste with a pinch of salt.
--Garam masala is a blend of warm spices; it's typically added at the end of the cooking process to give the curry a very warm, aromatic fragrance.
--If you buy cauliflower on sale, it may have some brown spots. I find the easiest way to remove the brown bits is to peel them off with a vegetable peeler.
(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show "Best Recipes Ever." Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at www.karyosmond.com.)