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Friday, 16 October 2009

Madhur made me mad

As it was Diwali yesterday Mr. F and I decided to make Indian food for supper.  He had a hankering for aloo gobi, so off I trotted down Brick Lane to purchase the ingredients specified in Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for potato and cauliflower curry in "The Ultimate Curry Bible".

Elements of the recipe work really well: asafoetida and cumin seeds are fried briefly, after which a paste of onions, garlic and ginger is added, followed by grated fresh tomato, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and cayenne.  This makes a wonderful (and all purpose?) sauce.  But Madhur requires you to fry the cauliflower and potato in 8 tablespoons of oil before adding to the sauce and allowing them to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Mr. F and I concluded that this not only makes the dish rather oily,but it also prevents the veg from absorbing the flavour of the sauce.  Secondly, after the vegetables have been added Madhur states that a pint of water should be poured in, the dish brought to the boil and then simmered (covered) for two/three minutes.  This last instruction prevents any of the liquid from being boiled away and made the sauce very watery.

We ended up with an insipid plate of mushy, greasy vegetables, although the roti and raita were a success.  Does anyone else have a better recipe for aloo gobi?

2 comments:

  1. First let me say how much I like your blog which I have only discovered today. It sounds to me as if Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Aloo Gobi is an adaptation of some of the recipes in Dharamjit Singh's excellent little work called "Indian Cookery". Although he doesn't give one specifically for Aloo Gobi he does give one called "Cauliflower Puree" which calls for the vegetables to be fried in ghee with aromatics and then moistened with yogurt and a "scant pint of water". The dish is then simmered until "moisture except butter and juices are died off". This sounds as if it might also be successful with Aloo Gobi. But I confess that I haven't tried it

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  2. Thanks John! I think that whilst we were cooking this we wondered whether the recipe's instructions were correct in requiring such a short simmer once the water had been added. My only concern would be that the vegetables would be really well cooked once the moisture had evaporated. Thanks for the book recommendation - I'll definitely check it out.

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