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?