Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Aloo Gobi-licious

So, I've been making an ongoing effort to learn to cook Indian food. An important thing to remember about this is that a lot of the resulting recipes are guided a lot more by what I like than by anything having to do with authenticity. I'm Scandinavian. We have no idea how to make curry. So, I can promise that if I post it, I liked how it tasted. If you want the canonical version of something, there are things like this book which I really really want.

At any rate, today we have Aloo Gobi, which I decided to make because I was in the midst of a cauliflower craving (by the way, if you could go back in time and tell my eight year old self that I would one day have an intense cauliflower craving, she'd think you were crazy). Its adapted from this recipezaar recipe.

Stuff you need:
a bit of vegetable oil
1 large onion,chopped
1/2 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, stalks and leaves chopped separately
1 small green chili, finely chopped
1 large cauliflower, cut into pieces of the biggest size you'd like to eat
2 big potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
a can of garbanzo beans (because in addition to cauliflower I wanted protein)
2 cans diced tomatoes
fresh ginger, really finely chopped
fresh garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala

1. Heat vegetable oil in a giant pan. I used my biggest pot and it was totally full by the end
2. Add the chopped onion and one tsp of cumin seeds to the oil (if you don't have actual seeds, you could use regular cumin, but you can get cumin seeds for super cheap in the ethnic section, and they really add something good).
3. Stir together and cook slowly, onions should become nice and soft and golden, and translucent.
4. Add chopped cilantro stems, two tsp of turmeric, and one tsp of salt.
5. Add chopped chilies and then tomatoes.
6. Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly.
7. Add potatoes to the sauce plus enough water to just cover. Simmer this for about 10 minutes.
8. Add the cauliflower and garbanzo beans, and cook for ~10 more minutes or until the veggies are cooked. the point of adding the potato and cauliflower separately is so that the cauliflower doesn't get mushy, which is gross.
9. Throughout, make sure that the whole thing has enough water to be mostly or nearly covered, and cook with the lid on.
10. After its all cooked, add two teaspoons of Garam Masala and stir. (why do you add this at the end? I have no idea. if anyone knows, by all means fill me in.)
11. Sprinkle chopped cilantro leaves on top of the curry and stir around.
12. Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for as long as possible before serving.

You'll likely get something like this:

Now, the pot of food this made is HUGE (and, I only used 2 potatoes instead of the 3 they recommended!). I got 8 meals out of it, if I had put it over rice it would have been more.

For people who have been following the series on budget cooking, here is the rundown. If you followed the shopping list and spice list, you'd already have onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, tumeric, garbanzo beans and the tomatoes-- you'd just need to run to the store and pick up some potatoes, cilantro, a chili, and a cauliflower (4 things! not bad!). But, lets say you needed to get all of it (other than the spices), because you'd had eaten yourself out of house and home and had no basic food which was my situation. It would cost a grand total of... wait for it... $11.26. (this is counting things that were on the grocery store specials, and generic brands of canned goods. but, I'm assuming you will be a savvy shopper too). In case you don't feel like doing math $11.28/8 servings = $1.41 per serving. A dollar fifty! There are no frozen dinners that are that cheap, and this is packed with things that are actually good for you, plus it is delicious. Also, after you've eaten as much as you want to, you can do the whole frozen lunches thing, like this.

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