Pan-fried spiced caulifower and potatoes

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With the current cold wet weather we’re having, I’ve been craving warm, spiced foods even more. And this morning all I could think of for lunch was some cauliflower — slow cooked to golden perfection, with some potatoes for heft and ginger for warmth. Those of you following this blog possibly remember that I’ve already posted a recipe for Aloo Gobi, the dish that I just described. This is my new favourite version — the one I’m making a big pan of each time, so that there are plenty of leftovers. You can serve this with either rice or rotis, but it also makes a great meal in itself, with some yoghurt on the side. Or mix it into some baby spinach leaves for an unusual but delicious salad.

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Aloo Gobi
Serves four to six as a side

1 medium-sized cauliflower (mine was about 400 gm without the leaves)
3 medium potatoes
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ghee or sunflower oil
1 scant teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander, to garnish

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Heat the ghee or oil in a large, deep non-stick pan or wok on a medium flame. Once warmed, add the cumin seeds and allow them to gently splutter, about 30 seconds. Add the sliced onions and stir together.

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Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces. You can peel the potatoes or leave the skins on, I chose the latter. Slice each potato once vertically, then slice each half horizontally and then vertically into fine slices - about five vertical cuts per half potato.

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Once the onions are translucent, add the ginger and stir to mix well. Once fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the cauliflower and mix well together. Fry for two minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the chopped potatoes. Mix together and cook for about 2 minutes. Add all the ground spices except the salt, stir well to combine and shut the pan tight with a lid. Lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is almost done. Slowly cooking this dish gives everything an amazing, slightly caramelised flavour. Once the cauliflower is almost done, add salt to taste and stir well. After 2 - 3 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the dish to sit for a couple of minutes so the flavours can all assimilate. Garnish with coriander and serve hot, with either rotis or rice.

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Images: Vatsala Murthy

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