It’s been a rough week so I decided to make a dinner last night that is tried and true: Bolly Cauli (Aloo Gobhi) from 660 Curries. This particular recipe is pretty straightforward, but you will need to mix up some bin bhuna hua garam masala beforehand. I already had some mixed, so this really was an easy recipe for me to throw together without doing much thinking (I’ve made it sooo many times). I repurpose empty spice bottles with a sharpie pen to store and label my curry mixes:
Iyer calls this garam masala the “coriander-scented untoasted blend,” which means you will put your whole spices directly into your spice grinder without toasting them on the stove. I use a coffee grinder that I have dedicated to spices and clean it between uses with some white rice. See if the thought of these spices blended together doesn’t get your mouth watering: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, whole cloves, cardamom seeds from green or white pods, bay leaves, dried red Thai or cayenne chiles (or already ground cayenne).
[I’m regrettably out of whole coriander, so I will be back to insert a picture of all the spices together, after I have replenished my coriander bottle.]
The cardamom is probably the only slightly irritating thing about this blend. The pods can be hard to pop open and you must have patience gathering the little seeds and placing them in your little measuring spoon. So I’m glad I already had this mixed for last night; otherwise I might have selected a different recipe. Anyway, it’s delicious, and Iyer points out it’s a good replacement for commercial curry powder if you work from recipes calling for such.
Building this dish will make you hungry if you weren’t already. You start with chopped garlic and ginger in hot oil, followed by the potatoes, garam masala, salt and turmeric. I like to get the potatoes somewhat browned before adding the cauliflower and tomatoes. In fact, every time I make this dish I think about how I should just make the potatoes and then eat them. Forget the cauliflower and tomatoes! I mean, look at this:
The cauliflower and potatoes will simmer for awhile in the juices of the tomatoes. It’s done when the potatoes and cauliflower are tender, generally about 30 minutes. I usually just serve it over rice, because it’s easy and there is plenty of time to make the rice while the curry simmers. You’re supposed sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro on top, but I didn’t have any on hand last night.
And finally, Manny. Because Manny. I think he must be contemplating cauliflower. I’m serious: he loves it.