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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Purple Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower)

Purple is my favorite color. So while my recipes for roasted purple cauliflower with bacon and balsamic vinegar and gratin with purple cauliflower, fennel, and leeks were good, they didn't really strike at the "fun food" part of my soul. And after months and months of seeing Marvin of Burnt Lumpia make purple ube pancakes, purple ube ice cream swirled with blueberry sauce, purple ube gnocchi, and most recently, purple ube cupcakes with macapuno frosting, well, I was positively purple with envy. So while my purple cauliflower was lovely, it wasn't enough to stand alone. I had to pair it with another purple -- Okinawan purple sweet potatoes. The outside conceals such a lovely purple color doesn't it?

Here they are -- purple cauliflower and purple sweet potato.

The purple cauliflower has disputed origins from either South Africa or Italy. The Okinawan purple yam is obviously from Japan. However will the two vegetables get together? Perhaps India would be a good halfway meeting point?


*Clears throat*

With much apologies to Lionel Richie and totally ripping off a scene from Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes. "Aloo! Is it me you're looking for? I can see it in your eyes I can see it in your smile..." What greater recipe to celebrate the love between purple cauliflower and purple sweet potato than Indian aloo (potato) gobi (cauliflower). I told you their love affair wouldn't be a pretty sight.

Purple Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower)
Adapted from Bend It Like Beckham via Chuck Darwin

For a 2-quart pot, you'll need:
About 1 lb cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, or blue potatoes, or ordinary potatoes if you must, chunked
1 small onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1-inch knob ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp salt
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped

Cut cauliflower, potatoes, onion, and tomato into large chunks. Set aside.

In a saucepan on high heat, add a few drizzles of oil and add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala, and 1/2 tsp coriander seeds.

Add onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until fragrant and onion is softened.

Add cauliflower, potatoes, and tomato, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Mix thoroughly and turn heat down to medium-low to simmer for about 20 minutes. Test to see if the aloo gobi is soft enough to your liking. Adjust spices or salt if necessary.

Add cilantro for topping.

Serve with rice or naan (Indian leavened flatbread). (And yes, I made my own naan too.)


My other purple cauliflower recipes:
Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Bacon and Balsamic Vinegar
Gratin with Purple Cauliflower, Fennel, and Leeks

1 year ago today, I ruminated on whether Chinese restaurants were intimidating while eating dim sum at Dragon Phoenix Palace Chinese Seafood Restaurant (Long Phung Lau) in Westminster.


  1. Thank you, I love aloo gobi. Can you share your nan recipe?

    re:Gobi Manchurian - I like the batter crispy too, which is more likely in the dry style. Altho with the saucy style, even though the batter gets soggy, if the sauce is good, I enjoy pouring it on rice.

  2. It's a shame purple rarely cooks up pretty!

  3. Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors! Have you read any other books by her? Watermelon is one of my faves.

  4. No need to be purple with envy, WC. All of your purple dishes look amazing thus far.

    I'm assuming a naan recipe is forthcoming? I hope so;)

  5. I love aloo gobi. I've never had purple aloo gobi nor with yams. I'll have to try it out. I bought some purple and orange cauliflower earlier this week to make some roasted cumin cauliflower, but you beat me to it. ;-)

  6. Those purple potatoes and purple cauliflower look really interesting. I have never seen either before.

  7. johta,
    Just did. :)

    Hmm. OK, when I get around to it, I think I'll try to make a Gobi Manchurian with crunchy outside in a sweet and sour, only slightly soy sauce-ish.

    I know! I totally love the raw colors though.

    I liked Watermelon but didn't like any of the other Walsh stories. My other favorites are Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, and her personal essays in Underneath the Duvet.

    I like Jane Green too even though I want to shake her heroines until their brains rattle.

    I also like Nick Hornby and Mark Mason for lad lit.

    You're much too nice as my purple recipes pale in comparison to yours. I'll gladly give you all of mine for one of your ube cupcakes. :)

    Looking forward to it. I love cumin and never though of cumin cauliflower before. And orange ones at that!

    I've started noticing a lot more colors in food since I started blogging.

  8. Ooh yeah Jane Green is another absolute favorite of mine! And Meg Cabot too: Boy Meets Girl and The Boy Next Door are funny. High Fidelity has been on my reading queue ever since I saw the movie but I still haven't gotten to it. A chick-lit related to food that I enjoyed (even though at first I didn't have high expectations for it) is Icing on the Cake by Laura Castoro, you might like it!

  9. Jeannie,
    Yup, I've read both those Meg Cabot books too. High Fidelity the book is tons better than the movie. Actually, so was About a Boy and Fever Pitch. I'll check out your recommendation.


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