Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Vegan Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower)


Vegan Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower)
Mine should really be called Gobi Aloo, since I use a lot more cauliflower, but that’s a silly quibble.  I needed to turn to a nice vegan dish after the Great Goat Extravaganza, when I extravagantly ate nothing but goat for all three meals three days in a row.  Usually we are vegetarians, so I think my system was demanding that I put a stop to the meat fueled gluttony, and to perhaps even eschew all animals, with the exceptions of the papillons*, whom we love dearly, but wouldn’t curry.
1 tablespoon excellent quality coconut oil
½ teaspoon dark mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel (optional)
1x1 ginger
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 to 2 Thai chilies, chopped very finely
1 to 2 tablespoons your favourite boxed masala
5 mini-potatoes, halved
¼ cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup pine nuts
½ large cauliflower, cored and broken into florets
¼ cup frozen peas
¼ cup raw cashews
2 tiny limes, juiced


Under a non-stick large saucepan, turn the heat to medium high.  When it feels hot, add the coconut oil, and when that seems hot, add a few mustard seeds.  When they sizzle and turn white, add the rest, followed by the cumin seed.  My favourite store bought masala already comes with whole fennel seeds, but if it didn’t, I’d add these now.
Add the ginger and onion and reduce heat to medium.  When they have softened and caramelised a bit, add the garlic and chilies.  Cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the masala.  Stir well.  Add the potatoes now, on their flattest surface, because you do want them to get a little golden and crispy.  The potatoes take the longest amount of time to cook, and adding the coconut will provide a bit more oil for them to caramelise in.  When they are almost cooked, add the pine nuts and cauliflower.  Stir well to evenly distribute the masala.  Put a lid on the dish, and cook for about five minutes.  You want the cauliflower to retain a tiny bit of a crunch.  No need to boil it into submission!
When it’s soft enough, add the frozen peas, stirring in well, and putting the lid back on.  You can turn the heat off now, as the peas will thaw and warm up quickly.  You don’t need to cook them, just get them nice and hot.  Just before serving, toss in the cashews and pour the lime juice over it all, giving it one last stir to coat everything charmingly.  I served it over basmati rice, but quinoa would be even healthier.
Hopefully this vegan dish will offer my constitution the respite it deserves.  Oh, and this vegan dish tastes divine…  

* Don't worry, won't curry... Beautiful granddaughter dressing up the papillons.

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