Aloo Gobi Masala is a very classic Indian dish of potatoes and cauliflower, also referred to as cauliflower potato curry. It is a simple and comforting dish that only takes 30 minutes to prepare. Every household has its own way of cooking this classic, quintessential curry. This version of Aloo Gobi Masala is infused with ginger flavor and does not require onions or garlic. The prominent aromatic is ginger which elevates this dish to another level.
How to Make the Best Aloo Gobi Masala
Although Aloo Gobi Masala is a popular North Indian recipe, it's making its reputation worldwide. According to a famous chef, "one of the disadvantages of its universal appeal is that there is no such thing as a universal recipe." Consider this recipe an excellent place to start.
When done right, roasted Aloo Gobi Masala is straightforward to make but hard to forget. Every bite is a little different - you might get a spiced potato wedge in one bite and a crispy and charred cauliflower bite in another. The potatoes and cauliflower are soft with a beautiful salt and oil crust, and you can taste the inherent flavor of the vegetables, accented by ginger and a bit of a char from the roasted vegetables.
Some other things I love about this recipe:
- This hearty cauliflower potato curry is easy to make, filling, comes together quickly in only 30 minutes, and is vegan.
- The cauliflower and potatoes in this curry dish can be roasted in either an air-fryer (my personal favorite) or an oven. Roasting is much healthier than a deep fryer, yet still provides an authentic flavor with a non-mushy texture. This recipe contains instructions for both methods of roasting.
- This is a no onion and no garlic Aloo Gobi Masala recipe for those that want to avoid these seasonings.
- Nuts and seeds, which are nutrient dense, enhance the flavor and nutritional profile of this recipe. Pine nuts go well with the flavor profile of cauliflower, so I add some pine nuts along with a few other nuts.
Aloo Gobi Masala Ingredients
- Fresh Cauliflower
- Russet/Idaho Potatoes
- Green Chilies
- Mustard oil/Avocado/Olive oil
- Dry Red Chilies
- Cumin seeds/Jeera
- Turmeric powder/Haldi
- Red chili powder/Laal mirch
- Coriander powder/ Dhaniya powder
- Garam masala
- Dry mango powder/Amchur
- Size the cauliflower florets a little bigger than the potato pieces, so they cook roughly at the same amount of time. Otherwise, the cauliflower will get overcooked and disintegrate before the potatoes are done.
- I prefer Russets or Idaho, where the potatoes get crisped or baked.
- Aloo Gobi Masala can be cooked in any high smoke point oil, but it tastes best when cooked in mustard oil.
- While cooking with mustard oil, bring the oil to the smoking point and then allow it to cool down a bit by reducing the heat. Do this to avoid the intense flavor of raw mustard oil in the final product. Once the mustard oil has cooled, continue as with using any other oil.
- This is a no onion, no garlic recipe; I have tried it with onions but prefer it with tomatoes and ginger. Try to use fresh tomatoes where possible. If not, then use canned diced tomatoes.
- You don't need to sauté the tomatoes until it starts separating the oil. Cook only until the tomatoes are mushed.
- Matar or green peas is an excellent addition to this dish. Add the frozen peas and the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
- The best way to enjoy this recipe is with some dal fry, hot roti, and jeera rice.
- Adding amchur powder/dry mango powder adds an acidic element, but if you don't have that in hand, add a squeeze of lime.
- Don't forget to top it with a handful of chopped cilantro which adds so much freshness to this cauliflower potato curry.
How to Make Aloo Gobi Masala
Have you ever experienced a mushy Aloo Gobi Masala when trying to make it the first few times after moving from India to the USA? Ever wondered how you could fix this? I was baffled, too, wondering how I could enjoy this dish without it being mushy.
Having little knowledge about using and operating an oven/griller 17 years back, I approached the deep-frying method. Let me confess that the deep fry version makes the best Aloo Gobi Masala. It is exactly like the one you get at wedding parties made by halwais (Confectioners of India), but yes, deep frying makes it higher in calories, which is not suitable for your health and can't be enjoyed on regular basis.
In India, I never had the opportunity to use an oven. So, I was not very familiar with its capability, other than that it could be used to bake a cake. In those early days, I watched the Food Network and learned a lot about cooking techniques, recipes, and ingredients, including that cauliflower florets can be roasted or grilled in the oven.
Roast the Cauliflower and Potatoes
Roasting the cauliflower and potatoes adds more flavor and texture to this Aloo Gobi Masala (cauliflower potato curry) recipe, so they won't get mushy when added to the pan. Since the cauliflower and potatoes are pre-roasted, you need to toss them with the spices quickly. You can roast them in the oven or in the air fryer.
I have tried both methods multiple times and can tell you that air frying yields better results. The air fryer brings out more crispiness in the florets. Since the basket is a mesh, all the water released while roasting from the florets goes down in the dripping pan instead of getting collected in the same cookie sheet, unlike the oven. To my understanding, that's the main reason for the crispiness of the air fried version.
How to Roast Cauliflower and Potatoes in an Air Fryer
If you want to use an air fryer to roast the cauliflower and potatoes in this Aloo Gobi Masala recipe (my personal favorite), start by cutting the cauliflower into florets and slicing the potatoes, and then place them in a wide bowl or a pan you will use for cooking, so it's easier to season.
Drizzle with oil and season with salt and turmeric powder. Toss the cauliflower florets and potato slices so they're well coated in the seasoning and transfer them to an air fryer basket/mesh. Arrange in a single layer to avoid overcrowding the basket and for better airflow.
Roast in the air fryer at 350°F for around 8-10 minutes, then flip and roast for another 6-8 minutes.
Keep an eye on the cauliflower as it's roasting in the air fryer since it can burn quickly; it's also different from one air fryer to another, depending on the power and size of the air fryer. The time and temperature I specified are for Cuisinart air fryers. You may need to figure out the right temperature and cooking time for your brand and size of air fryer. Keep checking every few minutes and shake the basket so the florets are roasted evenly if using any other brand.
How to Roast Cauliflower and Potatoes in an Oven
Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup. Slice the cauliflower into one-inch florets and add the cauliflower to the center of your baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Season the cauliflower and potatoes with salt and turmeric powder, toss it again, then spread it into a single layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until desired tenderness and when golden/charred at the edges. The baking time may vary depending on the size of the pieces and the oven.
Aloo Gobi Masala Step-By-Step Instructions
- This step is only needed if you are using mustard oil for this recipe. Heat a wok/kadhai or a wide saute or frying pan on medium heat, add half of the oil, and bring the oil to the smoking point. Then allow it to cool down a bit by reducing the heat. This avoids the intense flavor of raw mustard oil in the final product. Once the mustard oil has cooled, add the cauliflower florets and sliced potatoes. Sprinkle half of the salt and turmeric powder, stirring to coat them well with the oil and spices. They are now ready to be roasted.
- Roast the seasoned cauliflower and potatoes using either an oven or an air fryer using the instructions provided above.
- Meanwhile, on medium heat, heat the rest of the oil in the same pan used previously on medium heat, and add asafetida, cumin seeds, ginger, and green chilis. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the nuts and seeds and let them roast for a few seconds. Next, add the chopped tomatoes and saute them until they are soft and mushy.
- Continue occasionally stirring for even cooking, then add the rest of the salt and turmeric powder. It will take about 10 minutes to cook the tomatoes.
- Add the roasted cauliflower and potatoes to the cooked tomato masala mixture, add the remaining spices and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes to allow the spices to amalgamate with the roasted cauliflower and potatoes.
- Finish with garam masala and amchur powder, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy!
What to Serve With Aloo Gobi Masala
Aloo Gobi Masala (Spicy Cauliflower Potato Curry)
- Cuisinart Airfryer
- Frying Pan
- 3 tablespoon Mustard oil Options: avocado/olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon Asafetida hing
- 2 Dry Red Chilies 2-3 pieces
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds Jeera
- 1 teaspoon Salt namak
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder haldi
- ½ teaspoon Red chili powder laal mirch - adjust as per spice level
- 1 tablespoon Coriander powder dhaniya powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- 1 tablespoon Dry mango powder Amchur
- If using mustard oil to coat the cauliflower and potatoes, heat a wok/kadhai or a wide saute or frying pan on medium heat and add half the oil. Let the oil heat, and then add cauliflower florets and sliced potatoes. If you are not using mustard oil, just place the cauliflower and potatoes in a wide bowl or directly on a sheet pan (if roasting them).
- Sprinkle half of the salt and turmeric powder, stirring to coat them well with the oil and spices.
- To roast the seasoned cauliflower florets and potatoes in an air fryer, transfer them to the air fryer basket. Roast at 350 for 8-10 minutes, then flip the charred pieces again and roast for 6-8 minutes more.
- Alternatively, to roast the seasoned cauliflower florets and potatoes in the oven, spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes at 400°F. Check for desired tenderness.
- While the cauliflower and potatoes are roasting, heat the rest of the oil in the same pan, add asafetida, cumin seeds, ginger and green chilis. Sauté for few seconds.
- Add nuts and seeds and let it roast for few seconds.
- Now add chopped tomato and saute it until soft and mushy.
- Keep stirring intermittently for even cooking and add the remaining salt and turmeric powder.
- Cover with a lid to expedite the cooking process; it will take roughly 10 minutes to cook tomatoes.
- Now add roasted cauliflower florets and potatoes to the cooked tomato masala.
- Add all the spices and mix well.
- Let the whole mixture cook for 5 minutes so that all the spices get amalgamated into each other.
- Finish with a sprinkle of garam masala and amchur powder.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, and enjoy.
- The whole dish needs to be cooked on medium heat.
I have tried making aloo Gobi several times in the past with different methods but it never turned out good. So I stopped making Aloo Gobi. After trying this recipe I am in love with aloo Gobi. It turned out very delicious.
Rupali Agarwal says
Thanks, Neha, for trying and sharing your feedback. Glad you enjoyed it.
Excellent recipe; I have made it multiple times, and it always turns out phenomenal.