Aloo Gobi Matar

Earlier this year I wrote a guest article for Paleo Magazine, emphasizing the importance of eating vegetables. Americans tend to give vegetables a lower priority than the rest of the world; when comparing the most economically developed areas of the United States (those with the most money to spend on food) to similarly developed regions in Europe and the Western Pacific, we only eat about 75% as many vegetables as the other regions. Comparing the lesser economically developed areas of the United States to their global counterparts is much worse: there, we eat only around 35% as many vegetables.

Vegetables are an important factor in overall health. While not as nutrient-heavy as organ meats, fish, seafood, and naturally raised ruminants, they are often superior to pork, poultry, and fruit in terms of nutrient density. Fermented vegetables, a food that has been consumed for thousands of winters, also provide unique and essential forms of probiotic bacteria and increase the bioavailability (ability for us to absorb their nutrients) of vegetables.

Aloo Gobi Matar is Punjabi dish, and an excellent example of the potential tastiness and diversity to be found in a vegetable dish. Using a small amount of many vegetables will give your dishes deeper flavors and will make you less likely to tire of certain foods. If I ate just tomatoes every day, I’d get sick of them; adding a tomato or two to several dishes in a row wouldn’t have the same effect.

Aloo Gobi Matar

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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1 lb (2 medium-sized) potatoes or white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
3 tbsp ghee, divided
1 large cauliflower, broken into medium-sized florets
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1″ ginger, minced (1/2 tsp ground ginger okay)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each)
fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

1. Soak the potatoes in cool water for 20 minutes, then drain and pat dry. In a large skillet, warm 2 tbsp of the ghee over med/high heat, then add the potatoes. Cook until browned, turning every couple of minutes, about 10 minutes, then drain on some paper towels.

2. Add the rest of the ghee to the skillet and reduce the heat to med/low. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt, and sauté until softened and slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

3. As the onions cook, drop the cauliflower florets in boiling water and par-boil for 3 minutes, then drain and set aside.

4. Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and ginger and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the spices (minus salt and pepper) and cook until the oil starts to separate from the paste, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the cauliflower, potato, peas, and water and gently stir until well-mixed; cover and simmer until the cauliflower softens, about 5 minutes. Uncover and add salt and pepper to taste, then serve with chopped cilantro on top.

17 thoughts on “Aloo Gobi Matar

  1. I’m always so happy when you update on Tuesdays, because I work from home on Tuesdays. Your posts often make it into my dinner on Tuesday nights. I live in the heart of Toronto’s “Little India,” and it is easy for me to pick up anything that I might be missing for this dish! (As it happens, all I am missing is cauliflower.)


  2. Always love this dish and order it at our local indian restaurant, it works really well as a side with a lot of dishes – also placed in a pancake too !!


  3. Love the look of this dish, and totally agree with you about the importance of getting more vegetables into our diets. Will be trying this soon, sounds like it be be a delicious dinner with some naan bread! Thanks!


  4. Love the post. Question for you: One thing that I always miss in Indian cuisine is a little bit of a “crunch” element. I like to blanch something like the cauliflower, and then add it right at the end so it remains slightly more firm instead of letting it simmer and softening at the end. Rather than doing this, do you have anything you like to add when you’re in the mood for Indian but still want a variety of consistency?


  5. I decided to make a double batch of this dish on the weekend, because I’m pressed for time during the week. So, this comment is more about cooking this recipe in quantity than the base recipe itself, because, like most of Russ’ recipes, the taste is fabulous! I highly recommend using the cilantro garnish; this dish is very savory, and the brightness of the cilantro’s a welcome contrast.

    First, I made some ingredient substitutions:

    • I used Yukon Gold potatoes. I knew I was going to be using a different cooking vessel than a skillet, and therefore, moving the potatoes a lot. YG potatoes are a lot firmer than white potatoes and wouldn’t break down as much with the tossing I would have to do. The downside of YG potatoes is that they take about twice as long to cook with the method specified by this recipe.

    • Since tomatoes were out of season when I made this recipe, I used canned, diced tomatoes, which taste about the same as what I could get anywhere else at the time.

    Second, I used different cooking vessels: 2 6-qt. pots. One was a Revere Ware™ pot, the other a Scanpan™ pot. The former cooks things quickly; the latter requires a lot more time for the same amount and types of food.

    Third, although most of the ingredients scale linearly for a double batch, the cayenne pepper doesn’t (for normal palettes, anyway), especially with the 50,000 SU pepper I have. I suggest using only 150% of the base amount for a double batch, unless you like very spicy food.

    Also, please keep in mind that I move slowly because of some physical limitations.

    Prep Time: 30 min.
    Cook Time: 2 hrs.

    Dutch ovens – 2
    Steamer basket insert

    For the potatoes, use the same technique as in the recipe, but expect the process to take 20–25 minutes.
    Instead of parboiling the cauliflower, I steamed it until it was al dente.


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