Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simple Aloo Gobhi

Ever since I came back from my trip to India, things have been crazy. I had planned on coming back and taking it easy for some time, giving myself a break, so to speak, and spend more time with little S, since he was so used to the constant  company of  grandparents, aunts and the humongous amount of attention and pampering. But..... within 24 hours of landing I was out apartment hunting, before 48 hours had elapsed, I had selected one and we signed the lease. Now came the hard part, M had gone back to IL and I had to start packing ( for moving to the new apartment) and packing- part II, for making a temporary move to IL with  bag, baggage and baccha.
I struggled with  jetlag and home sickness. What am I doing here? was a question I asked myself  many a times. 
However, I managed and landed safely in IL with  BB&B  and  am now in a hotel suite with a tiny kitchenette and a not-so-full pantry. And in the hope of going home, I keep my stock to a minimum.
I was in no fit state to cook for a couple of weeks now.  My Grandmother passed away a little over a fortnight ago and  I  was broken. I feel her loss so keenly that it hurts, physically. I hated  that I was not there. I was grieved that I was no comfort to my Mother. I was angry with God for taking her away. The tears fell thick and fast and everything was a blur. The only thing that helped me move on was finding comfort in the fact that I had the chance of meeting her during my recent India visit and also that she met and blessed my baby and also in realizing that my Son needed me and would  be confused  at the sudden change in me. It is amazing how a toddler can make an adult realize and accept the reality. Life goes on. Just that, accept it. 
Aaji will be missed, a LOT, there are just so many things she did for me and the rest of the family that are etched in my memory. Her warmth, her wisdom, her love, her voice, her humor, her caring ways, her inner strength that radiated from her and her will power, so inspiring. She lives in my heart and always will. 

For all those who comforted me with kind words/ comments, during this rather difficult time, Thank You, with all my heart.

When I finally got back to my routine, I realized I had  precious little in the fridge and a yearning to eat simple and comforting food. 
To make this simple yet tasty curry, you need:

1 medium sized Cauliflower
1 medium Potato
2 medium Tomatoes ( chop, remove seeds and puree) 
3 Tbs. Oil
1/2 tsp. Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. Asafetida
2 tsp. Dhana-Jira powder ( ground Cumin- Coriander)
1/2 tsp. Turmeric pwd.
3 large or 4 medium cloves Garlic , crushed or finely chopped
Salt to taste
Cilantro to Garnish

Heat oil on a wide kadhai / wok
Add mustard and cumin seeds. After the mustard seeds pop, add asafetida 
Add the chopped Garlic and sauté until it turns golden brown
Add the Cauliflower and Potatoes and mix well so that the vegetables are coated with the tempering.
Reduce the heat and add the dhana-jira powder,  turmeric, chili powder
Stir well to combine and coat the vegetables
Add about 5-6 Tbs. of water to the kadhai/ wok ,cover and cook for about 17-20 mins. until the potatoes are almost cooked ( they should retain some crunch)
Add the tomato puree ( I use a sieve for the puree so as to remove any tomato seeds left behind), add salt, stir gently and cook for another 4-5 mins until vegetables are tender.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.

*Notes: To make this vegetable even better:
- Add 1/2 Cup of peas 
- Add 1/2 tsp.  Kasuri Methi to enhance the flavor ( after adding tomato puree)
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