After my son married a lovely Indian woman, I was inspired by the amazing flavors of the food we enjoyed at the wedding. When I came home I pulled out an old cookbook I had not used in years (but saved with the thought that one day I would): Best-Ever Curry Cookbook, by Mridula Baljekar. This recipe was inspired by one of hers for Aloo Gobi.
Indian spices provide numerous health benefits, which is another reason I love Indian food. You not only receive nutrients from the cauliflower and potatoes, but the spices and herbs are also beneficial. See my articles on cumin, cilantro/coriander, and turmeric.
Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes
This is a simplified version of the Indian dish called Aloo Gobi. It makes a great side dish for chicken, fish, lamb or even beans.
30 minutes, start to finish
Wash and peel potato, then cut into 1-inch cubes. Fill a medium to large saucepan with water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the potato cubes. Lower heat to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are just beginning to soften. Don't overcook. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
While potatoes cook, cut cauliflower into small florets. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds. Cook and stir about 2 minutes to release the flavor and aroma.
Add diced chiles and cook another minute.
Turn heat to medium or medium-low and add cauliflower along with about 1/2 tablespoon water. Cook and stir about 5 minutes. Cover with a lid if possible to help steam the cauliflower.
Add spices and seasonings (except for fresh cilantro) and stir to blend well.
Add potatoes and stir again. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are heated through and tender. Add a little more water if it gets too dry, and adjust seasonings, to taste.
Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro right before serving, or sprinkle on top.
Tip: If you don't have cumin seeds, don't worry. The seeds add a slightly different and more authentic flavor, but the dish is still tasty without them. Add a little extra ground cumin if desired.