It's been so long since I've written a blog post and I really miss it. So here I am! Hello again. How are you? I for one am not complaining about the cold weather because, let's face it, January is supposed to be cold. There's nothing like making a nice big pot of something for dinner and then cosying up by the fire to either read a good book or watch your shows on telly.
Just me? Ok.
In all seriousness though, we all know I love the heat and the summer, but this year I am grateful for the cold. In fact, the more wintery the better. Non of this mild wet weather that doesn't really kill the bugs and will affect this years crops. If it's going to be cold I want snow. We've all seen the effect global warming is having on the world and, honestly, it's devastating. Let's remember how lucky we are that our winters are cold and our summers are (well, they should be) warm.
And what does a cold winter mean? Spicy food! Raiding the spice cupboard. I love it so much and another thing I'm grateful for is the amount of spices I grew up with. This recipe, though, is not one from my usual repertoire of Arabic food. This one has a hint of the Indian subcontinent in it.
I say that because I'm sure this recipe is not authentic but the spices I use in this recipe and the method is very Indian in it's development. The spices are so warming and hearty that it makes you want to eat bowl after bowl. Try it and see what I mean. Not only is this dish delicious, it's good for you (especially if you drain the potatoes very well after frying them!).
Saag Aloo Gobi
1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small ones
5 white potatoes, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
200g frozen spinach
2 white onions, diced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp madras powder
2 tsp chilli flakes (or more or less depending on your chilli preference)
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
Making sure your potatoes are dry, start by frying them. Half fill a small saucepan with vegetable or sunflower oil and put it on a medium heat to heat up. When the oil is hot enough (adding potato should make an obvious sizzle), add the potatoes and fry them in batches. This will take time but don't overcrowd the pot or the oil will overspill and the potatoes won't cook properly. Take them out when they're golden brown - they won't be fully cooked at this stage.
While you're frying batches of spuds, prep your cauliflower. Remove the leaves, wash it well and start breaking up the florets into bite sized pieces. Cut up the remaining stalk into pieces the same size as the florets - there is no reason why you can't eat that too.
Once you have finished the potatoes, set them aside on a paper towel to drain well. In a large saucepan, add a little vegetable oil and start frying the onions. When they are translucent, add the cauliflower and fry for a couple of minutes just to start softening them. Add all of your spices, chilli and salt and stir until the cauliflower is well coated. Before you add anything else, let the spices cook on the cauliflower a little until they become fragrant (DO NOT BURN) by stirring constantly.
Add the tomatoes and potatoes and stir everything so that it's all well mixed. Rinse out the tins that the tomatoes were in and add the water to the pot. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
When you've been simmering for about 25 minutes, add the frozen spinach and let it cook in the remaining time. After 40 minutes, turn the heat off and let everything sit and meld for at least an hour. Overnight in the fridge is better. To serve, reheat until the curry is hot and pair it with rice or paratha, yoghurt and kochumbar.