Sookhi Gobhi Aloo

gobhi  aloo06I love my vegetables and am especially fond of gobhi or cauliflower. All through winter it is the highlight of our menu on at least three meals a week. If I had to pick my favourite way to serve this, sort of like the-first-amongst-equals, it would have to be the Punjabi sookhi goobhi aloo, dry (here meaning without curry) cauliflower with potatoes. I wonder how I didn’t share this sooner?

One of the reasons it is such a regular part of our winter meals is because this vegetable is an all-pleaser. Everyone in this family actually agrees on this vegetable. Thank God for small mercies. There were initial mutterings about the other recipe (before I joined the household) that I would never cook…but they settled eventually on their own. This is a star recipe, and comes together very quickly. While the vegetables are cooking, you can prepare the roti and you have a wonderful meal ready in 30 minutes! Dal with it is good; yoghurt, better. Slice some mooli (daikon radish) on the side, or maybe you have some leftover bharleli mirchi, and you have put together a delicious meal in a jiffy.

The stars of this recipe are fresh ginger and garam masala, that combine to fill my kitchen with an aroma that I associate with one of my favourite meals. If you want to try variations of this recipe, such as addition of tomatoes, or garlic and onion, do so only after you’ve tried it just-as first.

There are some other tricks too which I resort to to get my low fat dish to gain some of the advantages of a stir fry made with much more oil. It is easy to cook fresh seasonal vegetables in their own steam using very little oil; to get them to brown well takes a few tricks. The cooking process, as it finally stands, has shaped over some length of time.

gobhi  aloo07

If you want to brown cauliflower, or any other vegetable, using less oil, you need to stir often to prevent it sticking to the bottom. Also because I like my cauliflower al dente, and not crunchy yes, I’m very Indian here, usually cooking my vegetables to soft (but short of death), it becomes even more difficult to handle it without it disintegrating into an awful messy unappetising gloop.

Here’s what to do: once the dish is nearly done and you have added the garam masala and given it all a final stir, let it cook another five minutes or so, till you can smell it caramalizing – the browned parts are now sticking to the pot. Take the pan off heat, but do not stir. Let it rest for a few minutes, then shake the pan to toss and mix. Umm, there’s the lovely browned pieces of cauliflower and potatoes, and no mush.

gobhi  aloo05

Sookhi Gobhi Aloo
(Cauliflower with Potatoes)
serves 6

1 medium-large cauliflower (about 800 gm or 1.5 lbs), cut into 1″ size florets
2 medium-large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-3/4″ dice
1 t cumin seeds
1/4 t mild hing (asafoetida)
3/4″ knob of ginger, grated
1/2 t turmeric
1 1/2 t coriander powder
3/4 t red chilli powder
1/3 t garam masala
1 1/2 T oil (peanut or mustard)

Heat oil in a karahi. Add cumin followed by hing and grated ginger, and stir till fragrant. Add turmeric, coriander, and red chilli powders and stir. Lower heat and add the prepared cauliflower and potatoes. Add salt and stir to mix. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or to desired tenderness, stirring once in between. Sprinkle with garam masala, and stir. Cover and cook another 5 minutes till the vegetables are lightly browned. They may stick to the bottom of the pan if you have used the specified amount of oil. That is alright – just don’t stir at the moment. Take off the fire, and let rest covered. Toss to mix after a few minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander and serve with a bowl of plain yoghurt with roti.


If you want to scale up the recipe, take care when stirring, especially if you like the cauliflower to be cooked through (but firm) and the potatoes very soft. When making in large quantities, I toss instead of stirring. It should be shaken, not stirred πŸ˜‰ .

(I promise to post more flattering day time pictures soon…
PS: And I finally did, in Dec 2015!)

gobhi aloo
Punjabi gobhi aloo, a bowl of yoghurt, salad (similar to this, but without the tadka), bharleli mirchi (stuffed chilli), and roti

The blogs have been on a gobhi aloo binge lately:
Indira’s aloo gobi with kasuri methi
Evil Jungle Prince’s aloo gobi
Musical’s dahi wali aloo gobhi
Route 79’s aloo gobi

Tags: cauliflower, low fat, under 30 min, garam masala, vegetarian

55 thoughts on “Sookhi Gobhi Aloo

  1. Flower – as we call it πŸ˜† – is an all time fave with us, too. The most basic recipe for us is sans the garam masala. But I can imagine how fragrant it is with garam masala.

    I have an aloo gobi ki subzi lined up for today, too!

    I saw that! Great minds and all that, you think?

  2. The cauliflower fever has caught me too ! I made Ashwini’s kheema day before, have half left for Nupur’s soup. Half of the next is booked for Indira’s recipe and now the second half has your recipe all over it :)) I am planning on making your garam masala and sharing it with friends as a Christmas gift. Thank you!!

    That garam masala makes a great gift! In Delhi the cauliflower season has just started….

  3. the best aloo gobi I tasted was in this hole in the wall restaurant which served the best samosas and aloo gobi & methi parathas, it did not matter that it was dirty, the place was crowded with people jostling for take outs
    (see it was ok as long as we were not sitting there and eating) anyway before you start to wonder why this story, I have been wanting to make aloo gobhi like that and here you have it, will remember 007 shaken but not stirred πŸ™‚

    Try it ISG – I’m promise you will miss that hole less…yes, shaken, not stirred! πŸ˜‰

  4. Awesome. This is what true ghar-ka-khana is all about and how it looks. Though not all of us can be this dexterous, y’know.

    Look who is talking about dexterity! Cook in the oven then! πŸ˜‰

  5. Aloo-gobhi is a timeless classic. Whatever varities i may try, i keep going back to Mom’s simple recipe, the best πŸ™‚ Our recipes are very similar except that sometimes i add a lil’ onion and tomato (and the lovely green chillies). But without ginger there’s no aloo-gobhi, right πŸ˜€

    Love the salad you prepared!

    I am so happy to know that my version is true Punjabi!
    winter is also good salad season here with so many veggies and greens…summer it is just onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

  6. i love to eat cauliflower if someone else cooks it in their house. πŸ˜€ i hate the way it stinks up my house. this looks delish.

    Does not, Bee! You must have had the out of season kind…even Jai?

  7. hai anitha

    the recipe looks tempting.i like cauliflower.but my hubby is a little fussy abt it.that too whenever i try to make a sidedish with gobi , i am sure to have leftover. i,ll try this recipe,and i hope they will like this.


    Make a small amount – if he doesn’t like, more for you!

  8. Such perfect roti…and folded so nicely too… πŸ™‚ But, I’ll be forced to ask you for the recipe of that beautiful, colourful salad! I don’t know why, but the sight of it is most appealing to me right now.
    I actually bought a head of cauliflower earlier this week- it looked good, hadn’t had any in some time- so the gobhi-vibes must be in the air right now! Dahi and sukhe gobhi-alu eh? A perfect combo…yeah, I’ll give ‘er a whirl. πŸ™‚

    The salad: grate some veggies fine (carrots, mooli – smaller amount), chop tomatoes fine, shred fine – cabbage, spinach or other greens, mince or chop one green chilli, no onion, mix together with sugar, salt, and lime juice. Garnish with chopped coriander and lots of coarsely crushed peanuts! Yummy! We can all have bowls and bowls of this all winter.

    Did ya get around to it then? Yes, really great with dahi.

    (Those rotis have years of effort behind them. I make the best roti in our family! That is really something for a Kashmiri in a Maharashtrian household!

  9. Today I see Aloo Gobhi everywhere, In Indira’s, Manisha’s and now urs..:) .. GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE I suppose.. hehehe.. Its my favorite subzi, so don’t mind drooling over the pics on every blog I visit..:))

    ~ Siri

    Yes, cauli-flower is blooming everywhere!

  10. Hi Anita,

    This looks nice & added advantage that its simple to make. Will try it for dinner today.

    Please, please post the Rajma recipe – am dying to have authentic rajma chawal:)


    It really is very simple, with just a few ingredients needed.
    Will get around to the rajma that has been waiting in the wings for some time now…

  11. Just came across your blog. This is a favorite with my daughter. Goes for lunch to school almost every week in cauliflower season! I microwave the veggies and then dry cook them in minimal oil with salt, turmeric, asafetida, cumin powder and chilli powder.

    Microwaving must save time further! It is a great tiffin-box veggie. amongst my son’s faves too!

  12. I love the aloo gobhi that my colleague’s mom makes… yours looks just like that… will try it soon.

    Do try and compare notes with her.

  13. Sookhi Aloo Gobhi is something which is so typical and authentic, it screams “punjabi”! I love this dish and learnt to make it from my Punjabi roommate – way back when….
    Now after moving to Delhi I have stopped making it, of the 6 people I lunch with at work, everyday atleast two people get this!!! And hubby says the same too, so we don’t have it at home now πŸ™‚

    OMG – just shows you the reason behind so many versions of gobhi aloo cropping up all of a sudden – everyone loves it (except Bee, of course!). You get to eat yours without having to even cook it!

  14. Yay! Cauliflower is the vegetable of the month! *so* good πŸ™‚

    I think we have to all agree with that statement since there is little else cooking…

  15. Hello Anita,
    This is a nice looking blog you have. I just chanced upon it. This Aaloo Gobhi cannot be ignored. It is tagged as a “must make”!

    :- )


    Thanks, Shy. What a wonderful chance that brought you here!

  16. One thing is certain, if he had followed the sign that led to the Mad Hatter he would have found the house empty; the March Hare is a far more forgiving host! Wake up the Door-mouse; I need a new cup! πŸ™‚

    (this is your brain on tea…)

    This is the stupidest tea party I have been to… πŸ˜‰ I need one too! (…as I try to decipher the riddle.)

  17. i love aloo ghobi!! And have made it on many occasions. The cool thing is I am getting a lot of cauliflower in my CSA box right now and you reminded me of how good this is! Thanks!

  18. Yes, why is a pea-cock like a comment on a blog? πŸ™‚

    πŸ˜† “I think you might do something better with the time than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers.”

  19. I was reading your post abt Belgaum. Are’nt people from Belgaum warm and friendly. I used to live there as a child and cant think of anyother place I have been happier. U took me down memory lane and misty eyed too πŸ™‚

    The pleasure was all mine…Belgaum is so blissful still.

  20. you have a point. the one we grew stank (is that a word?) less than the one we buy. i am making your aloo gobhi today. i’m gonna use your goda masala instead of garam masala.

    You didn’t, did you…use goda masala instead of the true-Punj-blue garam? But, now I know, you liked it! Whatever worked for you is the magic masala!

  21. Shaken and not stirred: absolutely brilliant!
    I dislike martinis and Bond movies intensely :(… but
    absolutely adore cauliflower.
    (It’s an absolutely sentimental vegetable to me, if there could be such a thing; always at my grandmother’s table at family dinners. Sometimes cooked in milk, sometimes in water; always somewhat overcooked. That particular funk of overcooked smell gives me the warm fuzzy!)
    I’m eager to give it this treatment…nothing like fully welcoming the good stuff of your past into the present :D!
    Thank you, Anita!

    Both cauliflower and cabbage are awful when overcooked. Cooked in water hmmm…my mum-in-law used to complain about this low-oil version with a similar complaint that it looked steamed instead of fried…Does not πŸ˜€ . The older ‘us’ surprises sometimes…our tastes change, and we discover other (preferred) ways with “good stuff of your past” …see if you like cauliflower this way.

  22. today b proclaimed that she wants to eat anita’s sookhi-aloo-gobhi (not to be confused with the imitators!). so i prepared this dish. turned out great. both of us loved it.


    Yay! That’s grrrrreat (the way she was going on about the stink…)…now to tackle that radish…and the cabbage too? πŸ˜†

  23. I have been reading ur blog for a while now but never left a comment. I have been making alu-gobi for years by adding tomatoes towards the end. Last night I made them using your receipe and it did turn out better than my usual alu-gobi … so I had to put a comment for you .. the garam masala and the shaken but not stirred trick did work well.

    I made 2 variations to my dish though – I used mustard oil for tempering – it gave a bold punjabi undertone to the dish and I added freshly shelled peas instead of alu. Thanks for sharing the receipe.

    Of course, mustard oil can only make it even more authentic! And peas tmake a great combination with gobhi!

    Thanks for reading, (and leaving this note) Nidhi! πŸ˜€

  24. hey, maybe i can do this tonight..i have all the ingredients except for the caulliflower..might as well omit hubby doesnt caulliflower..or maybe he will eat it this time if i cook it this way ..hmmmmm

    And you did!

  25. I am regular visitor of your wonderful i tried ur aloo gobi recipe …it turned out the best …..although i had to use more oil since i dont have kadai or non stick pan..had to use stir fry pan …any tips on how to not use so much of oil? thanks a lot for the recipe…..

    I don’t cook mine in a non-stick pan either. The trick is to not stir the veggies too much while they cook – maybe thrice in all. Follow the ‘shaken, and not stirred’ principle at all times! Don’t forget to add salt at the start of the cooking process. If your gobhi is a couple of days old, or when cooking with produce at the end of the season, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the vegetable. I hope that helps.

  26. Anita,
    I have been looking for this recipe for a long time. I have wanted to know how to make the perfect alugobi, and I think your recipe is it. I seriously love the simplicity of all your dishes, and yet how spectacular they must taste. Will be trying this for sure!


  27. Anita,

    I made this last night and it was fantastic!!


    It is one of those simple but great everyday kind of subzis. It’s even good on its own – with lots of dahi.

  28. Hey Anita,

    I followed your recipe jus as u have mentioned and guess what my hubby dear said after tasting it –> “Professional” Aloo Gobhi πŸ™‚
    Thanks for posting it.

    I am happy that you tried it and liked it!

  29. Hi there,
    it’s turned out very yummy. Thanx 4 ur recipe 4 Punjabi Garam Masala.

    Happy to see my GM go places…

  30. Tried the Aloo-gobhi recipe your way and it turned out absolutely delicious. Your final instruction of turning off the heat and not stirring helped. Our thali last night looked just like yours except for the Bharleli Mirchi.

    Next time, I will try it with your Garam Masala.

    The caramelized bits are the best, aren’t they?
    Hope you did try it with some home-made garam masala the next time!

  31. After trying the Punjabi Chhole I was so happy that I made Sookhi Aloo Gobhi and this turned out ABSOLUTELY YUMMY too
    Thanks once again for the delicious recipe and great blog
    I am going to try Bhareli Mirchi tomorrow πŸ™‚ and thats coz I dont have the Green Chillies right now

    πŸ™‚ Thanks for trying out this recipe, KK. The bharleli mirch – hope that becomes a fave at your place as well!

  32. i think your recipie for aaloo gobhi is pathetic, you have not added onions and as far as i know aaloo goes in first it cooks and then goes gobhi and then it cooks. pathetic……

    Sorry, cool guy, if it doesn’t measure up to your standards. This is the way I make it and LOVE it. I won’t say anything about your taste – we should all eat the way we like, and thankfully we have the choice!

  33. i have been an absolute lover of aloo-gobhi thruout my life.. just the smell of it takes me to my childhood memories lane!
    i have been cooking it myself for last 5-6 years and very few times it turned out good (by chance i guess)… most of the times i end up in a gooey-mess and i always blame it on overgrown-gianormous-tasteless-genetically-engineered-united-states-gobhi..
    i will try out this trick today and may be cruise thru my lovely lane once again !!!

  34. tried it yestrday with organic gobhi … came out absolutely lovely … i guess it looked even better than your perfect picture πŸ™‚
    thanks a ton for the trick … it made all the difference otherwise my ingredients were all the same that i ve been using before.
    do u have a trick for bhindi too .. thats another sabzi i can die for .. but it seldomely come out good (without making sticky gluey mess)
    ur blog is just awesome … kudos 2 u!!

    Great that the recipe worked for you!
    The day you wrote this is the day I finally perfected my punjabi bhindi at last! Can you believe – after all these years?! The trick is to not cover the bhindi at all during the cooking process – just stir and cook. I am sure to write about it soon – no mean achievement!
    [Of course, read my friend – the bragger’s- link below – for a recipe for what is more like a raita…]

  35. hi

    this was in my bookmark for a long time. i was finally able to try it yesterday. and believe me, it is the most awesome dish ever and so simple too. thank you so much for posting.

    waiting to try out all your other dishes from your very lovely blog.


  36. Very good recipe. I tried it and it turned out delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    It is amongst the easiest recipes, isn’t it?!

  37. I LOVE this recipe! It’s so simple and fast–I couldn’t believe the raw veggies would cook/brown in 15-20 minutes, but they did. I’m tempted to eat the whole pot by bedtime. A very nice addition to my list of favorite “comfort foods!”

    Thanks–and thanks to my friend Seema for introducing me to your blog!

    Thanks for the visit, Bonnie! A pot full is not too bad!
    Thanks to your friend Seema as well, for the recommendation!

  38. Punjabi’s never use cumins and garlic in Gobi Aloo.If you wish I could send you the authentic recipe.

    Nah, I’m happy with the one I have. Thanks.

  39. This was so easy to make and came out tasting yummy. I sprinkled a bit of water before closing the lid as I was afraid the veggies looked too dry and would burn. Still, the end result was crunchy and dry. My husband loved it as well and has asked me to make it again next week. A sure keeper!

  40. Anita: Thanks to you, I had no dinner yesterday. Let me explain. I made your aloo gobhi, left it on the stove, covered, and went out for a couple of short errands. I returned home to an empty pot that had been licked clean and three innocent faces. A little later, the crime was reconstructed. One piece of cauliflower was tasted. It was deemed so amazingly delicious that the other family members were summoned, all control was lost, “just one more piece” turned into an endless loop until the last bit was finished… get the idea. And one of the perpetrators was an avowed cauliflower hater!
    Next time I will make it and eat the entire thing myself!

    πŸ˜† I really am LOL! Thank you for this compliment!
    It is not for nothing that this is a family favorite!

  41. I made this last night and it was yummy. I did not add any garam masala as I’d run out of it. Did i miss something?
    Some portion of this got converted to 2 yummy parathas – filled with 2:1 ratio (courtesy your aloo paratha recipe)

    Ooooh – if you liked it without garam masala (hey, with good ingredients – and a pinch of love – you naturally get a good thing!) you are going to LOVE it with! That ratio yields an awesome well stuffed parantha; you can never go wrong with more potatoes! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for reading (and writing in!), Joyce.

  42. And yes, I need to try your garam masala recipe asap. Its the perfect time!

    Right – no time like now! πŸ˜‰

  43. To make the best aloo gobhi dry. The trick is to wash gobhi the day before / cut it and let it sit on raised surface so as that all water drains and dries outout. Then make it next day. It is the best with ginger and kaali mirch..the real punjabi way

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