This is a delicately spiced vegan aloo gobi recipe with cauliflower florets, potatoes, an onion-tomato base, and some common Indian spices. One of the most popular North Indian cauliflower recipes ever and so perfect for weeknights! Both instant pot and stovetop recipes are included.
Love cauliflower? Try this cauliflower soup, a thick vegan soup with butterbeans to make it creamy.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be paired with any number of other veggies like peas, carrots and capsicum. But the classic combo and the favorite in many homes including mine is this potato and cauliflower curry or aloo gobi masala. The spices add an interesting dimension and distinctly Indian flavors to it.
A note before we begin with the ingredients and recipe: I have included both the instant pot and stovetop methods of making this aloo gobi recipe. However, do note that the instant pot aloo gobi will not be as dry as the one made on the stovetop. If you are looking for a dry aloo gobi or aloo gobi fry as it is also called, skip to the stovetop version. That being said, aloo gobi made in the instant pot does speed things up and makes it easier to cook the dish. So, choose the cooking method that suits you best!
Note: exact amounts are mentioned in the recipe card further down.
- A small head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- Potatoes - small cubes
- Cooking oil
- Cumin seeds
- Fenugreek seeds (optional) - these add flavor but can be left out if not easily available.
- Red onions, sliced fine
- Tomatoes, chopped
- Ground spices - coriander, red chilli, turmeric, and a pinch of garam masala
- Fresh ginger (optional) - can be minced or finely chopped
- Green chillies
- Fresh cilantro
How to make aloo gobi on the stovetop
Step 1 - Heat cooking oil in a pan or karahi (wok) and add cumin and fenugreek. Let the spices sizzle, then add onions. Fry the onions until they are a beautiful, reddish-brown color (6-8 minutes)
Step 2 - Make the masala. Throw in the tomatoes, ginger, powdered spices, and salt and sauté on medium heat until the masala is thick and fragrant (5 minutes). While sautéing, add ¼ cup water so the masala does not stick to the pan.
Step 3 - Time for the cauliflower and potato to go in. Mix them with the masala, lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. There is usually no need to add water as the cauliflower has a lot of water content. Also, when you wash it, it will retain some moisture. If you want a dry aloo gobi, this is the way to do it. However, if you absolutely must add water, go for the least amount you can, just about a few tablespoons.
Step 4 - Once the vegetables are tender, take them out in a dish and garnish with the green chilli and cilantro. Your aloo gobi fry is ready to be served with some warm Indian bread and a piping hot dal!
Some essential tips for making the perfect dry aloo gobi or aloo gobi fry
- I'll say it again, but please don't be tempted to add too much water to the cooking sabzi. Mushy sabzi is no fun and trust me, cauliflower is such a delicate vegetable, it breaks down very easily especially when water is added to it.
- To cook it faster without water, make sure you cut the cauliflower and potatoes into small, even pieces.
- Chop the cauliflower and potatoes into small, even-sized pieces for faster cooking. Big chunks take too long to soften and with minimal water, you want them to cook fast.
- Cook the sabzi covered so that no moisture can escape and the vegetables get cooked in the steam.
- Cook it on low heat. If you increase the heat, it will get scorched and stick to the bottom.
- And the last bit that does make a difference - try and use a good non-stick pan to make aloo gobi.
How to make instant pot aloo gobi
Step 1 - Heat the oil in the steel insert of the instant pot and add the cumin and fenugreek seeds. Let the spices sizzle, then add the onions. Fry the onions until they are reddish-brown.
Step 2 - Add the tomatoes, ginger, powdered spices, and salt. Sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes break down and the masala is fragrant. Add ¼ cup water while sautéing this masala to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
Step 3 - Add the potatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes. Cancel sauté and deglaze the pot.
Step 4 - Add the cauliflower florets and ¼ cup water.
Step 5 - Secure the lid and pressure cook on LOW pressure for 3 minutes only. Do a QPR (quick pressure release) once the pressure cooking cycle is over and the pot beeps. Open the pot. Aloo gobi is ready.
Step 6 - Take it out in a bowl and garnish with green chillies and cilantro. Serve hot with Indian bread like roti or paratha.
Some essential tips
- The most important tip I can give your is not to forget to deglaze the pot before pressure cooking the vegetables. Deglazing just means to scrape the bottom of the pot and loosen any stuck bits. This is to avoid the burn notice which can be triggered if the pot is not deglazed. Nothing to worry about, but it can be a nuisance, so it's better avoided.
- Like the stovetop version, chop the cauliflower and potatoes (especially the potatoes) into smallish pieces so that they can get cooked quickly.
- Do a quick release or the veggies will turn mushy. Cauliflower is a delicate vegetable that cooks really fast.
Frequently Asked Questions
A simple and earthy dish, it is best eaten with fresh off the griddle rotis, a piping hot dal, and achar (Indian pickle) which makes for a complete north Indian meal. Simple, filling and deeply satisfying!
Yes! I'd even say there's nothing simpler than buying a bag of frozen cauliflower and using this instead of chopping a whole cauliflower head. Just remember not to add ANY water while cooking it because frozen vegetables have enough moisture for a dry curry like this one.
Easily. It is very freezer-friendly. Allow it to cool down completely, then transfer it to a freezer safe container or bags and freeze. If you're freezing a large batch, make sure to divide it in two or three containers so that you don't have to thaw it all at once. The easiest way to thaw it is to leave it in the fridge overnight and reheat it in a frypan or microwave.
More Indian vegetarian recipes
- Mixed Vegetable Curry - The perfect recipe for weeknights, it can be made with the vegetables you have in your fridge already.
- Lauki Chana Dal - Bottle gourd and split chickpea lentils in a delicious onion-tomato gravy.
- Paneer Jalfrezi - A colorful vegetarian stir fry made with cottage cheese, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and powdered spices.
- Bharwa Shimla Mirch - Potato stuffed green bell peppers.
- Aloo Curry - A tasty potato curry with just a few ingredients.
Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower Sabzi)
- 6-quart Instant Pot Duo OR a medium-sized wok (karahi)
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds optional
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped or minced ginger optional
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- 1 small cauliflower head cut into florets
- 4 small potatoes small cubes
- 2 green chillies chopped or sliced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro chopped
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add fenugreek and cumin.
- When the seeds turn golden, add the sliced onion and sauté until the onions turn reddish-brown.
- Tip in the tomato, ginger, powdered spices, and salt and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add ¼ cup water while sautéing the masala.
- Add the cauliflower florets and cubed potato to the pan and stir to mix.
- Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking process to prevent the veggies from sticking to the pan.
- Remove the lid and garnish with the green chillies and cilantro. Serve hot with roti or paratha.
Instant Pot Method
- Switch on your instant pot to sauté (normal) and add the cooking oil to the steel insert. When the display shows HOT, add the fenugreek and cumin seeds.
- When the whole spices start sizzling, add the sliced onions and sauté until the onions become reddish-brown.
- Add the tomatoes, ginger, all the powdered spices and salt. Cook this masala on medium heat until the tomatoes break down and the masala becomes shiny (5 minutes). Add ¼ cup water while sautéing to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
- Add the potatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Cancel sauté and deglaze the pot.
- Add the cauliflower florets and ¼ cup water. Secure the lid and make sure the steam release vent is on sealing. Press the pressure cooking button and select the low setting. Set the timer to 3 minutes.
- Once the pot beeps, do a quick release and open the pot. Stir the vegetables and garnish with the green chillies and cilantro. Serve hot with roti or paratha.
- Chop the cauliflower and potatoes into small pieces so that they cook faster.
- Resist the temptation to add too much water during the cooking process as over-cooked aloo gobi is no fun.
- Don't forget to deglaze the pot before pressure cooking if using the instant pot.
- Red chilli powder can be substituted with chilli flakes too. The aloo gobi will be more yellow but that is fine.
- Take care not to over brown the onions, or else the vegetables will also take on an unappealing brown tinge.
- The fenugreek and ginger are completely optional. They add a pleasing flavor to aloo gobi, but omit them by all means if you're in a hurry.