Tag Archives: aarti

Indian Food that Tastes Like Indian Food: Aloo Gobi w/ Naan

20 Mar

As I previously mentioned, I am on an Indian food kick lately. In fact, I think I’ve eaten Indian food three times this week, which is certainly a lot for me! I’m constantly discovering new recipes by Aarti Sequeria, and have yet to be disappointed. I just hope that she comes out with a recipe for Nav Rattan curry, my absolute favorite Indian dish. I pleaded her to do so on Twitter; I hope she responds 🙂

My latest discovery was Aloo Gobi, which simply means potato and cauliflower….two of my favorite foods! (Side note: I was going to say “two of my favorite vegetables” but I’m not sure if potatoes can be considered vegetables or starches. It seems like I should know this, but I don’t).

With colors like these, how could it NOT taste fresh and flavorful?

It was so simple to make. It’s just a one-pot meal because the cauliflower and potato cook in the sauce. I suppose the only challenging part was making the ginger-garlic paste because I don’t have a mini food-processor, and in using a regular sized food processor, I had to keep pushing the ginger and garlic back down near the blade. But now I’ve made enough of the paste to use for making this recipe again next week 🙂 Also, I think I just need to buy a mini food processor because making pesto is also annoying.

The dish was extremely flavorful. My husband actually said that it tasted as good as India Garden, our favorite Indian restaurant, located in Indianapolis. India Garden is divine, so this was a real compliment.

I also tried my hand again at naan. My last attempt was decent, but did not taste quite like the real thing. However, this time was far better! I used chapati flour (found at an Indian grocery store) and rolled out the dough very thin.  Both of these small changes made a world of difference! It did taste just like what you could get at an Indian restaurant!

Only one thing puzzles me: when I watch the  naan baking in the oven, these wonderful bubbles pop up, as would be expected of naan. However, when I take them out of the oven, the bubbles deflate, so the naan looks flatter than it should. It doesn’t impact the flavor of course, but I would still prefer for the bubbles to remain. Any suggestions?

Aloo Gobi (recipe by Aarti Sequeria)


  • 2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows, or 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large serrano pepper, split down the middle leaving halves attached (note: remove seeds if desired; the more seeds you leave in, the spicier it will be)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (similar size to cauliflower)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro leaves, to garnish


  • Mix the Ginger-Garlic Paste, coriander, turmeric, and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. This is a simple wet masala (spice mix). Set aside.
  • In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the serrano pepper, wait 30 seconds, and then add the cumin seeds and wait until they’re done spluttering.
  • Add the wet masala (careful, it will also splutter). Cook until the paste thickens, deepens in color slightly, and oil oozes out of the perimeter of the masala, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower and potatoes, stirring to coat the vegetables with the masala. Season with salt and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove the lid, stir, and cook until the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Makes 2-4 servings.

Ginger-Garlic Paste (recipe by Aarti Sequeria)


  • 1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup canola oil


  • Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.
  • Save what you don’t use in a small glass jar. It should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It’s a delicious addition to marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy etc.

Naan (adapted from recipe by Alex Guarnaschelli)


  • 2 cups chapati or bread or whole-wheat or all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled, plus 3 teaspoons
  • 3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • Canola oil, as needed


  • Put the chapati flour into a large bowl and add the salt and the yeast. Use your fingers to mix and blend the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, the yogurt, and warm water. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment or, alternatively, with your hands, combine all of the ingredients. Knead the dough with the mixer on low speed until it becomes smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Again, alternatively, knead the dough on a lightly floured flat surface.
  • Pour 2 teaspoons of melted butter into a bowl large enough to hold the dough. Coat the sides and bottom of the bowl with the butter and put the dough in the center. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly grease 2 baking sheets with some canola oil. Slide the baking sheets into the center of the oven for a few minutes. (Chef’s Note: Be careful to not leave the baking sheets in the oven for too long, otherwise you’ll risk the oil getting too hot and smoky.)
  • Gently roll the dough into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface so it is about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the disk into quarters. Roll each quarter to 1/8-inch in thickness and still be able to fit 2 on a baking sheet.
  • When all the ovals are rolled, brush off any excess flour. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and arrange the naan in a single layer, 2 pieces per pan. Bake until they are light brown and puffy, about 5 minutes. During the last minute of baking time, brush butter on the top of the naan (about 1 tsp), if desired.
  • Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer the naan to a serving platter lined with kitchen towels to keep them warm.

Makes 4-8 servings.


Vegetarian Tikka Masala

14 Mar

I am so excited about Indian food lately! I have been trying a lot of new Indian recipes, thanks to Aarti Sequeria from the Food Network. She makes Indian food so much more accessible. I’m totally rooting for Sudhir on America’s Next Great Restaurant because it would be so cool to have fast casual Indian restaurants around the country! 🙂

The recipe I am sharing today is for Vegetarian Tikka Masala. You may be wondering how tikka masala can be vegetarian, as it usually includes chicken. Really, the recipe is just Aarti’s Chicken Tikka Masala, but with potatoes and cauliflower instead of chicken. I have also made it with tofu, using the marinade that would have been for the chicken. It was yummy, but I found the marinade didn’t add much flavor.

You could really add whatever protein or veggies you want and it would taste delicious because the creamy tomato curry is freaking awesome. And, the ingredients are not hard to find. Once you have the garam masala, you’re set!

When I made this dish the other night, I also made naan as a side. This was my first time making it.  It was pretty close, but didn’t quiet taste like the real thing. However, I think it was more of my fault than anything else. I was in a hurry and didn’t roll out the naan thin enough, so it didn’t get as brown and puffy as it could have. I am going to be trying another Indian recipe (aloo gobi) later this week and will try making the naan again. I ventured to the Indian grocery store today to get stocked up on some chapati flour, which may make the naan taste more authentic. Hopefully I’ll get better results and can share it with you!

But for now, try this amazing, flavorful, vegetarian tikka masala…

Vegetarian Tikka Masala (adapted from “Chicken Tikka Masala” by Aarti Sequeria)


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic and 2-inch thumb ginger minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for roasting
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Cooked rice, naan, or crusty piece of bread, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place potatoes and cauliflower onto two separate baking sheets. Drizzle both with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for approximately 20-25 minutes, and the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, or until both are tender. Flip them halfway through cooking time.
  • Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic, ginger, and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute for about 1 minute to draw out their flavors.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need more water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.
  • Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cream and stir through.
  • Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread!

Makes 3-5 servings.