Aloo Gobi Two Ways : #1 The Curried Crackers

“Cauliflower oh cauliflower

Your texture and crunch,
Makes my mouth water
As I count down to lunch.
As you roast slowly
With that aroma so unique,
My nose searches for you
And the simplicity I seek.
Curried or baked
Traditional or fancy,
If meals weren’t enough
I can now enjoy you with tea!
Small bites so scrumptious
With a flavor known so well,
Masala in Hors D’oeuvres
An Indian show & tell.”
If you love the Indian curried dish of cauliflower & potatoes a.k.a Aloo Gobi as much as I do, then you have stumbled upon the right recipe. 

Fragrant & flavorful, I can never say no when a bowl of this presents itself in front of me. Such is my obsession that in the anticipation & excitement of it all, I often cook more than two of us can devour. And thus this post. Cauliflower, with its roasted nutty tang and potatoes - well what can I say about potatoes - with their ever-so-versatile texture and taste make this dish a perfect combination. And it provides a balance to almost anything you eat with it - be it rice, breads, salad or simply on its own. 

Here is the first of two simple ways to re-create this everyday meal into something gourmet!

½ cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 medium potato, diced into cubes
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional - I add them as I love the color it gives the otherwise bland looking dish!)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon asafetida powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
Some fresh coriander to garnish
Salt & chili to taste
10-12 crackers (I used whole wheat herb crackers, you can use whatever you fancy/have at home)
2-3 tablespoons plain low-salt cream cheese/ricotta, softened
1-2 stalks of asparagus, halved and cut into 3 inch stalks

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cumin seeds and cook till they brown and begin to splutter. Add the remaining ingredients along with ½ cup water and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or till the potato and cauliflower are soft and thoroughly cooked. Turn heat to high, and sauté for 4-5 minutes till any excess liquid is absorbed and the edges of the vegetables begin to get brown & crisp.
Remove from heat, add fresh coriander and cool to room temperature.
Using the same pan, sauté the asparagus for 2-3 minutes till it loses its ‘rawness’. Don’t overcook, as we don’t want it to wilt and become soft.
Spread some ricotta or cream cheese on half the cracker. Top with a teaspoon of the aloo gobi, and garnish with the asparagus. A unique Indian version of the popular cracker Hors D'oeuvres!