Serious Eats: Recipes

The Secret Ingredient (Turmeric): Gobi Gobi

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I am an enthusiastic frequenter of Indian restaurants, and I never leave without having Aloo Gobi—potatoes and cauliflower, cooking with coriander, cumin seeds, a bit of chili, and of course, turmeric, which gives it that golden kiss and earthen flavor.

I often find dishes based heavily in spices to be heavy; they can lack that fresh lightness of just-snipped herbs and fresh drizzles of raw olive oil because the spices are seared and baked and braised forcibly into the food. This is my effort to freshen and enliven aloo gobi. I lose the potatoes (which is why I call this gobi gobi) and double the cauliflower, then toss in the fresh flavors of soft cauliflower florets, a whole chili, hot fresh garlic and ginger, and piles of fresh cilantro. Lightly toasted smoky cumin seeds nestle themselves into the cauliflower buds and add a short, bright crunch, and the turmeric is a light golden bronzer that flushes the outside of the pale cauliflower with a marigold tan and adds a bit of earthen depth. A flash of butter finishes it off--because what's better than cauliflower with butter? It's bright and light, but different and interesting and unexpected, especially if served in a non-Indian context, like along side seared fish or roast chicken.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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