Indian food is arguably one of the most intimidating cuisines to make at home. Recreating the robust and spicy flavors of a meal from an Indian restaurant is a challenge to even frequent diners. Thick sauces, buttery doughs, and a mush of lentils don’t lend themselves kindly to recipe deconstruction. However, in reality, Indian food is exceptionally easy to make and inexpensive too. It’s affordable because it uses little meat and highlights seasonal produce. Traditional dishes are distinguished by their unique combinations of vegetables and vibrant blends of spices and herbs, virtually all of which are available at any grocery store. If you’re willing to invest a little prep time gathering the necessary spices and chopping some veggies, you can create an authentic Indian meal at a deliciously cheap price.

Advanced Course

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 ½ tablespoons ground coriander
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
½ cauliflower head, peeled and chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup water
1 cup rice (brown, basmati or whatever you have on hand)
2 ½ cups water

1. Chop and dice all vegetables. Set aside.
2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and saute the cumin, garam masala, coriander, garlic and onion for about 5 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.
3. Add cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, turmeric, salt and water. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, cook rice with 2 ½ cups water over medium heat. Cover and cook until all of the water has been absorbed. You can also cook the rice in a rice cooker.
5. Serve vegetable mixture on top of rice and enjoy!

Aloo Gobi with Rice

Photo by Kendra Valkema