Gina and Corey write:

Last night, we invited the 3 Koraput foreigners (VSO volunteers Nancy and Kevin and Kevin's wife Rhea) to dinner at our house. However, they had all reached their limit of freeloading from our cooking skills, so we made them work for their dinner by feigning interest in a Grone cooking lesson! We chose to teach them to cook aloo ghobi, a very standard Indian curry of potatoes (aloo), ghobi (cauliflower), and spices.

Note for our out-of-India readers: the ingredients can all be found at a larger grocery store. Also, do not let the number of spices scare you! Once you purchase the 5 spices in this dish, it's actually a pretty easy thing to cook. Really.

List of ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb. potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch julienne strips
  • 1 lb. cauliflower, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 3 whole dried chilies
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 3 medium onions, cut in half and then sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 C. water


1. Heat oil in a wok or large pan until it is very hot. I mean really hot, man. You may want to put on some goggles.

2. Add mustard seeds, dried chilies, and cumin seeds. Fry for 45 seconds. If you fry for 46 seconds, the pan will explode.

3. Add onions. Fry until they start to become translucent.

4. Add salt, curry powder, garam masala, and turmeric. Fry for 1 minute. You now have what is known as the "masala" of the dish. Basically a concentrated flavor blast. Kind of like a Dorito.

5. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Stir and fry for 2 min.

6. Add the water and cover. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. You'll have to taste a piece of potato to see if it is done. I can't be held responsible if it's not.

7. Make roti to serve with the aloo ghobi.

Rolling roti is not as hard as Kevin is making it look here!

Rookie roti maker passes the test.

Since our roti lesson blog entry, we've acquired a metal tongs. According to his own taunt from that entry, Corey is now a sissy for not using his fingers to flip the roti.

8. Serve. Unfortunately, almost all Indian falls under the category that food writers and photographers call "brown food" or food that's just plain ugly. Trust us, it will taste delicious.

Testimony from our students:

Nancy - "Corey's and Gina's kind tutelage has increased my kitchen confidence beyond measure. Dinner party at my house next!"
Kevin - "I feel so empowered. I can't wait to help my wife in the kitchen now!"
Rhea - "I can't wait to share my new skillz with friends and family back home."

Readers around the world can also experience the feeling of accomplishment from cooking an authentic Indian dish. Have fun and good luck!