THE SECRET KEEPER OF JAIPUR: Alka Joshi’s Aloo Gobi Matar Subji (Curried Vegetable)

THE SECRET KEEPER OF JAIPUR: Alka Joshi’s Aloo Gobi Matar Subji (Curried Vegetable)


THE SECRET KEEPER OF JAIPUR: Alka Joshi’s Aloo Gobi Matar Subji
(Curried Vegetable)

Growing up, whenever my mother wondered what to make for dinner, my brothers and I clamored for her Aloo Gobi Matar Subji or Potato-Cauliflower-Pea Curried Vegetable. I want you to taste my mother’s version of this delicious comfort food because it has the added benefit of being good for you!

On dinner tables in North India and in South Asian restaurants, this subji is a staple because potatoes, peas, and cauliflower are readily available in the market. And because cooks always keep a ready supply of onions, chilies, cumin seeds, turmeric, garlic, and fresh cilantro in their pantries.

Mom served her subji with hot-of-the-stove chapati and clove-scented basmati rice as well as several other curried vegetables like okra or eggplant or garbanzo beans. She was partial to red chilies, and she always had a bowl of homemade yogurt and slices of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers at the table to temper the heat. Her sweet and sour lemon chutney added a little more kick to every meal.

I make this dish often in my own kitchen. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as sumptuous as what my mother used to make, but as I peel the potatoes and chop the cauliflower, I feel her gentle hands guiding me, as Lakshmi might have done for Radha or Malik in her own kitchen.

-Alka Joshi

Author book club menu, note

Also,  see Alka Joshi’s recipes for The Henna Artist (Royal Rabri) and ˆThe Perfumist of Paris (Chickpea Curry ) Chole



Alka Joshi’s Aloo Gobi Matar Subji (Curried Vegetables)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1/2 cup canola, sunflower or safflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander (if not available, use more coriander leaves, see below)
  • 2 teaspoons red chile powder (or 1 hot chile pepper, finely chopped)
  • 23 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic (or more, if preferred), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (matar)
  • 2 russet potatoes (aloo), peeled and cubed
  • 1 small cauliflower (gobi), florets separated
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup coriander leaves


  1. Heat oil in deep skillet or large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add cumin seeds, and cook until they begin to sizzle.
  2. Add onion and sauté on high heat until translucent. Reduce heat to medium. Add turmeric, cumin, garam masala, coriander, chile powder or chile pepper, and salt and stir for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, and peas and stir. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Stir until all ingredients are coated well with spices. The mixture will start to sizzle. Add water, to prevent vegetables from burning (see note).
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 10–12 minutes. Take care not to overcook the cauliflower; you want to leave a little crunch in the florets. Garnish with coriander leaves.


 You can add more water if you want a soupy curry. My father preferred a drier version, as do many North Indians, so my mother didn’t add a lot of water to her recipe.


Keywords: Aloo Gobi Matar Subji (Curried Vegetable)

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