Bengalis and Potatoes are indispensable. There are almost all dishes in Bengali cuisine which uses potatoes in some or the other way. But of course you are free to cook without them always. Aloo Phulkopir Dalna or Bengali Cauliflower Curry is a classic dish served along with many other curries on a thali (full Indian meal).
This as most Bengali curries is made without onion or garlic but the heat in the dish is created with mustard oil and ginger. Mustard Oil is a very indigenous oil used in some parts of India. It is raw pressed oil perfect to the climate of those regions. When cooking with this oil for the 1st time, you might not enjoy the aroma at all, as it gives a strong aroma. But once the food is cooked the oil is no longer prominent any more.
I enjoyed this dish with hot steaming rice and you can also enjoy it with phulkas/chapati.
If you give this simple, vegan and sattvik dish a try, let me know in the comments below.
Aloo Phulkopir Dalna
Heat 1 tbsp. oil and add cauliflower florets followed by potato cubes to it. Fry till the florets are well coated with oil and get a light brown hue. Remove from oil and keep aside.
Add 1 tbsp. of oil and temper it with bay leaves, whole cumin seeds and green chilies. Now add grated ginger. Sauté it on slow fire till the raw smell of ginger goes away. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and fry well till the oil is separated.
Add the fried potatoes and cauliflower to it and sauté everything together till all they are all well coated with spices. Cook everything on a low flame (else the spices can easily get burnt).
Add salt and sugar and give it a nice mix. Add 1.5 cups of water to it and cook it covered on low heat till potatoes and cauliflower florets are done. Mix occasionally but not too vigorously.
Now it is done, check for seasoning. Add garam masala and garnish it with coriander leaves. Serve with hot rice or chapatis.