gobi alu made healthy ..... and the idea of comfort food...bachpan ka khana

I remember the subzi we used to eat when we were children...all food we ate in those times becomes comfort food when we grow up......we crave for those things later, and want to recreate those things again....what do you do when you have grown up eating aaloo parathas daily for breakfast with a dollop of butter melting over it , or the subzis made with liberal quantities of oil eaten with parathas or puris ......the thought of the subzis of my childhood is definitely mouthwatering , but at the same time i remember that it left a pool of oil in the plate after finishing the meal........many people of my generation would remember ads of a dish wash powder where the guest touches the clean plate to feel any oily stains...........that's how it is , if your plates are oily after finishing the meal , you must think about it.

Don't you think we should be very careful while eating with growing up children , as when we serve those shahi , makhni and butter gravies feeling very happy about it , butter paneer masala , shahi paneer , butter chicken et. al. is considered special while daal palak is so ordinary and not worthy to be happy about......... gobi manchurian is special while a plain aaloo gobi is mundane n boring.........

Can you imagine a day when your child chooses daal palak over shahi paneer or a beans stirfry over butter paneer masala........do you think that you are responsible for the choices your child makes regarding food........when you make the shahi-makhni- butter paneer you announce happily to your child...aaj mamma ne shahi paneer banaya hai n when you make a daal palak or beans stirfry you serve the food with a sorry look............isn't it a negative conditioning we do to the child regarding food choices.

I am not against eating those rich n shahi gravies...i enjoy eating them once in while but it is not my comfort food......and i had to think about it with a conscious mind that i have better choices regarding nutrition and taste .........my childhood cravings were different n it took a lot of precious time to relearn and unlearn so
many things along the way...............

Serving a healthy colorful salad as a special dish ( with the same excitement ) or making the daal palak more flavorful n enjoying it happily as a family is such a good idea, don't you think your child will be a lot more sure about the healthy choices in life when you condition him/her accordingly........

Aaloo gobi is a regular on an Indian plate during winters and there is nothing special about it.....just pick up a piece of gobi n you notice oil steeped into the florets and some left on the plate too.......it has to be fried till brown ( perfectly) in oil and then the masala added....it was made this way in my house n i remember my mom saying ...it still has the gobi smell if the gobi was not bhunoed (fried) properly....even i liked it that way then , but when we make healthy changes we know that there are better ways to make it tastier , and that the gobi smell is the pleasant flavor of the gobi which you want to preserve , not to be overpowered by masala or killed by frying.

If i talk about making a low fat stirfry, it is easier and healthier as i have said earlier too.....just take care to cook the veggies in it's own juices on low heat...the fresh flavor of the veggies should be preserved to get the maximum taste...

Do me a favor and think about the gobi manchurian...........the taste is awesome and you crave for it sometimes...now think about all the varieties of manchurian...mushrooms, potatoes or the veggie balls.........do they taste different?...............to me taste of all these is the same ( we are talking about the flavor) and the only contribution of gobi to a manchurian is it's texture and the crevices of it's florets where all the sauce n it's flavor gets lodged to please your palate..........where is the taste of gobi......the gobi has reduced to being the carrier of a great innovative sauce here.......

What i want to convey here is that if you like gobi nourishing your body and pleasing your palate , both at the same time , you have to think of a better way to cook it.....cook it till just al dante' , spice it up with whatever you like and see how you like it.........

Now see my way of doing it...........

ingredients... cauliflower chopped into florets 2 cups , potatoes diced 3/4 cup
ginger , garlic and green chillies chopped finely ..a tbsp each
turmeric powder 1 tsp
cumin , coriander and black pepper powders  2 tsp each
whole cumin seeds 1 tsp
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
green coriander leaves chopped to garnish

chop the florets of gobi and a few potatoes if you really like the combo...
heat a tbsp of mustard oil in a thick base kadai and drop in a tsp of cumin seeds , after a few seconds throw in a tbsp each of ginger , garlic n green chillies finely chopped , stir and quickly add the chopped potatoes and salt to taste ...cook covered for a couple of minutes.
uncover and add the turmeric powder, cumin, black pepper and coriander powder ( i use my everyday curry powder) and mix well.
now throw in the chopped gobi florets , mix to coat with the masala powders , cover again for a couple of minutes....till the gobi is cooked but still al dante'...or cook till completely done but not mushy.....sprinkle chopped green coriander and serve hot with chapattis.

the soft yet crunchy gobi with lightly mushed potatoes in this stirfry makes it yummy with this hot masala sprinkling ...and the fresh green coriander flavor enhances the freshness of gobi......the taste of this simple stirfry differs when you add the ingredients in a different succession.....so be careful to keep the freshness intact........

If you want this mundane looking stirfry a face lift ( i would like to call it a tatse lift ) , you can add a cup of chopped cabbage instead of green coriander leaves , or along with them...give it a stir in the last minute of cooking and see hoe the stirfry changes it's aroma , it's appearance and  taste.....

 the crunch provided by cabbage adds to the freshness and you get more fiber, more nutrients in the same dish , using the same amount of oil.....tastes great with chapatis and as a stuffing for grilled sandwiches ....or even parathas.......

And if you want to make the same stirfry infused in a lovely aromatic herb......use a lot of dill greens in a final finishing step..........you'd love it ......we just had this for dinner tonight......mad extra hot with green chillies...the dill leaves make a pleasant surprise on the table with it's refreshing aroma when the lid is opened..........take a deep breadth and inhale dill..........then enjoy it with hot n soft chapatis........

use the dill leaves along with it's stems as you can see here.......it becomes soft and gives more flavor...and texture to the finished dish.....i love to sponge off the last bits of these greens sticking in the bowl...

more recipes of healthy  subziyan will be seen here in the coming posts....all the local and seasonal vegetables.......cooked just right for a person who wants to stay fit , and for all those kids who need to learn healthy eating habits...................... stay tuned ....

What do you feel about the bachpan ka khana....the fond memories.....the food which we grow up eating.......??


  1. oh give me your aloo any day hate buttery curries

  2. Recipe looks healthy and delicious!

  3. Yes what you say about cravings are true, whatever we ate and craved for will not be workable now and if the kids have to eat healthy the parents need to eat healthy and show first.

  4. Dear Sangeeta
    This I cook quite often but only with a cumin, dry chili seasoning and turmeric, chopped green chili.
    Now I will try your version , with chopped ginger and Garlic and the spices
    Ullash !!!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. You've made me hungry. Wish I could cook half as awesome as these pics look like. Ever thought about having your own restaurant? Or a take away or something?

    Of course, there is a lot of difference between home cooking and traditional cooking.

  7. I do almost exactly what you've described above, except that instead of a thick base Kadhai, I do it in a pressure cooker. After the tadka is done with onions, tomato, garlic & ginger, I add the gobi & potatoes but no water at all, and steam it for exactly 10 minutes. Voila!

    So, did I make it healthy too or no?

  8. Dill leaves? I'll give that a skip. :-) Always love stir fries. :-)

  9. thanks everybody ....
    Dear Ushnish...ullash to amake chayi ..onek beshi..this one becomes diffrent with the spice mix i use..the link is provided n it's just so aromatic.

    Ramit...you can make it exactly like this even in the cooker , just don't use the pressure vent and cover it with a steel plate...and if you use onion n tomato , it becomes a diffrent thing altogether...try this way n i am sure you will repeat it often...and pressure cooking destroys natural color of the veggies i think( as you say this one looks better) but it is as healthy as this one...rest assured.

    Sharmils...i love the frangrance of dill n if you don't like it you can go with other herbs...or the other versions above.

  10. Healthy food so also the mushroom one - could not figure out how to post a comment there. If we could eat light and tasty food like this it would do a world of good.

  11. Healthy post, as usual...and quite new to me, (I couldnt see a comment section right below the mushroom+spring onions.)..thats an interesting combo' looks lovely.

  12. u got it girl...there's some problem with comment button, mushrooms my & his all time favourite but irony is DD hates it.....but gobi alloo everybody loves it....it's classic sure winner....


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