Aloo Palak & Aloo Gobi

The summer internships have started and since all our husbands have finally gone off to work, the wives decided to get together and have a potluck dinner. Three of my dear friends, who are married to Shankar's classmates, and I shared a fantastic meal last night. We got together, discussed life, Akanksha's pregnancy, what our plans are post graduation, and compared where each of us will be traveling to over the summer to visit our husbands. The consensus on the dinner was that we would never have gotten such a good meal in any of the Indian restaurants in Ann Arbor, and how wonderful and cost effective it was to get together for a home cooked meal where we each left with lunch packed up for the following day. Life is so much better with Girlfriends!

The lovely blue china bowls were picked up this weekend as Shankar and I roamed the streets of Chicago's Chinatown as that is where I went travelling. I decided to make spinach since we picked up a few fresh bunches at the fantastic vegetable markets on Devon St. in Chicago.

Pooja, Akanksha, Namrata & Kanchana's Potluck Dinner Menu

Masala Baked Macaroni - P
Homemade Rotis - N
Moong Daal with Tomato - N
Cholas - A
Aloo Palak - K
Aloo Gobi - K
Rice - P

I wanted to use the fresh spinach in my fridge, so the first place i headed was JFI Greens, a collection of recipes at Indira's Mahanandi by fellow food bloggers using all kinds of green leafy vegetables. This recipe is taken from one of my favorite sites, Anita's "A Mad Tea Party". I love the simplicity of AMTP's dishes. My husband is better at making dishes with complex spice blends, but I enjoy making dishes where the vegetables are highlighted with a few key aromatic ingredients. AMTP recommends mustard oil, but I used olive oil.

Aloo Palak
1 bunch of chopped fresh spinach (or 1 package frozen chopped), 2 medium potatoes boiled and cubed, 1 tomato diced, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 3 large green chillies minced (AMTP says 6 chillies split), 1 onion minced, a pinch of asafetida, salt

1. In a few tbsp of oil saute the ginger and green chillies and asafetida. Then cook the onions.
2. Add the tomatoes until they release some water, and turn into a pulp.
3. Add the potatoes and salt them generously.
4. Add the spinach and mix it in until it wilts.

The Aloo Gobi recipe is from my friend Sandhya Balan. She and her husband Jay invited Shankar and I over for dinner and she served up a feast that included this recipe. I liked it so much I had to know how to make it. She shared below, and look carefully for her secret ingredient! I added the methi leaves to it.

Aloo Gobi
1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 onion sliced, 2 medium potatoes boiled and cubed, 1 cup cauliflower florets, 1/4 cup of frozen or fresh peas, 1 tsp dried methi leaves (optional), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp sambar powder, salt

1. Fry the cumin seeds in some oil.
2. Saute the onions.
3. Add the turmeric, and chili powder.
4. Add the potatoes and mix. Add salt.
5. Add the cauliflower, peas, methi, sambar powder and mix.
6. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes until nicely roasted.

Roasting the vegetables in the oven give it a very unique flavor, as does the sambar powder!

Verdict: I think everyone agreed that all the dishes were delicious. Namrata's homemade roti's were particularly appreciated. Akanksha is such a sweetheart and woke up early to make her chole before working all day on their release! Thanks to Pooja for welcoming us into her home and for her innovative masala macaroni dish. I'm already looking forward to my lunch today!


TNL said...

How lovely...I do enjoy such get-togethers without the husbands around. The Menu is lovely your contributions look great...would love to get the recipe for the masala macaroni sometime.

Pretty bowls too. :)

Sia said...

so it was girl's party time! u bet, life is much better with girlfriends;)
loved those china china compliments the golden yellow colour of aloo gobi. did u say masala macaroni? wow...sounds very interesting!
i am chewing my dry sandwitch here and envy u for having all those yummy dishes for lunch:) enjoy kanch:)

FH said...

WOW!! How beautiful.Great choice of dishes and photos are fab.Love both.Enjoy the fun:))

Savithri said...

Love the bowls!

How cute that you and the girls get together while your husbands are away!

Rachna said...

hi, simple, yummy looking dishes!! me also interested in the masala macaroni...sounds yummy!!! yup and china bowls are really pretty, they are complimenting the colours of the dishes...

Suganya said...

So true! Life is always fun with girlfriends. Looks like u had fun. And, yes that masala macaroni recipe pls..

Prema Sundar said...

Simple and easy dishes for potluck.. Sometimes its nice to have a get together with girlfriends without husbands.China bowls look great Kanchana.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love your blog and have been subscribing to it for a while now. Are there any Indian markets in Ann Arbor? I live in Lansing but frequently drive through A2. I do have a market here, but it is pretty small.
Thanks for all your recipes!

Bong Mom said...

Wow great girlie party with such yummy food.

Sharmi said...

I love Aloo gobi combination a lot. looks yummy.
BTW thanks a lot for your lovely words in my blog. :)

Bharathy said...

I may not leave a comment,but I do visit your place regularly..:)

China bowls look cute..with those healthy dishes..

Love oorgai entries as well..

FH said...

Congratulations for winning Trupti's contest.Enjoy the goodies Kanchana!Hugs!:))

USHA said...

Congrats Kanchana...convey my wishes to your hubby too for his wonderful contribution....

Nanditha Prabhu said...

the dishes look yummy!should have had a great time!

Raaga said...

Life is fun with girlfriends :) No doubt about that. And it doesn't matter if you're married or single :)

I liked the addition of dried methi leaves to the aloo gobi. I will try it the next time.

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

Hey Kanchana,
Congrates for winning the spring even .Came to know from trupthi's blog.Love the presentation there.Cute....Perfect.

DEEPA said...

Congrats onYou being the winner for the Event hosted by Trupti ..It was an excellent entry ..

Both these cute bowls must have been very yummy and tasty ....

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Trupti for hosting the prize and you Kanchana (and Shankar) for winning! A great bunch of lovely kids doing smart things. Makes dads like me proud!

Anonymous said...

Both of these look absolutely delicius!

Vini K said...

I agree kanch,a potluck with close friends is my fav form of get togethers.Your dishes look great.Like everyone else,I would love to know about the masala macaroni too:)The photos remind me of the get togethers me and my friends here used to have until a year ago.Then everyone got busy with their growing up kids and potlucks became a thing of the past.

J said...

Wow, how nice to have such get togethers! Nice menu. :) Masala macaroni sounds interesting, do share the recipe someday

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you made and liked this simple aloo-palak! And gobhi-aloo is another of my favourites in the winter (that is when it is in season here) - I'll have to try the sambar powder trick!

You have a beautiful blog here, Kanchana. Am visiting after a gap ...I've lots to catch up with :-)

mitr_bayarea said...


First time visitor here-thanks for the yummy aloo recipes. Your blog is really nice and glad to see you update it regularly.

Anonymous said...

Hi ,
I liked the aloo gobi recipe discribed. can u please tell me, do I need bake the vegetables covered or uncovered. thanks.