Phulkopir Aloo Dalna is a pure vegetarian Bengali Curry. Phulkopi is the Bengali term for cauliflower, Aloo is potatoes and Dalna is often referred to light curries. Ready in 30 minutes, you will love this curry on busy work days.
The combination of cauliflower with potato is unbeatable!
There are various different ways to pair these two favorites. You can stir fry to make a lovely side dish.
North Indian style Aloo Gobi is one of my fav go-to. Similarly, the milder version is this Bengali Style Cauliflower Potato Curry called Phulkopir Aloo Dalna.
Ingredients you need for Phulkopir Aloo Dalna
Cauliflower - Avoid using canned cauliflower for this dish. Use fresh or frozen florets. Keep the size of the florets bite size and not too small.
Potatoes - Most Bengali dishes calls for potatoes, and it pairs very well with cauliflower. Slice the potatoes into small size almost matching the size of the cauliflower florets.
Peas - Ma always used fresh peas for this dish, but I feel lazy, and so I use frozen peas.
Spices - Very minimal spices are required to make this dish. You need Bengali five spice called Paanch Phoron, Bengali Bhaja Moshla and Bengali Gorom Moshla. These 3 essential Bengali spice mix is very easy to make at home. Apart from this, you need turmeric powder and chili powder.
Ghee and Mustard Oil - Most Bengali recipes are cooked in mustard oil. It is not a mandate, but it does add a lovely pungent flavor to the dish. I like to add a little ghee at the end for flavor and richness.
Steps to prepare the dish
This vegetarian side dish is very simple to make, not spice and very soothing on the tummy. Enjoy with rice or roti.
1- Slice the cauliflower florets into bite size portions. Don't discard the greens and stalks, you can use that to make stir fried side dish.
2- Peel and slice the potatoes into small wedges.
3- In a bowl, add the cauliflower and potato. Pour hot water along with little salt. Leave it aside for a while, as it will help to soften the vegetable and make the cooking process faster.
4- In a bowl, add all the spice powder except for gorom moshola and make a spice paste with water.
5- Heat mustard oil and add Bengali Five spice, paanch phoron along with bay leaves. Let it sizzle for a few seconds.
6- Add the spice paste and stir it around for a few minutes to cook the spices.
7- Drain the cauliflower, potatoes, salt and add it to the pan. Stir it around, and fry for a few minutes. Then add the frozen peas and cook for some more time.
8- Add water, green chili, little sugar and salt. Bring it to boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pan and let it simmer for the vegetables to cook and softened.
9- Finally, add garam masala, ghee and cook for a couple more minutes. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
Growing up, Mom would prepare this cauliflower curry often for our lunch box. She would make it less gravy, therefore the gravy won't spill.
Here are a few other Bengali dishes you will enjoy!
Phulkopir Aloo Dalna | Bengali Style Cauliflower Potato Curry
- 1 cauliflower head (cut into chunky florets (12.50 oz/ 352 g))
- 3 small potatoes (peeled and diced in cubes (7.50 oz/ 213 g))
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoons sugar
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paanch phoron (Indian five spice)
- 2 small bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 3 cardamoms
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Place a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and pour 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil heats up, drop the cauliflower florets along with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric.
- Stir around to mix, cover the pan and cook for 7 minutes to for the cauliflower florets to soften a little and get that brown crust. Toss around the florets in between to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the florets are fried, take it off the pan into a separate bowl.
- To the same pan, pour rest of the oil. Once the oil heats up, drop the whole spices (paanch phoron, bay leaves, cloves and cardamoms).
- After that stir around for a couple of seconds and then, drop the potatoes. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric. Toss around, cover the pan and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.
- Prepare a spice paste in the mean time. Take a small bowl and add cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder. Add a little water and mix it to form a paste.
- After 5 minutes, stir the fried potatoes once again and pour the spice paste. Toss around to mix everything and let it cook for 3 minutes.
- Pour the water and rest of the salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower florets and the potatoes are cooked through but still hold the shape. You don’t want to make it mushy.
- Check for salt at this stage and add any, if needed.
- Finally, drop the frozen peas and cook for 1 minute.
- Serve the dalna warm paired with either rice or roti.