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Recipe for slow cooker aloo gobi (spiced cauliflower and potatoes) {vegan, gluten-free}

Aloo gobi (Indian cauliflower and potatoes), easy in the slow cooker. #vegan #glutenfree

WARNING: This is not a mirage. It's cauliflower. More specifically, it's aloo gobi, the classic Indian cauliflower and potato dish, redolent with warm spices and gold-tinged by turmeric. Yes, I am trying to get over my lifelong distaste for cauliflower in 2013, by combining it with flavors and in recipes I already know I love. Almost anything cooked in a spicy hot base tingles my taste buds; add to that the convenience of using the slow cooker, and I had to give this dish a go. I can't say I fell head-over-heels for the cauliflower, but I ate a few pieces, which is more than I might have done a year ago. My husband Ted happily devoured the rest with some steamed basmati rice. (Note: recipe updated based on reader comments below.)

Indian cauliflower and potatoes (#vegan #glutenfree).

Slow cooker aloo gobi (spiced cauliflower and potatoes)

From the pantry, you'll need: onion, ginger root, garlic, cumin seed, cayenne pepper, garam masala, kosher salt, turmeric, canola oil.

Slightly adapted from The Indian Slow Cooker, this recipe serves 8.


1 large cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and sliced (seeds and all, if you like it very spicy; otherwise, remove the seeds)
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste (original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp; see comments below)
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp turmeric
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 heaping Tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


In a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except the cilantro. Stir well to distribute the spices.

Cook on LOW for 4 hours, stirring once or twice, if you're around.

Add the cilantro just before you're ready to serve the aloo gobi with rice or naan bread.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Broccoli and cauliflower sformatino
Slow cooker Indian-spiced butternut squash
Creamy Indian-spiced vegan sweet potato soup
Egg noodle, cheese and cauliflower gratin
Slow cooker Sindhi beef curry

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Lamb curry with cauliflower and double cilantro, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Crockpot Indian curry, from A Year of Slow Cooking
Kerala egg curry, from Sailu's Kitchen
Indian-style roasted squash curry, from Lisa's Kitchen
Sunday afternoon chicken curry, from eCurry

Slow cooker aloo gobi (Indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes), from The Perfect Pantry.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Yaay for cauliflower. Since this is my year of no potatoes, I bet I'd like it with sweet potatoes.

Kalyn, you can also make it with all cauliflower. Of course, it won't be aloo gobi, but it will still be delicious!

I've loved aloo gobi since seeing Bend It Like Beckham where there's an extra scene with the director talking about it. I also love me some slow cooker Indian recipes--thanks, Lydia!

Kirsten, I completely forgot about that scene! Now I love it even more.

So glad to see you are experimenting with cauliflower more Lydia - my kids actually like cauliflower (roasted is their favorite although I've snuck it in with mashed potatoes and no one has noticed). Three of my kids like Indian food, so I'm going to have to make this for them.

Jeanette, I've got more cauliflower experiments planned, and I'm determined to come to terms with it by the end of the year. I'm going to try mashed "potatoes", too!

Ahh...cauliflower. Not my favorite veggie - HOWEVER, this winter I made some pureed curried cauliflower soup that was to die for! No joke.

If you are put off by the texture - do try a pureed cauliflower soup. I know when I was eating it for the first time (hesitantly...) I remember thinking (and even posting on my blog) "How did I not know about cauliflower soup??!!"

ooooooh! must must must try, slow cooker Indian food is kind of an obsession, its just so tasty!

Tried this recipe and it was too spicy for both me and my boyfriend. Admittedly I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to spices, but he's not. When we go out to Thai restaurants, he usually orders his dishes with a spiciness level of 4-5 on a 5 point scale.

I still like this recipe, but in the future I would put much less cayenne pepper in it .

I have the "Indian Slow Cooker" book, and unless you like things very spicy (or have older/weaker cayenne or chili powder), definitely reduce the red chili powder. I love spicy food, especially when it's Indian, but when I made this last time it was borderline too hot for me. A tablespoon of cayenne is quite a lot, could easily reduce it by half and still have a somewhat spicy dish.

If you've already got a potful, make sure to top it with lots of yogurt!

Just to confirm if you got the amount of spices right, because a tablespoon each of cumin, cayenne and garam masala is a hell lot of spice!

Dumb questions regarding crockpot usage:

I have a 1.5L crock... can I just assume that half your recipe will fit and still work? Also, you say to "stir" in your directions, and although I'm new to the crockpot scene, I'm pretty sure that refers to a liquid. Do you fill it with water at some point? To what level? Thanks!!
P.S. Spice Challenge ... accepted

NSO, yes, she has a spicy palate. So do I!

Sabrina, yes, indeed, it's a lot of spice. Feel free to cut back if you wish, though I think it's the spice that makes the dish.

Sam, you can cut the recipe in half, but keep an eye on it because the cook time will be different (i.e., might be less time). You don't fill it with liquid, just stir the ingredients in the pot.

I tried this recipe, and it was way too hot for my boyfriend and I. I'm going to try it without the jalapeños and with less cayenne. Otherwise, it looked and smelled fantastic. Can't wait to try it w/o jalapeños! It looked yummy and was super easy to make.

This is a delicious recipe EXCEPT: do not put in the Tablespoon of cayenne. I used only 1 tsp., and it was too hot even for my spicy food-loving husband. I would use only a pinch of cayenne, as it goes a long way.

Stacy and Kelly, thanks for your feedback. Based on reader comments, I've amended the recipe to indicate a much smaller amount of cayenne as a starting point. Thank you all so much for your input.

This was good, and a nice intro to Indian for my husband who isn't yet familiar with this awesome cuisine. We paired it with this yummy sourdough naan. http://www.mykitchenaddiction.com/2011/04/sourdough-naan/

I didn't have fresh peppers or tomato on hand, so I substituted 2 cups of my home canned salsa for the peppers, onion, and tomato. Worked really well.

Do I need to add water for this recipe?

Thanks I'm going to try this now in my first new crockpot..

Anvi, no, you don't.

Half of our household is sick right now, so I will make this today in hopes of knocking the cold and flu bug out with some spice. Thanks! Can't wait to taste!

Great recipe! My just turned one year old loved it and it worked as a great finger food. When I was making it, I was a little concerned about very little in the way of liquid ingredients but it turned out great. It is not dry.

Hey thanks for the recipe. I saw in food network that we should always put water in crockpot and cook. Is it fine to cook without any gravy ?

Agree with you Lydia. It is so easy to make aloo gobi using slow cooker. I prefer to brown onion on stove top or in microwave before mixing it all in slow cooker to give it extra taste.

I don't normally comment on recipes, but I wanted to add that this was truly fantastic. My wife and I remarked how exceptional it was and tasted very close to our local Indian dining spot. I did use a bag of frozen cauliflower and doubled the potato and tomato. Just fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Now, if we could just do a good tikka massala in the slow cooker.

I want to thank you for this recipe, I've been using this recipe for a few months and I've been tweaking it to my taste (and to my slow cooker) I found that 2 jalapeños were way too spicy. And to make it more like my favorite restaurants, I use 3 tomatoes. I also add a cup of peas 20 minutes near the end. And our cooker needs 5 hours, otherwise the potatoes and cauliflower do not finish. I'm going to experiment with varying the amounts of Garam Masala and Tumeric next.

This is my new favorite recipe. I used sweet potatoes instead of russet. I didn't have 4 hours so I just used a large sauté pan, added a little vegetable broth, covered it, and let out cook for about an hour on medium. So good!

I made it and it was delicious! I had serrano peppers and thank goodness I only used one. Spicy cauliflower yumminess- I will definitely put this in the rotation.

Ive never heard of or tried aloo gobi but I plan on making it today based solely on the fact that I love all of the ingredients and the picture makes it look super yummy :). I am just curious though... there isn't a lot of juices in this slow cooker recipe. is it typically served on it's own or on rice? Usually things served on rice a bit more saucy. I am tempted to add something else but I don't want to mess it up. I guess I'm just curious how this is mean to present. Thank you -- your feedback is valuable to me!

Rena, not much liquid evaporates when you use a slow cooker. The natural liquid in the vegetables will make plenty of sauce. Serve this over rice, if you wish, to make it more of a main dish.

This was not good. Awful. My husband and I had to suffer through eating this because we were so hungry. The kids wouldn't even take a bite. So much garam masala, too much! The whole thing was brown and not nice and orange tinted like the picture. Did you write it down right? 1 tablespoon?!? And wayyy salty! 1 tablespoon!?! Wow. What a waste of delicious ingredients. Don't try this one, pass it up!

Marcy, I'm sorry you had this experience with the recipe. Whenever someone leaves a comment like this, I will go back and review -- and usually remake -- the recipe to see if I can figure out what went wrong. Thanks for your feedback; you're the first person to report this result, so I'll take another look.

Marcy, I have checked with the source recipe, and the quantities listed here are correct. The only adaptations I made in the original recipe were to reduce the amount of hot peppers, and then the cayenne pepper, to make the dish less incendiary. This is meant to be a spicy dish. I'm sorry your family didn't like it; if you make it again, please adjust the proportions to your own taste. It's a classic of Indian cuisine, and one worth having in your culinary repertoire.

We made this tonight and it was awful. First of all, this is definitely not a crockpot recipe. After 4 hours the potatoes were hard and yet the cauliflower was mushy. I read 1 tbsp salt in the recipe and thought it was WAY too much. I only added 1 tsp and am really glad I did otherwise it would have been way too salty. I will never make this recipe again! We threw away most of the finished product because the texture was just awful. This was a total waste of ingredients.

Danielle, I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience with this recipe. By reading the comments above, you can see that some people adore it, and some people don't. The recipe is adapted from a cookbook, and I have double-checked the ingredients and made it several times myself. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

I made this recipe today and thought it was great and definitely not too salty. I am wondering if the folks who found it salty used table salt as opposed to kosher salt.
Thanks for sharing.

Great recipe! Thanks for sharing! What would this recipe become if I add coconut milk? I am obsessed with curry and coconut milk! 😊

Adapted this slightly by cooking 3 hours on low and then letting it finish up on warm (had to let cook all day when I was at work) turned out beautifully.

Other changes, 2 potatoes, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp reg salt instead of kosher, only one jalapeno.

Heat was bearable but will probably go down to 1/2 tsp cayenne for next attempt.

Made this but agree that the spice level seems odd (not as an indicator of hot spiciness just too much spice). The spices all clumped making each bite full of too much spice flavor. I think the garam masala may need to be reduced or double the cauliflower and potato and add a bit of water to help the spices spread more evenly

I substituted chick peas for potatoes, and added a little fresh spinach 10 minutes before it was finished and it was perfect!

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