Heading out in to the desert on Rocket, the camel which I prayed didn’t live up to his namesake, I learnt a thing or two about off-road cooking as kitchen aid to Ramesh, self styled camel man.
Here’s what we cooked up. If we could manage this under a tree I’m sure it’s well easy to recreate at home, minus the sand.
Special Desert Gobi
– 1 small cauliflower (Known as Gobi, cut in to small pieces)
– 1 small cabbage (shredded)
– 1 red onion (diced)
– 4 big garlic cloves
– 1 green chili (chopped finely)
– 2 potatoes (known as Aloo, cubed)
– 2 tomatoes (small chunks)
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 3 tsp chili powder
– 3 tsp ground coriander
– 2 tsp cumin seeds
– a massive pinch of salt
– 2 1/2 cups of water
– handful of chopped coriander
1. Fry the onions and green chili in a little oil for a few minutes then add the cauliflower, cabbage and potato.
2. Add turmeric, salt, chili and water and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Next add the tomatoes and chopped coriander and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Take the garlic cloves and add the ground coriander and cumin seed. Bash it all up together using the bottom of a cup and add to the pan.
5. Simmer for a further 10 minutes or slightly longer if the potatoes need to soften more.
The Gobi needs a little something to go with it though, so here’s how to make cracking chapatis:
Special Desert Chapati
– 3 cups of plain flour
– 2 1/2 cups of water
– 2 tsp salt
1. Add all the ingredients together and knead until you get a good bouncy consistency.
2. Make a ball just smaller than your palm and start to flatten it out between your fingers, turning it so it’s even.
3. Next slap your chapatis between both hands trying to use your fore fingers rather than your palms. You may need some flour to stop it sticking and feel a bit ridiculous doing this. If your chapatis start to wilt and become uneven, reach for the rolling-pin to make them flat and round, roughly 8cm in diameter and 1/2 a cm in width.
4. Take a hot non stick frying pan and put the chapatis in turning when one side becomes peppered with brown spots, roughly around 1-2 mins per side. If you like them a little crisper cook them over an open flame for half a minute each side.
5. Serve with your Gobi!