Do You Have a Toothache? Aloo Gobi To The Rescue!


This is a longish post ~ be forewarned! πŸ™‚

Before I begin, please see yesterday’s post for an
addendum to the lotus root curry.

Incidentally, Wiki states that lotus flower is the national flower of India.
I didn’t know that? Read the entry here.

Now, on to today’s marathon recipe!

I have been nursing a marathon, on-again off-again toothache.
Today it’s definitely on-again, and I could hardly eat a bite.
I was hungry for something spicy, but couldn’t fathom the idea of chewing.

I am still trying to cook from the stores at hand; tonight they were just the ticket.

Here is what I came up with. Essentially, it is this recipe from dear ISG’s amazing repertoire — sans wadis, because, well… you need to *chew* those πŸ˜‰

Aloo Gobi Gravy (For a Toothache)
enough for a few meals at least, but I hope you don’t have a toothache that long!

In a big pressure cooker, season:

one healthy tablespoon of ghee
(I was after comfort food tonight!)

curry leaves

In the seasoned ghee, saute:

half a medium onion, diced fine
a few cloves of garlic, diced
a tablespoon of grated ginger

When fragrant, add:

one medium-sized potato, peeled and diced


Now, while all this is happening, take another pan and boil some frozen
cauliflower in a little water. Cook until the water boils off and the cauliflower is soft. Let the cauliflower brown in the hot pan. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn — shaking it back and forth a few times helps. This is the secret to frozen cauliflower, I have discovered. The browning gives a lovely taste.

caramel-colored cauliflower ~ yum!


Meanwhile, back at the pressure cooker… by now the potato is translucent.

1/2 c toor dal, rinsed well
water to cover (I used about 3 c)

Close the lid, bring up to pressure and cook as you would for any dal or sambhar (yes ok, this is practically sambhar. In disguise. I can’t help it. Sambhar is my comfort food! πŸ™‚ )

When the dal is cooked, allow the pressure to fall, and add:

1/2 c water from soaked tamarind, or 2 TB good-quality, bottled tamarind paste
(not “tamcon” in the little plastic jar, please)

1 TB jaggery
1 TB dhania-jeera pwd
1/2 tsp each jeera and methi pwd
(optional — I like them in sambhar)
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

and of course, the crowning jewel:

A heaping helping of ISG’s magic sambhar podi

Stir it all up well, then add:

the browned cauliflower
one cup of cooked rice

If the mixture is very thick, add a bit of water. Let it come to a boil, and use an immersion blender to puree.

All that fuss for a simple-looking dish… and it reminded me a bit of
this coorg-style gravy, only spicier.

This was just what the doctor (or dentist) ordered. Nutritious and filling with complete protein; smooth and comforting from the blender; rich with pure ghee and redolent with ISG’s magic sambhar powder.

Who could ask for anything more!

aloo gobi gravy ~ with a good bit of melting ghee ~ comfort food in
nana’s pastoral davenport

Bonus Sambhar Section
I have tried and loved all these recipes ~ many thanks to the chefs! πŸ™‚

ISG’s Dal Sambhar

ISG’s Hotel Sambhar

Shilpa’s Ash Gourd Sambar

Dr. Soumya’s Jackfruit Sambar

Indira’s Classic Shallot Sambhar

Mrs. Marthi’s Favorite Hotel-style Sambar

Menu Today’s Sambar/Kulambu section


  1. indosungod said

    Say Hello to dear mom. The pictures are priceless.
    Hope that tooth ache gets better soon Linda.
    This is the milder version of the bisi bela bhaath and it looks perfect for the weather and the tooth of course.

    Mom would say hello back, ISG. It was a nice dish, and even better for sitting overnight πŸ™‚ Thanks for the idea!

  2. Linda,

    I thought you were an Indian blogging with a nick name. The recipes are so “desi”. Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season and a healthy, happy new year.

    Have you tried clove oil for the tooth ache. Or just bite one clove and keep it in your mouth and swallow the juice with the saliva for 10-15 mins. That’ll cure the toothache. Trust me, I have tried that many times.

    Thank you for that idea! I did try and it did give some much-needed relief πŸ™‚

  3. Lavanya said

    ooh- lovely pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas!
    Also, Thanks for the cauliflower tip (I just realized I have never made aloo gobi.Gobi – yes!. Aloo-yes! never aloo gobi!! :). Will change that)

  4. Lavanya said

    oh- just realised that this dish reminded me of the cauliflower sambhar my mom sometimes makes. I had forgotten that combination.

    Lavanya, I love all sambhar. Are you going to post your mom’s soon? πŸ™‚ Aloo gobi is great any day — whole *or* pureed πŸ™‚

    • Lavanya said

      You know, I should make and post my mom’s ‘arachuvittu’ version soon..Thanks for the reminder- I think I’ll do it next weekend.

      I will be looking forward to that, Lavanya! πŸ™‚

  5. meeso said

    Seeing your mom’s photo wall was scary! Quite a few of those pictures looked quite similar to some of our own family photos!

    That isn’t half of what she’s got up in the house, Meeso — happy holidays to you and your family! πŸ™‚

  6. Koki said

    I guess my toddler will love this recipe ..
    Oh dear hope that tooth ache goes away soon

    That’s how I felt eating it last night, Koki — like it was baby food. But tasty! πŸ™‚

  7. Sheetal said

    Yikes! tooth aches are just the most horrid of things .. right after colds! I have to have my cauliflower, lovely and caramelized .. I would certainly not ask for anything more after such a soothing, wonderful meal πŸ˜€ Hope your toothache gets better soon, Linda. As suggested, cloves do, do wonders.

    I did try the cloves, Sheetal — and they did help some. Chewing them though — gives a bit of queasy stomach when you haven’t eaten yes? Thanks for your kind comments πŸ™‚

  8. notyet100 said

    wow so many links,..

    I like to give credit where credit is due, NY πŸ™‚ check them out — all wonderful! πŸ™‚

  9. Nupur said

    Oh 😦 I hope the toothache is gone! Did you go see a dentist?

    I finally went today Nupur, thanks. Next week — the extraction 😦

  10. shyam said

    Dear Linda, so very sorry about your toothache. Hope you feel better soon.

    It’s worth a sore tooth to see you, Shammi! Hope all’s well there πŸ™‚

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