Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Lauraine’s blog

19 June 2023


One of my favourite ways to cook cauliflower is a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that I have tweaked over the years. It’s a great dish to serve with grilled steak, lamb or fish and can be served as part of an Indian banquet with naan bread and a yogurt relish. It is substantial enough to serve as a vegetarian dish on its own, perhaps with the addition of some green peas or fresh beans. It is not too spicy and if you wish to either lessen or increase the heat of the dish just adjust the cayenne pepper.

RECIPE *1/2 cauliflower *4 medium potatoes, scrubbed *8 tbsps vegetable oil *2 onions, finely sliced *5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into fine slivers *1 cup light tomato puree or pure tomato juice *¼ tsp cayenne pepper *½ tsp ground turmeric *1 ½ tsps ground coriander *1 tsp salt *1 tsp garam masala *½ tsp roasted cumin seeds

Break the cauliflower into florets. Cut the potatoes lengthways in to halves. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy, deep frying pan. When hot add the potatoes and fry them until they’re medium brown and barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towels. Put the cauliflower florets into the same oil and fry until golden and just barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoons and drain on kitchen paper towels.
Remove most of the oil from the pan so only about 3 tablespoons remain. Add the onions to this oil and stir over gentle heat until they are golden. Add the ginger and continue cooking until the onions start to brown. Add the cayenne, turmeric, coriander and salt. Stir in and fry for a minute, then return the potatoes and the cauliflower to the pan, stirring to mix gently. Stir in the tomato puree or tomato juice and bring to a gentle simmer. If necessary sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the vegetables (more if needed) and cover the pan. Turn to low and cook gently for 5-8 minutes. Finally uncover, add the garam masala and the cumin seeds. Stir gently to mix and turn off the heat. To serve, tip into a heated bowl and decorate with coriander leaves. Serve with yoghurt and lime wedges. Serves 4 with fish or chicken, or serves 2 as a vegetarian meal.

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