Cauliflower curry recipe – A simple yet delicious & flavorful Indian cauliflower curry made with onions, tomatoes, spices & herbs. It goes so good with plain rice, roti, chapati, naan or plain paratha. This easy to make curry is a favorite at my home & is made very often for a quick dinner. The entire recipe from start to finish just takes about 30 mins.
To make this recipe, first a spicy onion tomato masala is prepared. Then cauliflower is tossed & later simmered in the masala until tender.
There is no blending or pureeing of the onions and tomatoes. This is what makes the dish simple to cook.
1. This step is optional. Rest 250 grams of cauliflower florets in slightly hot water. Set aside for a while. Rinse them under running water. Drain completely.
How to make cauliflower curry
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds. When they pop add 1 sprig curry leaves and fry for 30 to 60 seconds.
3. Add 2 medium finely chopped onions (1¼ cups) and 1 chopped green chili. Saute until they turn golden.
4. Add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic (chopped or paste). Saute until the raw smell goes away. This takes about 30 to 60 seconds.
5. Add ¾ to 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes and ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook until they turn completely mushy.
6. Add 1 teaspoon garam masala, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon coriander powder and ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder.
7. Stir and saute for a minute or 2.
8. Add cauliflower and stir fry for about 1 to 2 minutes on a medium high flame. Pour half cup water and mix well. Do not pour a lot at one time. Mix and cook covered until cauliflower is tender. If needed pour more water in batches. I used 1 & 1/4 cup water in total as the cauliflower I used was not young.
9. When done cauliflower should be tender yet remain crunchy and not mushy. If there is a lot of water left in the pot, evaporate on a high heat. Taste test and add more salt if needed. Curry is ready at this stage.
10. Optional – If using coconut milk, then pour it and mix well. Cook for 2 to 3 mins. I used half cup coconut milk.
This is the consistency that goes good with rice or roti.
Garnish cauliflower curry with coriander leaves. Serve with rice or phulka.
Here are some tips that may help you to make this dish delicious.
Spice powders: This recipe uses garam masala along with red chilli powder and turmeric. You may replace garam masala with any curry powder or pav bhaji masala or sambar powder. Just adjust the quantities to suit your taste.
Whole spices: We usually don’t use a lot of whole spices for our everyday curry. It is just the mustard seeds and cumin seeds that go to the initial tempering. If you do not have them just skip.
Curry leaves: You can make this curry even without curry leaves. Since I always have them I used them here. You may also add a small bay leaf for a stronger aroma.
Coconut milk: Most times I make this cauliflower curry without any coconut milk. It tastes delicious even without it. But coconut milk adds volume, flavor and thickens the curry.
I used homemade coconut milk here. I extracted by blending half cup frozen coconut with half cup water. You can also use canned coconut milk.
Cauliflower: Often cauliflower has insects inside, so to get rid of them we blanch it in slightly hot water. You can however skip this if you do not prefer.
- Veggies like green peas, potatoes or mushrooms also go well in this recipe.
- Leafy greens like spinach or methi/fenugreek leaves can be used. I add add about 1.5 cups of chopped spinach or handful of methi leaves.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams cauliflower florets (2 heaped cups)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf (optional)
- 1¼ cup onions chopped finely (2 medium)
- 1 green chili slit or chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic chopped finely or 1 tsp paste
- ¾ to 1 cup tomatoes – pureed or fine chopped (2 medium)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (or haldi)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder (I used 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder (I used 1½ tsp)
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
- ¾ to 1 cup water or coconut milk (I used 1¼ cup)
- Clean cauliflower and chop the florets to desired sizes. Optional – heat 3 cups water in a large bowl, add cauliflower florets to the slightly hot water. Leave it for some time. Rinse them under running water and drain them.
How to make cauliflower curry
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin. When they begin to sizzle add the curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add onions and green chilli. Saute until pink or golden.
- Stir in ginger garlic and saute till a nice aroma comes out for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Then add tomatoes and salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Add turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Saute for 30 to 60 seconds until the masala smells aromatic.
- Then add cauliflower florets and saute for 1 to 2 mins.
- Pour ½ to 1 cup water or coconut milk and give a good mix. I used 1 cup water at this step. Young cauliflower releases lots of moisture, so be careful not to add a lot of water at one time.
- Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy.
- If needed add more water or coconut milk to bring the curry to a desired consistency. I added half cup coconut milk at this stage.
- Taste the curry and add more salt if needed. Garnish cauliflower curry with coriander leaves.
- Coconut milk: If using homemade coconut milk, please use the thin milk to avoid curdling.
- Garam masala: If using coconut milk, add more spice powders. I used 1 tsp red chilli powder,1.5 tsps garam masala and 1/2 tsp coriander powder.
- Blanching cauliflower (optional): We usually blanch the cauliflower before cooking just to bring out any tiny worms hid inside. To do this heat 3 cups water in a large bowl, add cauliflower florets to the slightly hot water. Leave it for some time. Rinse them under running water and drain them.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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