cauliflower kurma

Cauliflower Kurma Recipe (Cauliflower Korma)

By Swasthi on April 30, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Cauliflower Kurma is a South Indian aromatic stew like gravy made with cauliflower, peas, coconut, nuts, spices and herbs. This lightly spiced & complexly flavored warming side dish is absolutely delish and flavorsome. Serve this Cauliflower Korma over plain rice, flavored variety rice like ghee rice, pulao, jeera rice or with any flatbreads like roti, paratha, poori, Chapati or naan. No matter with what you serve this tastes extremely delicious!

cauliflower kurma

Kurma also known as Korma is an aromatic gravy or saucy dish popular in Central Asia, most importantly in India. It is made in numerous ways so you will get to see so many kinds of kurmas made using various ingredients like nuts, yogurt, seeds, coconut or a mix of all these.

About Cauliflower Kurma

This recipe will give you a South Indian Cauliflower Kurma that has lovely complex flavors from various spices, nuts, coconut and herbs. So the gravy has a subtle sweet aroma coming the coconut and the tang from tomatoes. The dish is spiced but isn’t spicy at all so it is kids’ friendly too.

If you do not have fresh coconut you can use thick coconut milk or yogurt. In South India, especially in Tamilnadu, roasted gram also known as roasted chana dal is used in kurma dishes.

However I have used cashews here for a creamy taste. You can easily substitute the cashews with roasted chana dal or with poppy seeds as mentioned in the recipe card.

This Cauliflower Kurma is a simpler version which I adapted from my Vegetable kurma. I also have other variations like this Potato kurma.

More Cauliflower recipes
Cauliflower Stir Fry
Vegetable Curry with cauliflower
Gobi masala
Cauliflower curry
Aloo Gobi masala

How to make Cauliflower Kurma (Stepwise Photos)


1. Cut cauliflower to medium sized florets (250 grams). I usually spray vinegar and sprinkle some salt to get rid of the pesticide residue. Rest them for 5 minutes. Heat 4 to 5 cups of water in a large pot, just until slightly hot and not boiling hot. Add cauliflower florets and rest them for 2 to 3 minutes. This step is done to bring out the hidden worms from the cauliflower, if any. You may skip and just rinse too.

blanching cauliflower

2. Drain off the water and rinse well in running water. Drain and set aside. Rinse ¾ cup green peas as well. Set aside.

rinsing cauliflower

Make Kurma

3. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a pan. Reduce the heat to low and add all the whole spices

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ star anise, 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1 strand mace (optional). Let them sizzle in the oil for 30 seconds so they release the aroma.
frying spices for cauliflower kurma

4. Add 1 cup finely chopped onions and 1 chopped green chilli (optional). Saute them until lightly golden.

frying onions to make cauliflower kurma recipe

5. Add 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell disappears. This takes only a minute or so.

ginger garlic frying for cauliflower korma

6. Add ½ cup deseeded finely chopped or mashed or pureed tomatoes and ⅓ teaspoon salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy. If needed sprinkle little water & cook covered to quickly soften them.

cooking tomatoes for cauliflower kurma recipe

7. To a grinder jar, add ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ¼ cup coconut and 12 cashews (or 1½ teaspoon roasted chana dal). Grind to a smooth paste with 4 to 6 tablespoons water. If you do not like the flavor of fennel you may skip.

Tip: If using poppy seeds, soak them for 15 minutes in warm water and make a fine paste along with coconut. If you do not have coconut, add ¼ cup yogurt and make a paste with cashews.

make a fine paste of coconut and roasted gram or cashews

8. Add 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Saute till you get a nice aroma, just for 2 to 3 minutes.

spice powders

9. Add the ground coconut paste.

addition of coconut in cauliflower kurma recipe

10. Stir and fry again for about 3 to 4 minutes till the mixture smells good. The mixture should also thicken.

onion tomato mixture

11. Add cauliflower and peas.

addition of peas to gobi kurma

12. Stir and fry for another 4 to 5 minutes. You can also move the masala aside in the pan and fry the cauliflower and peas.

frying masala for cauliflower kurma recipe

Make the Gravy

13. Pour 1 cup water, just enough to cook cauliflower and make a good kurma gravy. Mix well. Cover and cook till the cauliflower is cooked. As you cook add more water if needed.

addition of water

14. Add finely chopped coriander leaves. I didn’t have coriander leaves so I used mint. Taste test and add more salt if needed.

addition of coriander leaves

Keep cauliflower kurma covered until served to retain the aroma & flavors.

cauliflower kurma cauliflower gravy

Serving Suggestions

  • Rice: Plain fluffy steamed rice or flavored rice varieties like jeera rice, ghee rice, kuska biryani rice or pudina rice make easy yet tasty combinations with this kurma gravy.
  • Indian flatbreads: cauliflower kurma pairs great with some flaky whole wheat parathas, soft roti or chewy naans.
  • Indian fry bread: Poori is the most popular Indian fried bread that is eaten with kurma in the Southern parts of India. So give it a try and we just love it at home.
  • Dosa: This cauliflower kurma tastes great with dosas like neer dosa, crispy dosa or wheat dosas.
cauliflower kurma in a blue bowl

Pro Tips

  • Whole spices: I would recommend not to alter the quantity of whole spices, ground spices, nuts and seeds as mentioned in the recipe. This can alter the flavor of the dish completely.
  • Consistency: You can alter the consistency of the cauliflower kurma gravy by increasing or reducing water. It should have a medium thick consistency and so do not make it too thick or runny.
  • Herbs: You can also add a sprig of curry leaves to the initial tempering. I have not used since I did not have.
  • Instant pot: This can be made in the instant pot with 1 minute cooking time (high pressure) and manual pressure release after 1 minute. But the quantity of water has to be reduced.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

cauliflower kurma

Cauliflower Kurma Recipe (Cauliflower Korma)

Cauliflower kurma is a lightly spiced & complexly flavored warming side dish from South Indian Cuisine. Serve this over plain rice, flavored variety rice or any flatbreads or poori.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • tbsp oil or as needed
  • 2 cup cauliflower florets (heaped cup, 250 grams florets)
  • ¾ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup onions finely chopped (or paste from boiled onions)
  • 1 green chili slit
  • ½ cup tomatoes chopped, mashed or pureed
  • teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional, adjust to taste)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1¼ to 1½ cups water (adjust as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves or mint leaves, pudina (finely chopped)

To grind

  • 12 cashew nuts or 1½ tbsp poppy seeds or roasted chana dal (refer notes)
  • ¼ cup coconut (or ¼ cup thick yogurt or coconut milk)
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf or ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon ground fennel, optional)


  • 1 small bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ star anise (chakri phool)
  • 3 green cardamoms (elaichi)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon or ½ inch cassia)
  • 3 cloves (laung)
  • 1 strand mace (javitri)



  • Cleaning – Cut the cauliflower florets to desired sizes and spray vinegar and drizzle some salt. Let them site for 5 minutes. This step helps to get rid of some of the pesticide residue in the cauliflower.
  • Meanwhile heat 4 cups water in a pot until slightly hot and not boiling hot. Add the cauliflower florets and turn off the heat. Let the florets rest in water for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Drain the water and rinse the florets in fresh running water. Set aside to drain in a colander. Blanching is done here to get rid of the worms or insects in the cauliflower and can be skipped.
  • Add cashews, fennel seeds and coconut to a grinder jar. Make a fine paste adding 4 to 6 tablespoons of water. Ensure the paste is smooth. [If using yogurt or coconut milk in place of fresh coconut, you will need lesser water. ]

How to make Cauliflower Kurma

  • Pour oil to a heavy bottom pan and heat it. When the oil is slightly hot, add star anise, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, mace (optional) and bay leaf. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds or so the aroma comes out.
  • Add onions and green chili. Saute until the onions turn light golden.
  • Next add ginger garlic paste and fry this as well till the raw smell disappears.
  • Add tomatoes and salt. Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy and soft. If the tomatoes are not juicy, sprinkle little water.
  • Throw in all the spice powders – red chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric and coriander powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the ground paste. Mix well and saute until the mixture smells aromatic.
  • Add peas and cauliflower. Mix and saute for 4 to 5 more minutes. Add water just enough to bring the cauliflower kurma to a consistency.
  • Next cook covered till the cauliflower is done to your liking. Stir every few minutes to prevent the kurma sticking to the pan.
  • Add chopped coriander or mint leaves when the gravy reaches the desired consistency.
  • Keep cauliflower kurma covered until served.

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)

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Kurma Recipe (Cauliflower Korma)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 1g
Sodium 363mg16%
Potassium 610mg17%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 714IU14%
Vitamin C 63mg76%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Cauliflower kurma recipe first published in April 2015. Updated and republished in April 2021.

Cauliflower Kurma Recipe (Cauliflower Korma)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Hi Sawasthi! This was very good. Can I use frozen cauliflower?

5 stars
Wow! I’ve been looking for vegetable curries and this one is the best. Used coconut instead of yogurt or milk and the paste was perfect. The only thing I didn’t have was a strand of mace, so used a 1/4 tsp ground.
Thank you for this!

5 stars
Here where I live the growing season is short. I got to make this recipe with fresh garden produce for a change- I didn’t add peas- and it turned out so gorgeous! Aromatic and satisfying, this recipe will be a year round favorite.

5 stars
Excellent! Thank you ma’am for guiding us to make delicious recipes.,??❤️?

5 stars
Great recipe thanks! Made as part of a spread for a big sharing dinner and it went down really well. I love the whole spices and cashew paste- new to me and really add depth of flavour 🙂

5 stars
We make this cauliflower kurma all the time! My family loves it. I leave out some of the whole spices and the chilli because of the kids. It still turns out delicious. I do a double batch and store the leftovers. Thank you for the recipe.

5 stars
So delicious. Thank you.

5 stars
This is a fantastic recipe. I have made it a few times (I use coconut milk), and it comes out delicious every single time. And everyone finds this dish unusual. I made it with Swasthi’s ghee rice (I made ghee the same day following Swashti’s recipe for ghee!). Perfect. I find all the recipes on this website to be detailed, clear and failproof.

Hi Swasthi!
Thank you very much for sharing the recipes for such delicious food. In the place where I live, getting coconut is a challenge and even if I manage to get it, it is quite stale. Would it be okay to substitute fresh coconut with desiccated coconut powder? If yes, what would the quantity to be used for this one?

Hi Swasthi, i am making the recipe right now and i was wondering how come yours is yellow and mine is not. Now i see that you mention turmeric in your picture by picture instructions but not in the recipe card. I will add some now, just before adding the cailiflower and peas. It smells delicious!

5 stars
Yummy recipe thank you

I prepared this today… It came out well. Even I tried eggless chocolate cake…my kid liked it.

Hi Swathi
U have mentioned about using coriander powder but in the recipe card I wasn’t able to find the quantity.please can u tell the quantity of coriander powder to be used for this recipe.

Tried this one. Tastes good. Thanks for your great recipe.

5 stars
Tried this recipe today. The kurma was so aromatic and tasty. We all loved it.

Hi Swati
With the start of lent, I have to cook veg for the next few weeks. Your site has been a blessing coz your instructions are so easy and simple. The ingredients are also something anyone would have in the kitchen so even better. I took this opportunity to pass my gratitude coz the recipes I’ve have come out really yummy. Thank you so much (I’m otherwise a stunch non veg so new learning)


Hi Swasthi,

Planning to make this one with yoghurt.. You’ve mentioned about using thick yoghurt.
Do I need to use hung curd or normal curd is ok?
Will yoghurt give a good taste like coconut milk?

In case,I want to use coconut milk with roasted gram paste, will it give a good taste?

Please advise

Thank you Swasthi..

I have a 3 year old daughter.
I am trying to avoid cashews, as she tends to get constipated.
Are roasted grams & poppy seeds with coconut milk healthy options to be given to her?

Please advise

Thank you so much Swasthi as always?

5 stars
Tried this Cauliflower kurma today. It’s awesome ?

5 stars
Sorry about my previous question as I did not read the recipe properly.. Kurma was yummy.. I added cashew and yogurt and it was good!

4 stars
Interesting recipe Swasti! I have a question – what do you mean by coconut or yogurt? You mean I can add cashews and yogurt instead of cashews and coconut? Or instead of cashew and coconut, I can only add yogurt? And by the way, I am a huge fan of your recipes!! Thank you!

5 stars
I tried many of the recipes all turned out just awesome.. Thank you for sharing the recipes. Even this turned out good…