As a teenager I was incredibly lucky and won a trip to India to work alongside tiger conservationists for a month. It was the chance of a lifetime! I fell in love with the country, the wonderful warm people and the simple but mind-bogglingly good food right from the moment I arrived. The tigers were pretty cool too (except their breath which is disgusting).
I was hosted by an amazing family who introduced me to the delights of vegetarian food. Oh boy! I’ve never looked back since. Their cook regularly served up the most delicious cauliflower curry (aloo gobi) where the cauliflower was always crisp and the blend of spices was tongue-tantalisingly good. It was never a fiery hot curry, but the combination of spices was heavenly. It was my introduction to veggie curries and the first time I’d ever tasted chickpeas. If I could talk to my 14-year old self I’d definitely say ‘why didn’t you ask for the recipe?’
Fast forward quite some time and I spent several years in private banking, managing wealth for a small portfolio of Indian customers who had settled in the UK. After our business meetings we would inevitably end up with a meal in a family owned restaurant, with me being served awesome food that was not on the menu! What a way to ‘road-test’ lots of cauliflower curry and to celebrate my love of fine Indian food!
This cauliflower curry is my homage to the family I stayed with all those years ago, and to the fabulous curry houses of Leicester, Leeds and London. It’s been a labour of love to try to get the right blend of spices to resemble the dishes I remember but I’ve loved every moment of experimenting.
Cauliflower curry is so quick and easy to make!
I’ve lightly adjusted a recipe from chef Angela Hartnett here to make an easy mid-week supper dish. The cauliflower takes only 15 minutes to cook and the curry sauce is made while the cauli is cooking!
Serve as a main dish with a bowl of steaming hot rice and a side dish of red lentil dhal. Or serve as a side dish with a meat curry. Add some naan bread if you’re really hungry!
If there’s any leftover, this curry freezes perfectly, ready to re-heat for a quick supper solution.
Delicious vegetarian curry
- 1 cauliflower
- 3 medium brown-skinned onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 15 oz tin chickpeas
- 4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 1 tsp chopped, fresh ginger
- 2 curry leaves
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground chilli
- Large handful fresh coriander
Cut into the cauliflower into florets and cook in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for five minutes.
When the cauliflower is cooked, drain it in a colander then put it back in the pan and cover it to keep it warm.
While the cauliflower cooks, add a knob of butter to a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and ginger until luscious and golden, then add in all of the spices. Stir well and cook for five minutes.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes and chickpeas then add the cauliflower.
Add 8 fl oz of cold water and bring the curry up to simmer for five minutes until the cauliflower is cooked.
Season and serve garnished with chopped fresh coriander
Don't panic if you don't have the exact ingredients!
If you don't have fresh ginger, use ground ginger. You can substitute curry paste for the fresh spices if that's what you have in your pantry. Use tinned tomatoes if you don't have fresh ones!
Are you making this recipe? Please leave a comment to let me know and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #coraliecooks on Instagram so I can see. I LOVE seeing what you come up with.