Creamy Cauliflower Curry
by Iona Berry
Most of us grew up with meat as the hero of our meals and with vegetables taking up the mere corners of our plates. It can be hard to know where to start if you're trying to flip the script and cook plant based meals that don’t feel like just eating a plate full of sides. Building an exciting, yet satisfying meal around vegetables - whether that’s a bunch of carrots or a humble head of cauliflower - can sometimes feel like a little daunting and underwhelming task.
Our new series, Veg and Two Veg is here to tackle just that and to explore all of the ways in which every day vegetables can be the star of the table without sacrificing flavour or heartiness. Whether you’re cooking for one or cooking for a bunch, these recipes will fill your table with vibrant, deeply flavoured and satisfying dishes that you’ll be making on repeat.
This creamy, indulgent and aromatic curry is the perfect dish to make when you are craving a takeaway but are in the mood to cook something healthier. It’s easy to make, cooks in thirty minutes and packs plenty of flavour.
I have attempted to create a spicier version of my two favourite indian curries, which are korma and pasanda. Because I love creamy curries but equally I think they can often take more chilli heat than tomato based curries. If you are cooking for someone who really cannot handle chilli then I suggest reducing the amount going in and then you can leave some fresh chopped green chilli for the spice lovers to sprinkle over theirs, so everyone is happy!
I love the combination of using ground almonds and coconut milk, because one is adding richness and the other brings a sweetness which contrasts with the aromatic spices and balances the whole flavour of the curry. I also really felt that the addition of soya yogurt when blending the sauce gave a slight acidity to the sauce and stopped it from becoming overly sweet. I suggest trying to find a plain soya yogurt for this curry. I particularly like using Alpro’s Greek Style as it is very thick and creamy and has a very savoury taste. I haven’t tested this curry using other varieties of dairy free yogurt so I can’t say for certain that they would work and not split the sauce but by all means try with what you have in the fridge.
I love to serve this curry with some quick pickled onions, naan bread or some steamed brown rice. Fresh coriander adds a lot of flavour and vibrant green colour.
700g cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp oil (I used rapeseed)
A good sprinkle of salt
2 tbsp oil (I used rapeseed)
1 white onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
5 small green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp molasses sugar (or any sugar)
2 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
A pinch of cardamom (use this spice to taste as it’s very pungent)
75g ground almonds
400ml coconut milk
100g plant based yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
Start by mixing the marinade for the cauliflower. Whisk the oil, spices and salt together and then coat the cauliflower in the marinade and bake in the oven at 180˚C for 30 minutes until golden and softened.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium pot over medium/low heat. Add the chopped onion with a pint of salt and cook until the onion has softened and begun to caramelise. Add the tsp of sugar to help the process along. This should take around 10 minutes but if you have more time then the onion will only get sweeter by cooking longer.
Add the ginger, chilli and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until they have become fragrant. Then add the spices to the pan and toast them for 2 more minutes. Add the ground almonds and cook until the turmeric has stained them to a light yellow colour (2-3 minutes).
Add the coconut milk, 200ml water and salt. Simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat. Then take the sauce off the heat and blend the sauce to a smooth consistency with the yogurt (you can leave this step out but you will have a more textured sauce from the ground almonds).
Serve the curry sauce in a bowl and pile up with the roasted cauliflower, fresh coriander, pickled red onions, toasted flaked almonds and your favourite curry additions. I nearly always choose a good naan bread or homemade chapati.
By Iona Berry
Iona is our Development Chef, aka our go-to girl for developing, testing and tasting delicious dishes for you to all enjoy at home. When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her either running or cycling, or trying out food markets and new restaurants around London. Continuous market research it would seem.