Spiced Cauliflower Stir-Fry

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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Among vegetables, cauliflower is one of the most sensitive to overcooking. Take it a few seconds too far and it can be vile. In this more caring treatment, with a warm spicing which echoes the flavours of southern India, the florets are cooked just to the point where they retain some crunch. They are good hot and equally palatable when allowed to cool to room temperature.


  • 450 g/1 lb cauliflower
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 cm/¾ in piece of root ginger
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • handful of coriander leaves, to garnish



Separate the cauliflower into florets. Trim and cut the spring onions into 1 cm/½ in lengths. Peel and grate the ginger.


Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, then add the spices and ginger. Stir until the mustard seeds start to pop and jump.

Throw in the cauliflower and spring onions. Stir, add 2 tablespoons of water and cover. Cook, shaking every 30 seconds, for 4 minutes, adding another tablespoon of water if it dries out at any time.


Squeeze over the lemon juice, season and scatter with coriander.

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