Cauliflower & Tomato Curry


Preparation info

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  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

This curry is from Gujarat state, which has a predominantly vegetarian population. The tomato sauce, with flecks of coconut and spices, gets its zing from tamarind, a signature flavour in their cuisine. Midweek I do use ready-made curry pastes and spice mixtures such as garam masala, but this is one dish that especially benefits from freshly toasted and ground spices.

Preparation: 20 Minutes
Cooking: 45 Minutes


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 dried long red chilli (Kashmiri chilli, if available)
  • 2 onions, 1 quartered, 1 thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 cm (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 thumb-size green chillies, 1 halved and seeded, 1 thinly sliced
  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
  • 50 g ( oz) tamarind purée
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated (shredded) coconut
  • 1 cauliflower, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz), cut into florets


Put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and the dried chilli in a small frying pan and dry-fry, shaking, over medium heat for 40 seconds or until fragrant. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder and process until fine.

Put the quartered onion, garlic, ginger and the halved green chilli in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and the puréed onion mixture and season well. Cook, stirring, for 10-12 minutes until golden. Add the ground spices, turmeric and mustard seeds and cook for another 2 minutes or until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the tomato passata, tamarind purée, stock and coconut and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower, reduce heat to low, then simmer for 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is knife tender.

Serve the curry scattered with coriander leaves and the sliced green chilli, with steamed rice and Fresh Mango Chutney.