Cauliflower braised with chilli


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

In this dish, Ambat, which is a classic example of the delicious, healthy cuisine of Karnataka, florets of cauliflower are simmered in rich coconut milk, teamed with lightly browned red onion. It goes well with plain boiled basmati rice.


  • 45 ml/3 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1–2 dried red chillies, chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, divided into 1cm/½in florets
  • 400 ml/14fl oz/ cups canned coconut milk
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 25 ml/ tbsp tamarind juice or lime juice
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, to serve


  1. In a small pan, heat 10 ml/2 tsp of the oil over a low heat and add the fenugreek and chillies. Stir them around until they are just a shade darker. Leave to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, blanch the cauliflower in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and return to the pan.

  3. Crush the fenugreek and chillies to a paste with the oil in which they were fried using a mortar and pestle.

  4. Add the coconut milk and salt. Leave it to bubble without a lid over a very low heat.

  5. Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes, until golden. Add the onion, together with the oil, to the cauliflower. Stir and increase the heat slightly.

  6. Add the fenugreek and chilli paste to the cauliflower with the tamarind or lime juice. Simmer for 1–2 minutes, remove from the heat and serve with Plain Boiled Rice.

Per portion Energy 153kcal/636kJ; Protein 5.9g; Carbohydrate 10.6g, of which sugars 9.5g; Fat 9.9g, of which saturates 1.5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 64mg; Fibre 2.9g; Sodium 124mg.