Cauliflower and coconut curry
A simple, delicious curry made with cauliflower braised in coconut milk with a handful of Indian spices. The caramelised cauliflower pieces add a wonderfully nutty flavour to the finished dish; you can also garnish with toasted almonds, caramelised shallots and coriander. Makes a great speedy meal with rice or addition to a larger Indian-style banquet.
- 50g butter
- 1 banan shallot, finely sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
- 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
- 1 cauliflower
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 2tsp turmeric poweder
- 1 tin full fat coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- Cooked rice to serve
- Grated nutmeg
1. Cut the cauliflower so that around a quarter of it is in very small pieces (around the size of a 20p piece), and the remaining three-quarters is in medium-to-large florets.
2. Warm a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add half of the butter and gently sauté the shallot and leek until soft, around 7-8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, add the cinnamon stick, green chilli, cumin seeds, turmeric and lots of grated nutmeg - a third to half of one nutmeg. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk to the pan along with 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, add the cauliflower florets, and then add enough water so that the cauliflower is almost, but not quite, covered. Take a piece of baking paper, scrunch it up into a ball, then open it out again. Press the baking paper into the pan onto the surface of the cauliflower creating a very snug fit up the sides of the pan. This is called a cartouche, and is a technique for gently simmering things without them breaking down, and stops too much liquid evaporating. Simmer like this for 20 minutes, carefully stirring occasionally, replacing the cartouche each time.
4. While the curry is cooking, heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add the remaining butter, and when it starts to foam, add the small cauliflower pieces and a big pinch of salt. Cook over a high heat, stirring regularly, until browned and nutty. Set to one side.
5. Taste the curry and add more salt if you wish. Garnish with the caramelised cauliflower and serve with cooked rice.