Cauliflower with Onion & Tomato


An Invitation to Indian Cooking 

by Madhur Jeffrey
Serves 6-8 as part of a multi dish meal 

This dish is so tasty. It converted me to liking cauliflower


  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • A piece of fresh ginger, 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large head fresh cauliflower, or 2 small ones
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 medium-sized fresh or canned tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Chinese parsley (coriander greens or cilantro)
  • 1 fresh hot green chili, washed and finely sliced, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Put chopped onion, garlic, and ginger in blender with 4 tablespoons of water and blend to a paste.

Break off cauliflower into small flowerets, not longer than 1 to 1 1/2 inches, and not wider at the head than 1/2 to 1 inch. Wash in colander and leave to drain.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-12-inch pot over medium flame, pour in the paste from the blender, and add the turmeric. Fry, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomato, parsley, and green chili or cayenne, and fry 5 minutes.

If necessary, add 1 teaspoon of warm water at a time and stir to prevent sticking. Now put in the cauliflower, coriander, cumin, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice. Stir for a minute. Add 4 tablespoons warm water, stir, cover, lower flame, and allow to took slowly 35 to 45 minutes (the tightly packed cauliflower heads take longer to cook). Stir gently every 10 minutes or so. The cauliflower is done when each floweret is tender with just a faint trace of crispness along its inner spine.

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