Cauliflower curry with coconut milk
- November 2010
- Serves 4
- Takes 30 minutes to make, 45 minutes to cook
Cauliflower, lentils and a creamy coconut milk sauce give this vegetarian curry recipe a meaty and satisfying texture.
- Dairy-free recipes
- 40.4g (17.9g saturated)
- 37.1g (8.5g sugar)
- 150g red lentils
- 5 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large cauliflower, florets cut off and any large ones broken up
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 50g finely grated fresh root ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium-hot red chilli, halved, seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp good-quality mild curry powder
- 400ml can coconut milk
- 200g vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- Bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped
For the tarka
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 6 cloves
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Put the lentils into a small pan with 450ml cold water, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently, stirring regularly, for 15-20 minutes until the lentils have become a thick purée. Cover and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add half the cumin seeds and the cauliflower florets and cook, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until coloured here and there with golden-brown spots. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil and cumin seeds to the hot pan, then, as soon as the seeds start to sizzle, add the onion. Lower the heat slightly and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and sweet but not browned. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in the ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and curry powder. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in the coconut milk, cauliflower and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the cauliflower is just tender.
- Stir the lentil purée into the curry with the lime or lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the coriander and turn off the heat.
- For the tarka, heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the spices and leave them to sizzle for a few seconds. Drizzle the mixture over the curry, cover and leave for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse before serving.
Freeze the base sauce. Defrost, then reheat until piping hot, before adding the coriander and tarka.
A tarka is simply a mixture of seeds and spices, fried briefly, then drizzled over a curry, often lentil-based, for a burst of flavour before serving.
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