Cauliflower, that dreary vegetable that for years was boiled to absolute bland mushiness. Not anymore! I have a new-found love for cauliflower. Whether roasted with loads of delicious spices, blitzed and used to make a healthy pizza crust, served cold in a salad drenched in tahini and sprinkled with nigella seeds, or used in this delicious curry, cauliflower has found a new lease of life and I am in love! I usually have a curry every Friday and have recently moved to making my own instead of getting take out. It’s healthier, cheaper and a great way of using up veggies left over from the week before I go shopping on Saturday. While I have kept the recipe below very simple, it’s easy to pack it full of more veggies. For my carnivore readers, you can marinade chicken strips in the curry paste before if you want to bulk it up with some meat.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
250g paneer, cut into cubes*
*Paneer is a non-melting soft cheese common in South-Asian cuisine. It is available in most big supermarkets and easy to make if you can’t find it.
1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
I large onion, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
2 large tablespoons tikka masala curry paste*
*Again, this is available jarred in most big supermarkets. If you want to make your own, Jamie Oliver has a great recipe here.
2 medium potatoes, finely diced*
*Starchy, such as russet, will work best as they are mainly added to help thicken the curry slightly.
200g frozen peas
30g coriander, roughly chopped
Add one tablespoon of the vegetable oil to a large pan on a medium heat and add the cubed paneer. Start to fry it in a single layer, keeping it turned so it doesn’t stick to the pan, until crispy on all sides. Transfer, using a slotted spoon, to a plate on the side.
Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and with it add the onions and cauliflower. Fry for eight to ten minutes, until the cauliflower starts to brown and the onions start to soften. Add the garlic, fry for a further minute and then add the passata, 200ml water and the potatoes to the pot. Mix it well, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Once thickened, add your frozen peas and the crispy paneer reserved earlier. Continue to simmer until the peas are cooked, three or four minutes. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve with your favourite accompaniments, I chose mango chutney, garlic naan and a lime & coriander basmati. Enjoy!