Indian cuisine at its best: Spicy cauliflower with tomato and chilli

These vegetarian dishes are simple and remind us how you can create wonderful aromatic flavours with very few ingredients. Ghee is a common ingredient in the northwest, but you can also use vegetable oil if desired. 


2 tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coarsely crushed coriander seeds

1 dried mild red chili

1 green bird’s-eye chilli, slit lengthways (don’t slit all the way through)

150g finely chopped white onions

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

160g tomatoes, finely chopped

Cut into bite-sized florets from 550g cauliflower

Salt to taste

5cm ginger root, cut in matchsticks

1 tsp chaat masala

To garnish: Chop coriander

  • Heat the ghee over medium heat in a heavy-based nonstick saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and crushed coriander seeds. Stir fry for a few second, then add the green chili and onions. Stir well, and allow to soften for 7 min. Stir in the garlic and continue to stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, and tomatoes. Fry for 5 minutes until the tomatoes become soft.
  • Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix for 1 minute, stirring occasionally to ensure that the masala is evenly distributed. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Turn off the heat. Now add the ginger matchsticks. Chaat masala, fresh coriander and salt. Stir and serve warm with dal and rotis or raita.