My most turned-to curry. Without fail. Hands down. And then hands up to praise it.
I kept fairly close to the traditional yogurt marinade and similar spicing profile to the Northern Indian curry Murgh Makhani with this recipe, but I went on my own tangent swapping the usual chicken for cauliflower and relying on a bright yellow curry powder in place of a forearm’s length list of spices. I know it’s cheating, but sometimes I just want to get to the flavour quickly.
Due to my flagrant changes, which were the result of domestic freestyling as opposed to disrespect, I can’t particularly anoint this curry with any Murgh Makhani authenticity, but I can enjoy it for being a product of its inspiration.
I have also played around with many other substitutes for the cauliflower. I’ve used sliced courgette in it’s place which gives a much different, gentler texture, but I have also gone full carnivore and swapped it for chopped up pieces of chicken thigh (and cooked for a little longer) which is also fantastic.
A quick note on leftovers, should you be so lucky to have them, is that the curry itself forms the basis of a wonderful Curried Cauliflower Soup. Measurements will vary because it depends on the quantity of your leftovers, but basically, cover the leftover curry with some vegetable stock and a splash of soy sauce, and bring everything to a boil and then drop to a simmer for about half an hour or so. Carefully blitz the pot with a stick blender and serve with a scattering of chopped fresh coriander.
Serves 2 or 4 with sides
A thumb sized piece of ginger – peeled
1 clove garlic – peeled
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons ground almonds
4 tablespoons coconut yogurt (or natural yogurt)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion – peeled and chopped finely
1 tablespoon tomato paste
200ml vegetable stock (or cauliflower water – see method)
A handful of flaked almonds
A handful of fresh coriander – chopped finely
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and while it does, remove the outer, leafy stems of the cauliflower and keep them to one side. Snap the cauliflower up into small florets and once the pan of water is boiling, add salt and the florets to the pan.
- Boil the cauliflower for 10 minutes or so until tender and then drain the cauliflower over a large jug that will catch the cauliflower water – you’ll need this for stock later.
- Run some cold water from the tap over the cauliflower in the colander to stop the cooking process and drop the tender cauliflower into a bowl.
- Grate in the ginger and garlic with a fine grater, add 1 teaspoon of the curry powder and a scattering of salt and pepper.
- Grate in the zest and juice of the lemon (watch the pips) and then add the almonds and yogurt. Gently stir everything together, cover and leave to marinate until you’re ready to cook.
- When you’re ready, preheat the oven to 180°C and put your reserved cauliflower stems on a baking tray.
- Drizzle the stems with the oil and scatter with some salt and pepper and keep to one side for now.
- On a medium heat, melt the butter in a deep pan with high sides on the hob. Once it’s frothing, add the onion and some salt. Stir and cook until the onions soften.
- Once the onions are soft, add the remaining teaspoon of curry powder and the tomato paste and stir into the onions, turning up the heat. Cook roughly for another 5 minutes before tipping in your cauliflower. Stir the cauliflower and cook for a few moments, just to heat the cauliflower up a little.
- Add the reserved water you boiled the cauliflower in and bring the pan to a bubble, drop it to a simmer and keep it simmering for about 20 minutes, uncovered is fine, stirring just every now and then. Now’s the time to pop your stems into the oven and allow them to cook for the same amount of time as the curry bubbles.
- Once the 20 minutes are up, take the stems out of the oven and take the curry off the heat. Allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes before serving the stems on side of the curry with an extra sprinkle of flaked almonds and some coriander.