Simple Cauliflower Curry

Simple Cauliflower Curry

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I love the farm where I get my farm share each week. It’s thanks to them that I’m redoing this cauliflower curry recipe.

This is my second year getting having a farm share from B & B Farms, and I still love going and getting my produce from them. I liked it last year, and I think it’s even better this year.

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cauliflower curry, in a white bowl

What is a Farm Share?

In some places you might know it as a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. It’s been popular for a little while. I tried two while I lived in St. Louis. There, I liked the one where I actually met the farmers, who my friend Kate actually knew. Here in New Jersey I recognize my farmers by sight. Last week, my daughter noticed one of them wasn’t there and asked me why, so she knows them too. Simply, that makes me happy.

I’m not being paid to write about this. I just truly like my farm – and yes, I’ll call it my farm, because truthfully I feel a little possessive. Most of what I say below refers to my B&B Farms‘ philosophy, but I believe you’ll find some small, local farms trending this way in most places.

One thing I like is that they use minimal pesticides, as little as necessary. After all, they eat their own food.

They’re also striving toward zero/minimal waste. Yes, this is another trendy topic nowadays. It’s also one I’ve been starting to look into personally. I’ve always tried to not waste much food, but I’m looking into it in other areas. You’re not going to see this blog change – I have always loved food too much. But I want to make little adjustments at home and am happy for the excuse to take my own reusable produce bags (affiliate link) (I love mine) and grocery bags with me to pick up my vegetables.

I get to choose, to some extent, what veggies I get, and how much. I’d be okay if I couldn’t do this, and not all CSAs let you, but it’s a nice perk. I let Amelia choose which items we get, in the hopes that she may eat more of them.

squash, eggplant, peppers
Just some of the vegetables from my summer farm share this week – although it was too hot for cauliflower this time

On a final note, I like that my vegetables are incredibly fresh. I’ve never gotten anything bad from my farm. I picked green beans the other day and ate them immediately; who knows how long they would have been in a grocery store.

I like supporting local businesses. Maybe it’s entering my late 30s. Maybe it’s finally being a homeowner. Maybe it’s knowing my daughter will be in public school in 2 years, so I need to be sure to support my community. I keep thinking about shopping locally and keeping my tax dollars here.

Why Make Cauliflower Curry?

I’m trying to get variety in my farm share, and really, I don’t know what to do with cauliflower except put it in Indian food.

cauliflower curry, close up

I hated cauliflower as a kid. Even as an adult, I’m not too keen on it. I realize it’s because my mom would cook frozen cauliflower (and broccoli) to mush, with butter as seasoning and not much else. I guess that’s how she ate it as a kid, and she liked it that way. As you can tell from this website, I don’t like mush, or butter as a seasoning (although in cookies, yes please!).

I’m still not a fan of raw broccoli or cauliflower, but once I had cauliflower in curries at Indian buffets, I lost my absolute disdain for it. So now when I see a sale for cauliflower at the grocery store, or have an opportunity to get a head with my CSA, I make cauliflower curry.

How to Make a Simple Cauliflower Curry

I originally adapted this recipe from Food and Wine online, but they’ve changed the recipe entirely from what I have here.

I love that this cauliflower curry has a short ingredient list. Just a little oil, some cauliflower, an onion, tomatoes, and some spices. I’ve made it without cilantro – still delicious. Canned tomatoes work fine. I think frozen cauliflower would work, and frozen onion may be okay in a pinch as well.

You can do most prep work while you cook your curry. Start out by chopping up your onion and jalapeno, if you’re using it. Saute the jalapeno and half of the onion with the vegetable oil in your skillet or pot.

Meanwhile, grind your spices in a bullet blender (affiliate link) or regular blender. Add in the remaining onion and 1/4 of your water, and puree until smooth.

You add this to the sauteed onion and use a little more water to rinse your blender. While this cooks down, you can chop up your cauliflower.

pureed onion for curry, before cooking down
onion sauce, with most of the liquid cooked from it

Once the onion mixture begins to stick to the pot, deglaze it with the remaining water and add the cauliflower and salt. Cover it, lower the heat, and set a 25 minute timer. Cut up your tomatoes and cilantro if necessary, and go do something for yourself until your dinner is done.

Seriously, that’s it. It’s so easy! When I first made this, I loved how easy it was for me to go downstairs and set up on my exercise bike with a book. It’s nice to have downtime while dinner cooks, to clean up the kitchen or do something else.

Cauliflower Curry as a Side Dish or as a Main Dish

Cauliflower curry works perfectly as a side dish.

I make it a simple meal for 3 by serving it over rice and sauteing some chickpeas. I drain, rinse, and dry the chickpeas and saute them in a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. I usually sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and maybe a little cumin, and cook them until they begin to brown or pop and take on a little texture.

cauliflower curry in a white bowl, with roasted chickpeas in a green bowl

This curry is fragrant and flavorful from onion and spices. Jalapeno flakes add a little floral heat to the dish. The cauliflower mellows into the dish. The result is a simple, clean, uncomplicated curry.

Do you have a favorite recipe for cauliflower? How should I try cooking it the next time I get it?

Interested in other recipes? I save and share recipes I like or want to try on my Pinterest page – follow me there! You can also check out my Facebook page for more recipes and helpful tips. I’m also happy to try to help troubleshoot my recipes there.

Have you tried this recipe? Or have a question about it? Rate it or leave a comment below! (PS: rating my recipes helps other people find them too!)

In the past:

One Year Ago: Smitten Kitchen’s Perfect Blueberry Muffins, Stewed Chicken and Chickpeas

Two Years Ago: Chocolate Stout Cake

Five Years Ago: Lazy Pizza Dough, Honey Bourbon Cheesecake

Six Years Ago: Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream

Seven Years Ago: Individual Fruit Crisps

Nine Years Ago: Brownie Taste Test!

Simple Cauliflower Curry
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hr

An easy, vegetarian/vegan side dish. Make it as spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of pepper in it. Add a can or two of chickpeas to it to make it a full meal!

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan
Keyword: cauliflower, cauliflower curry
Servings: 4
Calories: 136 kcal
Author: Leona Konkel
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (diced, and divided)
  • 1 jalapeno (small, and diced) (or 1 teaspoon dried jalapeno flakes)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup water (divided)
  • 1 large head cauliflower (cut into 1-inch pieces; I thinly slice the stems too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato (1 fresh tomato, or grape tomatoes; canned are fine too)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • cooked rice (to serve)
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the onion and all the jalapeno. Saute for 5 minutes, until onion begins to brown.

  2. Meanwhile, grind the coriander and cumin seeds in a food processor or blender. Add the remaining onion and 1/4 cup water. Blend until combined.

  3. Once the onion in the skillet is beginning to brown, add in the onion puree. Use another 1/4 cup water to rinse your blender, and add oniony water to the skillet. Cook until onion sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, you can chop the cauliflower if you haven't already.)

  4. Deglaze the pot with the remaining 1/2 cup water. Add the cauliflower and some salt, and toss with onion sauce to combine. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.

  5. Cook 25-30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender. (I tend to cut mine a little smaller than 1 inch, so I check mine early. Remove from heat immediately – you don't want mushy cauliflower!)

  6. Add tomato and cilantro (if using) and toss gently to combine. Heat briefly to combine if necessary. Serve as a side dish, or over rice as a main course.

Recipe Notes

Don’t like spicy? Omit the jalapeno entirely.

Want to make it a meal? Add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas to the curry during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Or do what I usually do: saute drained, rinsed, and dried chickpeas in a skillet with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper over medium heat for a few minutes. They will begin to roast and pop, and be a nice counterpart for the curry.

Calorie counts are based solely on ingredients for cauliflower curry, and do not include rice or chickpeas.

adapted from Food and Wine magazine

Recipe text updated 7/13/2019

[Recipe originally posted March 8, 2014. Recipe, post, and photos updated in July 2019.]

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