Anshu Ahuja, co-founder of green-minded takeaway service DabbaDrop, shares one of her go-to plant-based dishes to enjoy this summer. At DabbaDrop, the South Asian set menu changes each week, providing flavour-packed, planet-conscious feasts for two. Learn how to make a delicious whole roasted cauliflower korma with this recipe.
‘Cauliflower korma is a family favourite in my home. We grew up eating it in Mumbai – it was a centrepiece my mum would prepare every time friends and family came over. It’s a beautiful dish that you can bring out to the table decorated with coconut flakes and nuts.’
‘This heirloom recipe is plant-based and uses all-natural ingredients including kasoori methi, which is also known as dried fenugreek. It’s somewhere between a spice and a herb and has an earthy fragrance that will transport your taste buds to India.’
‘Food waste is really important to me; at DabbaDrop all of our customers pre-order so that we know exactly how much food to prepare, meaning very little is wasted. With this cauliflower korma recipe, you can save the cauliflower leaves as they’re delicious roasted, or simply freeze them for another day and add them to your stockpot. Similarly, keep your onion skins. They are fantastic for making vegetable-based stocks – they have so much flavour that it’s such a shame to not use them.’
- 1 small cauliflower
- Handful of cashews, uncooked
- ½ cup dessicated coconut
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 large brown onions, roughly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly sliced
- 4cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 or 4 dried red Kashmiri or byadgi chillies, broken and deseeded (can be replaced with 1-2 green chilies)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp kasoori methi/dried fenugreek
- 1 can coconut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Small handful of golden raisins
- Fresh chopped coriander
SOME IDEAS TO GARNISH
- Small handful finely sliced spring onions
- ½ tsp nigella seeds
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Fresh chopped coriander
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Pour hot water over the cashews and desiccated coconut in a bowl and set aside for 10 to 12 minutes until soft.
- Set a large frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil and, when hot, add the onions. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes until soft and browning, then add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the cardamom, fennel and coriander seeds and chillies and fry for another minute or two until aromatic. Add the cashews and desiccated coconut (along with the water) into the pan with the turmeric.
- Take off the heat, pour into a blender and blend into a fine paste. Add salt and pepper to taste and then the fenugreek leaves, crushed.
- Remove the leaves from the head of the cauliflower and put to the side. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and insert the head only. Cook for five to seven minutes, depending on size. When it’s done, a knife should slide easily into the thickest part.
- Transfer the cauliflower head to a roasting tray along with the cauliflower leaves and smear all over with half of the spice paste, getting into the crevices.
- Roast the cauliflower for 30 to 40 minutes or until the spice-paste topping is golden, forming a crust and starting to burn at the edges.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, add the remaining spice paste to a saucepan with the coconut milk and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until it has thickened. Add chopped coriander and raisins, adjust the seasoning as preferred and pour onto your serving platter.
- Carefully remove the cauliflower and crispy leaves from the oven and place on top of the sauce. Garnish with smashed roasted cashews, nigella seeds and chopped coriander.
- Serve with warm naan bread and a green salad.
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