Creamy cauliflower coconut stew

Inspired by stews made in Kerala and southern India, this one is vegan and gluten-free. The humble cauliflower, cooked with simple aromatics and spices, all brought together in a coconut and a nuts based light and flavorful curry. The nuts impart the creaminess as does the coconut milk.

A twist, to brighten good ‘ol gobhi (cauliflower), was successful with this recipe which I formulated one evening in my kitchen. Alongside, I made the Lentils and Semolina pancakes or cheelas :  and it certainly brightened up the dining table during a mundane weekday dinner at home.

Servings: 4


1 fresh cauliflower, cut into slender florets

Coconut milk – 2 cups

1 small onion, finely diced

1 tsp. ginger paste

1 tsp. garlic paste

8-10 fresh curry leaves

3/4 tsp. black mustard seeds

3/4 tsp. cumin seeds

1/2 tsp. cumin powder

1 tbsp. coriander powder

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

3/4 tsp. red chili powder

3/4 tsp. fennel powder

2 dried red chillies

1 bay leaf

Whole spices : 3 green cardamoms, 1 inch piece cinnamon, a few black peppercorns, 2 cloves

Coconut/Olive or canola oil – 2 tbsp.

For the nuts paste:

Raw almonds – 1/2 cup. Soak for a few hours and remove skins.

Tahini paste – 1 tsp.

Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp.

White poppy seeds – 3/4 tsp.

Blend together along with a little water, to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add the whole spices, bay leaf, red chillies, curry leaves and onions. Sauté till onions begin to turn translucent.

Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter, add the ginger and garlic paste. Add the ground spices and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cauliflower florets.

Sauté and stir till all the flavors are combined well. Cover with lid and cook on low flame till cauliflower is almost done, it still has a crunch.

Remove the lid, add the nuts paste and stir well. Lastly, add the coconut milk. Add salt to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, combining everything well, and serve hot.






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