Madhur Jaffrey’s Cauliflower with Onion and Tomato

Madhur Jaffrey is a hero in our household thanks to her wonderful book, The Essential Madhur Jaffrey. There are no pictures in the book, but really, you don’t need them as the recipes are fool-proof. The cauliflower was served with daal (made with red split lentils this time) and I’d recommend this recipe to make for those who are not keen on cauliflower as it’s so tasty. Usually we only get small cauliflowers in the veg box, so you could half the oil and I sometimes use a tin of tomatoes so keep to the same measurements for the rest of the ingredients.

You can make the daal at the same time.


  • 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • A piece of ginger, 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 8 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh green coriander
  • 1 fresh hot green chili, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


1. Blend the onion, garlic, ginger and 4 Tbsp water into a paste.
2. Break the cauliflower into florets. Wash and drain.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed 10-12 inch pot, over medium heat.
4. Pour in paste and add the turmeric. Fry, stirring, 5 minutes.
5. Add the chopped tomato, green coriander, and green chili, and fry 5 minutes. If necessary, add 1 tsp of warm water at a time to prevent sticking.
6. Add the cauliflower, coriander, cumin, garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Stir for 1 minute. 7. Add 4 Tbsp warm water, stir, cover and lower the heat. Allow to cook 35 minutes, stirring gently every 10 minutes or so.
8. The cauliflower is done when the florets are tender, with just a faint trace of crispness.

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