(Accidently) Spicy Vegetarian Cauliflower Curry…and a Trip to the Farmer’s Market

This past weekend was pretty dreary.  It was cold, rainy and quite boring…actually.  Piyush and I had intended on going somewhere fun for our anniversary; but because of the weather, we changed our plans and decided to stay home.   Our actual anniversary is Wednesday–May 9.  Three years have just flown by!

05.09.2009 …Grand Marais, MN on Lake Superior. It was so cold!

So instead…Piyush did a lot of golfing.  I did a lot of reading.  We both watched Hindi movies, and got absolutely no yard-work done.  It turned out to be a perfect weekend!

I didn’t really do much cooking, but did manage to make it to the Rochester Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.

I came home with some black garlic.  I’ve never seen it before and I’m not entirely certain what I’m going to make with it; but I’m excited to experiment!

Black garlic is simply regular garlic that has been fermented.  The cloves are a dark black color and the smell is quite pungant.  I haven’t tasted it yet, but I have been assured that it tastes slightly sweet with a molasses-like richness.  It’s supposed to be completely amazing.

…Right now, it’s sitting in a ziploc bag in my garage.  haha! Yes, it smelled so bad that I had to banish it out of the house!

Has anyone ever experimented with black garlic?  What did you make with it?

Some other farmer’s market purchases:


Look at those fat carrots!

morel mushrooms, homemade ketchup, asparagus, spring lettuce mix and carrots!

I cleaned the mushrooms as soon as I got home from the market.  I’ve got to say, cleaning the morels was not a fun experience!  There were bugs everywhere!  But somehow I managed.

some mushrooms laid out for freezing

I froze about a half pound of the mushrooms so Piyush and I can enjoy them later in the summer or maybe even this coming winter.

Now, on to the curry!  Because I had brought home some new produce, I had to use what was already in my refrigerator.  I had nearly a whole head of cauliflower and half a green bell pepper.  I thought about making aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower), but decided on something else.

I didn’t want meat, but I wanted chicken tikka masala…if that makes sense?  I thought I’d make the gravy for chicken tikka masala but use cauliflower chunks instead.

I marinated and roasted the cauliflower in the the same way I would the chicken.  I tossed some yogurt, lemon juice and spices in a big zip-lock bag and mixed everything together.  Then I threw the cauliflower in, tossed everything to combine, and let it rest for a good hour.


I then made the curry gravy using my recipe for chicken tikka masala.  The only thing I did differently was to add sliced green bell pepper and about a cup of peas.

I also made a small mistake and put extra (2 tbsp!) hot chili powder in the curry instead of the paprika.  Yikes!  This stuff was good, but really packed some heat!

the curry looks like it could pass for chicken tikka masala…


Cauliflower Curry with Capsicum and Peas

Serves 6–generously

Can be made vegan by substituting dairy with vegan alternatives.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, diced and marinated (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (sub. veg. oil)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 7 cloves garlic – smashed and diced fine
  • 1 inch ginger – smashed and diced fine
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon fresh fenugreek leaves (leave out if you can’t find)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • red chilli powder, to taste –taste as you add!  Sometimes, less is more!!!!!
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 3 cups curry gravy base – (recipe here)
  • 1 medium capsicum (green bell pepper)- sliced thinly
  • 1 c. peas (frozen)
  • 1/2 c. half & half (or add coconut milk)
  • milk, as needed (sub. coconut milk)
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter substitute)
  • 1  handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fried onions, to garnish (optional)


Cauliflower Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp. paprika (this shouldn’t be hot.  It’s mostly for color)
  • 1 tsp. ground chile pepper (I use Kashmiri)
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • approximately 1 lb. cauliflower– cut into bite size pieces
Combine all ingredients, except cauliflower, together in a bowl.  Whisk until everything is mixed together.  Add the cauliflower. Let the mixture marinate for at least 20 minutes, up to an hour.
When you’re ready to cook it, you can put it on skewers and grill it–or you can use your broiler.  Heat the oven to Broil.  Put the cauliflower pieces on a rack over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Put them in the oven and broil until they start turning a little black on the edges and look dry.  The cauliflower won’t actually be dry and gross, the yogurt in the marinade will help keep that from happening

Heat the ghee/oil in a  large pan over medium high heat.  Once it gets warm, add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala.  Stir until everything becomes fragrant and dry.

Toss in the garlic and ginger.  Cook for about a minute before adding the tomato paste, red chilli powder and fenugreek leaves.  Stir everything together.  It will be dry.

Add the butter and 3 cups curry gravy base and whisk everything together.  Once it’s smooth, add the lemon juice and half & half.  Transfer the curry to a blender and blend until smooth (this can be skipped if you don’t mind a few little chunks). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the cooked cauliflower, capsicum (green bell pepper) and peas.  Let the curry simmer for about 15 minutes.  It’ll thicken slightly, use milk to thin…if you’d like.  Garnish with chopped coriander and fried onions.  Serve with rice or rotis.

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28 thoughts on “(Accidently) Spicy Vegetarian Cauliflower Curry…and a Trip to the Farmer’s Market

  1. Elisabeth

    that looks incredible! i am going to try it. curry recipies are so fun to prepare working with all the spices thanks for the great post!

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  3. mustardseed

    This is making me so hungry. I had no plans for cooking but I have a head of cauliflower sitting in the refrigerator! And your recipe is totally tempting me to make it!

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  5. Samantha

    This is EXACTLY what I was looking for!! You madam, are a genius. Thank you for choosing my dinner. I am salivating already, I can hardly wait!!! 😀

  6. aarti patel

    I tried this recipe a few months back and now make it all the time. It’s such a hit in my family. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Brett

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! We love eating Indian food and now I love cooking it! This recipe is now a favorite in my household, including 3 little picky eaters! I am going to try the Chicken Tikka Masala next time. I will have to double the recipe for the curry base next time, because it goes fast!

    1. Shari Post author

      Brett, I am so happy to hear this! I’m glad your family enjoys my curry. Do try the chicken tikka masala. Let me know what you think! 🙂

  8. Melissa

    This was lovely! Definitely one of my new favorite recipes. I’ve made it several times. Tonight, I used the roasted cauliflower recipe, sautéed collards with ghee & spices, and put over rice. SOOO quick and simple. Thanks for teaching, sharing, and inspiring!

  9. Pingback: (Accidently) Spicy Vegetarian Cauliflower Curry - Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Can Be Vegan - FoodSniffr Blog

    1. Shari Post author

      Hello Lorri!! So glad you are giving this a go! I use a Vitamix blender which does a great job at grinding the spices completely. If your blender is less powerful, using pre ground spices is a great option. I hope you love the curry!


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