"I spent years rallying against standard Indian curry house curries, like kormas, because they are so inauthentic to the Indian home cooking I grew up with. But then I realised how completely delightful it is to mop up the korma sauce with a naan bread and wrote this recipe." Meera Sodha writes. "Those curry houses are on the decline now, but this dish is a little homage to a simpler time and a simple pleasure."
The result is a comforting dish that truly wins everyone over, and can play just as easily as a weeknight dinner or a meal for entertaining a crowd. As Sodha writes, “This is a really great dish to make when people come round, as it’s a crowd-pleaser and easy to cook. Normally, the sauce comes together at the same time at the roasted cauliflower, leaving you more time to tell your best jokes or play the spoons to your guests. A lot of the flavor in this dish come from both caramelizing the onions and roasting the cauliflower, so don’t compromise on either of those.”
Pro tip: We love keeping Urvashi Pitre’s Quick Ginger Garlic Paste in the freezer to use in this recipe and any time we need garlic and ginger (just freeze small portions of the mix in an ice cube tray, pop them out, and store the cubes in a zippered freezer bag).
Recipe slightly adapted from Fresh India (Flatiron Books, May 2018). —Genius Recipes
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 50 minutes
- Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a side
large cauliflowers (about 3 1/2 pounds in total)
Neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola
large yellow onions, thinly sliced
cloves of garlic (see note above)
2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled (see note above)
ground cardamom (or finely ground seeds from 8 pods)
ground black pepper
ground red chile (we used cayenne)
plain Greek yogurt
3/4 - 1 1/4 cups
A handful of raisins
A handful of sliced almonds
- Heat the oven to 350°F and (optionally) line two large baking pans with foil.
- Break the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and put into a large bowl. Pour 4 tablespoons of oil over the florets (or mix enough to coat them properly), then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix with your hands until they’re completely coated, and place in a single layer in the baking pans. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender and nicely browned in places. Check every 10 minutes—if the florets start to burn, cover them loosely with foil.
- In the meantime, put 3 tablespoons of oil into a large frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the onions. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until soft and browning, then crush or grate in the garlic and grate in the ginger. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the ground cardamom, black pepper, garam masala, ground red chile, ground almonds, honey and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt (or to taste). Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the yogurt.
- Turn the heat down to low and cook for around 10 minutes, until the sauce starts to turn a rich gold. When the cauliflower is tender, tip it ino the sauce and stir to coat. Thin the sauce to the consistency of pouring yogurt with milk, and heat through. Check for seasoning, as you may need to add a little more salt.
- Finally, put a small frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the raisins and sliced almonds. Stir-fry until the raisins start to blacken and puff up and the almonds turn golden brown, then take off the heat.
- To serve, scatter the raisins and toasted almonds over the top of the cauliflower, and serve with rice or chapatis.