Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 26, 2009: Coconut cauliflower curry

It should be Michael writing about this lovely curry. Yes, it was me who spotted it on Another Outspoken Female's blog, bookmarked it, and made the immediate connection when cauliflower and broccoli turned up in our next fruit and veg box. But I was flying interstate a day later for work, and I pointed it out for curry-loving Michael's enjoyment while I was away. Things went awry when, over the weekend, a cycling accident dealt Michael two fractured elbows.

It could have been a lot worse, and we're grateful that it wasn't, but it means Michael won't be making curries (or doing very much at all) for some time. I booked the next flight home and took up tending duties where several very generous friends left off. Since then I've been caring for Michael as best I know how, and that means lots of cooking. (Don't expect too much restaurant blogging over the next few weeks!)

AOF's Sri Lankan inspired curry was the perfect place to start. Curry is probably Michael's favourite food group (or might come a close second to Weetbix), it made use of that vege delivery (I added some unsolicited green beans), and the tender bite-sized pieces are the easiest kind of food for Michael to feed himself at this stage. It's comfort food we both needed. The sizzling spice mix stimulated our appetites, but the coconut milk cooled it down and a finish of lemon juice kept things perky. It was great over brown rice, as AOF recommends, and we also enjoyed some of the leftovers with roti (messily torn and messily eaten, in Michael's case).

Coconut cauliflower curry
(based on a recipe developed by AOF on her blog Confessions of a Food Nazi)

1/2 cup cashews
2 cups water
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon minced ginger
6 curry leaves
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1 onion, diced
1/2 large cauliflower, broken into florets
2 small heads broccoli, broken into florets
1 handful green beans, chopped into bite-size lengths
1 x 400mL can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
juice of half a lemon

In a medium sized saucepan, boil the cashews in the water for 20 minutes. Set them aside.

In a dry frypan, gently toast the coriander and cumin seeds, fenugreek and chilli flakes. Grind them with a mortar and pestle - I didn't get them down to a fine powder, but found that the coriander seeds needed a good bash to break up.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or wok over medium heat. Add the ground spices, garlic, turmeric and ginger, stirring as they cook and sizzle for a couple of minutes. Stir in the mustard seeds and curry leaves, then the onion, cauliflower, broccoli and beans - make sure the spices are coating everything. Pour over the coconut milk and stock, then drain the cashews and add them too. Stir everything until well mixed, then leave it on a gentle simmer for about half an hour. Give it the occasional stir for even cooking.

Add salt to taste, a generous squeeze of lemon, and serve.


  1. Hi Cindy and Michael, i just wanted to let you know that i have been reading your blog for about six months now, and enjoy it very much, Thank You. I have tried quite a few of your recipes, and always enjoy your restaurant reviews, even though i live in N.S.W. Keep up the good work, and best wishes to Michael. So far, I am a 3/4 vegetarian, but working towards a better plan. My kids revolt, but I am trying. :D

  2. Sounds delicious, and Michael I hope you're okay!!

  3. Everytime I see a curry recipe, I feel a little intimidated by the long list of spices - your result looks great though! =o)

  4. OH MIchael you poor thing :( Hope those bones knit with speed and precision. Cindy glad you loved the curry. Sounds like we've both had an interesting week.

    Really recommend frying off a bit of tofu then splashing a little tamari in the pan, turn off the heat and toss it around - to serve on the side with the curry. The salty side adds a little something to the over all flavours too.

  5. Sorry to hear about Michael's accident - it is a scary reminder of how vulnerable cyclists are - hope you get back into cooking and cycling soon(ish) and have some good distractions until then - I am sure cindy will make lots of comfort food - I saw this recipe from aof and bookmarked it - must try it soon

  6. Hope Michael feels better soon, that injury sounds really, really painful :(

  7. Oh no, hope Michael heals soon. Another reason why exercise is bad for you and eating cakes is good for you. :-)

  8. FYI, the Bowen St commmunity centre in Camberwell sometimes have vegetarian indian cooking classes. V cheap, relatively speaking.

    The course's version of cauliflower curry, for comparison reasons.
    It's quite different from AOFs version.

  9. Get well soon Michael - two fractured elbows sounds soooo painful!

  10. Your curry looks great! My curry always ended up taste all the same, bland! :) maybe next time I should use fresh ground spices instead of curry powder.
    I'm sorry about the accident, hope Michael feel better soon

  11. Thanks for all the well-wishes. I'm definitely on the mend now, and will kind of miss these lazy oxycodone-filled days.

  12. Yes, thanks everyone!

    Natalie, nice to 'meet' you!

    AOF, we had some Assam faux-fish on the side this time but it'll be your tamari-seasoned tofu next round. :-)

    Chai, thanks for the cooking class links! Looks like you made some really tasty food.

  13. Oh ouch! Glad to hear that you're on the mend Michael. Hopefully you'll be blogging and cooking again soon!