Delhi Cauliflower

IMG_0232This recipe is a nod to my time working in the UNESCO office in Delhi. My coworkers and I would share our lunches sitting on a long bench, almost something out of a Dickensian novel. I loved the vegetarian food my Punjabi coworkers brought. They in turn forbade me to bring anything other than southern food. I tried to take my memory of the Punjabi cauliflower my friends brought and added a southern sensibility to it, using methods of light steaming, sautéing in little oil and using few spices to let the cauliflower glisten. The main spice is fenugreek leaf.

½ head cauliflower or 3 cups florets
Spice Mix
2 tsp coconut oil or choice of light oil
4 grains cumin seed
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp dry mango powder(or lemon juice to taste)
1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves, crushed in hand
1 tsp sliced hot green chili pepper
Preparation time
20 minutesServes 4Pots n pans
Vegetable steamer
Pressure cooker


  1. Wash cauliflower, remove woody stems, and separate florets.
  2. Lightly steam in pressure cooker or in a pot of boiling water till cooked but never soggy. SOS Pressed for time, florets can also be steamed in microwave, about 3 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in pan, add cumin, ginger, mango powder(if using), crushed fenugreek leaves, green chili pepper and turmeric. Stir everything till the fragrance of the spices esp. Fenugreek is released.
  4. Add steamed cauliflower and sauté lightly till the spices coat the cauliflower florets.
  5. For a complete meal, serve with tomato lentil soup and some rice or bread.

Health benefits
Fenugreek is well known for its ability to control the hormonal insulin level in blood. Studies have shown its ability to lower diabetes. I love this lightly bitter spice and use it in several recipes.Dry Fenugreek leaves are easily available in Indian grocery stores-goes under the name of kasoori methi under the Peacock brand.

Cauliflower is the same cruciferous family as cabbage, brussel sprouts, and has multiple health benefits. It does help that its delicious cooked in any form, but especially in this recipe.

IMG_0233Fun facts
Ever since I started preparing cauliflower this way, its turned out to be a universal hit. Whether I microwave it at lunch or prepare it for a home dinner, its delicious aroma captivates anyone within a 2 km radius –don`t be surprised if you find people suddenly wanting to friend you. Seriously, this recipe is so simple and tasty to make, I hope you`ll give it a try. I`d love to hear your comments on how it turned out for you.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Mohideen Ibramsha says:

    Dear Charu,
    Please give the weight of the Cauliflower florets to be used. Depending on the size of the Cauliflower that we have picked, the half head would be different quantities in weight, and thus the taste would not be the same. Thanks.

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks for reminding me Uncle Ibramsha! North american cauliflower is so big, I can only use 1/2 a head while in India I easily used 2 full cauliflowers for a meal. This recipe calls for approx 3 cups of cauliflower florets, you can also add more green chili for heat. Its great to hear from you.. pl. let me know how you like this recipe!

  2. Shanth Shenoy says:

    Good one Charu for sure I will try this recipe, can dry red chilli’s be used as well? Will let you once I cook this, cauliflower is my favorite vegetable – cheers

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks Shanth, you can certainly substitute with dry red chili. and you also add dry coriander powder for that extra zing in this cauliflower…

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