This vegan delight is a great way to eat your veggies
India knows how to cook vegetables. And one favorite flavor combo is cauliflower and potatoes. These two can be paired in hundreds of dishes. They blend particularly well with curry ingredients.
For this dish, we’ve added some green peas to the mix – making the combo even more healthy and colorful. This makes a great side for a vegetarian or vegan meal. But it’s equally at home with roast or grilled fowl or meat.
This is quick to make, too, so it’s perfect for weeknights. And no one will complain about having to finish their veggies.
Recipe: Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea Curry
This is a fairly mild dish, but you can add more spice if you want a bolder flavor.
We specify frozen green peas in this recipe because the season for fresh ones is so short. But if you happen to have fresh peas available, they’d taste wonderful in this dish.
This is a dry curry (that is, one without much sauce). So, although you could use rice as a starchy accompaniment, we think an Indian flat bread (like naan) would be more appropriate.
Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes. Cooking time adds another 15 or 20 minutes.
This recipe serves 6 to 8 as a side.
Leftovers keep well for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. (They make a great breakfast or lunch.)
- 2 medium waxy potatoes (¾ pound or a bit more)
- ½ head of medium-sized cauliflower (a pound or a bit more)
- 1 medium onion
- 1½-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 6 cloves garlic (or to taste)
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste; optional)
- 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds (use more if you want a spicier dish)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (ditto)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- ~1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
- additional teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
- additional jalapeño slices, chopped cilantro, or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Wash the potatoes and peel them. Then cut them into dice of about ½ inch. Place the diced potatoes in a microwave-safe covered bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, wash and dry the cauliflower. Cut it in half, reserving one half. Cut out the woody core of the other half, then cut it into flowerets. Set aside.
- Peel the onion, ginger, and garlic. Chop them roughly, then add them to a mini food processor.
- Wash the jalapeño peppers (if using) and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the peppers roughly (you may want to reserve a few slices for garnish) and add them to the mini food processor. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot oil from your skin. Whir the food processor until the onion mixture becomes a paste.
- Place a large frying pan (preferably nonstick) on medium stovetop heat. When hot, add the oil. Let the pan heat for another 15 seconds, then add the onion mixture from the mini food processor. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt. Sauté the mixture for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Meanwhile, measure out the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice. Open the can of tomatoes. Set aside.
- After the onion mixture has cooked for 3 minutes, add the cauliflower to the frying pan. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes (from Step 1) and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the spices and lemon juice (from Step 6) and the canned tomato. Mix together. Sauté for 1 minute. Add water if the mixture seems too dry (if you’re unsure, just skip the water). Turn down the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the cauliflower is just tender – 5 minutes or less.
- Add the peas and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Just at the end of the cooking time, sprinkle on the garam masala (if using), and stir it into the mixture. Taste, add more salt if needed, and serve. We like to add a few jalapeño slices for garnish (you could also use chopped cilantro or parsley).
- Want to convert this dish into a main course? Just add some chickpeas (use one or two 15-ounce cans). Add them with the potatoes in Step 8.
- If you happen to have some cooked potatoes on hand, you can substitute those for raw potatoes. Just dice them up and skip the rest of Step 1.
- Garam masala is a mixture of spices that’s commonly used throughout India. The exact mix differs by region (and brand), but it usually includes peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and nutmeg. Most grocery stores in the US now carry garam masala, so you no longer have to buy it at specialty shops. Add it at the last minute so the fragrance doesn’t dissipate while the dish cooks.
- If you don’t have (or can’t find) garam masala, just skip it. The dish will be a little less flavorful, but still tasty.
- You may not need to peel the ginger since you’ll be grinding it in a mini food processor. But we peel from force of habit.
- No mini food processor? A blender will work (add a bit of water to help the blending process). Or you can just dice the ingredients extremely finely.
- As noted, this dish is mildly spiced. For more pizzazz, just increase the cumin, coriander, and/or cayenne pepper to taste.
- We use kosher salt for cooking. Kosher salt has bigger flakes than table salt, so it doesn’t fill a measuring spoon as “tightly.” Hence, it’s less salty by volume. If you’re using regular table salt, use only about half as much as we suggest. You can add more later if necessary.
“Cauliflower and potatoes,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Two peas in a pod.”
“The peas might be offended by that comment,” I said. “They’re sensitive to what other veggies say about them, you know.”
“Well, I think it’s more important to keep the potatoes happy,” said Mrs K R. “They’re so keenly observant.”
“Really?” I said. “I need to call a flower and ask about that.”
“It’s true,” said Mrs K R. “They keep their eyes peeled.”
“Ha,” I said. “You won’t curry favor with jokes like that.”
You may also enjoy reading about:
Pink Dal with Swiss Chard
Easy Tandoori Chicken
Spicy Pork Vindaloo
Spicy Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic
Sweet Potatoes In Tomato Curry Sauce
Curried Green Tomatoes
Aromatic Yellow Rice
Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad
Or check out the index for more