Tag Archives : cauliflower

Sri Lankan Cauliflower, Cashew and Pea Curry 2

sri lankan cauliflower, cashew nut and pea curry

Sri Lankan rice & curry has to be one of my all time favourite dishes. If you haven’t had it, get yourself to your nearest Sri Lankan grocer or curry shop immediately. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a plate of rice and different types of curries. Normally you’d have a spicy meat curry that balanced out with a few different types of milder vegetable curries and dahl. It is served with pickle, sambal (the Sri Lankan side dish made from grated coconut tossed with dried fish and spices, don’t get confused with the Malaysian sambal which is a chilli sauce) and a poppadum.

Cauliflower, cashew and pea curry

This is a great recipe for a mild ‘white’ curry. It’s great for using up cauliflowers or other vegetables that you have lying around. I adapted it from one of my favourite cookbooks of all time, Sri Lankan Flavours by Channa Dassanayaka. It’s a gorgeous book with lovely photgraphy and the recipes are very easy to tackle. Don’t let the number of spices put you off. They are cheap and easily available. Head to your closest Asian or South Asian grocer to stock up on your spices.

simmering curry (cauliflower, cashew nuts and pea curry)

Sri Lankan is one of my favourite cuisines to cook at home. It has great focus on vegetables and, with a well stocked spice cupboard, is very flexible and can be made with whatever is around. Channa says you can add other vegetables such as carrots and potatoes or whatever is available in the fridge.

Cauliflower Curry For Two

  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (roasted, salted, raw – they all work)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 curry leaves (or 1 bay leaf – pictured)
  • 1/4 mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

Boil the cashew nuts while you’re preparing the other ingredients to soften. This should take about 20 minutes. If you like a bit of crunch in the cashew nuts as I do, 10 minutes should be enough.

Add the cauliflower florets to the cashew nuts. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander and bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Add frozen peas and coconut milk and bring back to the boil.

In another pan, fry the onion, curry leaves (or bay leaf), mustard seeds, garlic and chilli until the onion is soft and coloured. Toss the onion mixture into the cauliflower curry. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste.

Channa said this is great with roti or bread. I served it on rice with Sri Lankan chicken curry.

Penne with Cauliflower, Peas, Mint and Breadcrumb 2

penne with cauliflower, peas, mint and breadcrumb

I bought half of a really nice cauliflower from the farmers’ market the other day and decided that I wanted to make something simple with it. I was inspired by a recipe from Matt Moran’s new book When I Come Home which featured in this month’s Delicious magazine. It was originally made with orecchiette and I didn’t have any. (more…)

Vegetable Biryani

vegetable biryani

I made this last week and I’m having a hard time trying to remember how I made it! I always order Vegetable Biryani at Indian restaurants and they are always so yummy and buttery and somehow I haven’t been able to replicate that. I guess I’m not game enough to put in more oil and butter! But also I don’t cook the hell out of my vegetables the way it’s done (properly I guess) because I like the crispness in the veggies. So feel free cut them in smaller pieces and cook them for longer if you like softer veggies.

Roughly, from my hazy memory, I use (for four):


  1. 1 onion, sliced
  2. 1/2 cup of cashew nuts
  3. 2 tbsp sultanas
  4. 2 tbsp of vegetable oil


  1. 1 cup of basmati rice, rinsed well to get rich of excess starch
  2. 1 tsp of turmeric powder (I’m unemployed and cannot afford saffron!)
  3. 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

lots of veggies!

Vegetables and Sauce

  1. 1/2 broccoli florets and stems, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  2. 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets and stems, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  3. 1 small carrots, cut into chip size
  4. 5 long beans, sliced
  5. 5 button mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  6. 1/3 cup of frozen peas
  7. 1/2 cup yoghurt
  8. 1 tbsp of crushed ginger
  9. 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  10. 1 star anise
  11. 5 cloves
  12. 5 green cardamon pods
  13. 2 sticks of cinnamon
  14. 3 dried bay leaves
  15. 1 tsp garam masala
  16. 1 tsp Vegeta vegetable stock dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
  17. 2 tbsp of butter

First things first, we need to make the fried onion garnish. Fry the onion slices in low-medium heat in the vegetable oil until it’s very brown. Set aside. Leave the leftover oil in the frying pan. (more…)

Mother’s Day: Roast Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic 2

I think I may have to make this whole roast thing a weekend staple – although for this particular instance it’s an early Mother’s Day celebration for Lyn – except she likes her meat cremated and I cannot go past medium rare! But she did seem to like the coconut slice I made for her.

roast lamb, roast potatoes, peas, carrots, cauliflower

So the roast potatoes are basically the same as the roast potatoes in the previous roast chicken post. The carrots, peas and cauliflowers are just steamed in the steamer – add the carrots first and the peas last.

lamb, rosemary, garlic

Let’s talk about the lamb. I bought a full leg of lamb from the butcher but that was way too big so I asked him to cut the leg in half and chucked the other half in the freezer (probably more roast next weekend!). The favourite lamb flavouring is of course rosemary and garlic. I’m left with 1 kg of lamb on the bone. Plenty for 5-6 people. We end up with a lot of leftover.

First things first, preheat your oven to 200’C.

roasting tray

Slice an onion and a carrot thickly and line up a baking tray with them. Smash up some garlic cloves (maybe 4-5) and scatter them around as well.

rosemary and garlic lamb, ready for roasting!

Start with making some incisions in the lamb leg so you can insert some garlic slivers (I use about three cloves) and rosemary. On go the salt & pepper and a bit of olive oil. Give everything a bit of a rub. Then stud the incisions with garlic and rosemary. Turn it over and do the same on the other side.

ready for the oven

Into the oven for about 1 3/4 hours at 200 ‘c with the fan on for medium.

almost ready!

If the onion/carrots are starting to burn, add a bit of water to the tray. When you have about 1/2 hour to go, put your potatoes in. See how to roast potatoes.

roast lamb and roast potatoes

And the gravy. Again see the last post on gravy.


Leave the lamb to rest for about 10 minutes before carving it up.

carving up roast lamb

Plate it up! Happy Mother’s Day! (Although my family doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day in May – we do it in August)

roast lamb with the lot

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