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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cauliflower in coconut-cashew sauce

This morning I did not touch my laptop. Instead I decided to cook, but something different.  The vegetables I had were cauliflower, carrot and green peas.  I decided to cook it in a mildly spiced coconut-cashew sauce.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables tastes great even when cooked simply, with a little salt. It
makes a great raw veggie with a nice coconut mint dip or chutney too! A must try for raw vegans.

It has a high amount of potassium and calcium, good for human consumption, but also the favorite of butterfly caterpillars. Butterfly lay their eggs under the cauliflower leaves. These eggs hatch into tiny pastel green/blue caterpillars that begin eating up the vegetable from its stem upwards. They are found at the base of the florets and can go undetected. I'm sure they are as nutritious as the cauliflower but vegetarians just cannot eat the caterpillars!! The cauliflower is cut into florets, usually leaving its tender stem on, and as a practice, soaked for around 20 minutes in heavily salted water to get rid of the tiny caterpillars.  In my experience, the caterpillars inside cocoons are not affected at all and continue to stick to the stems, while the big buggers that have fed on the cauliflower leaves kind of enjoy some salt - ha ha. The best way is to manually pick them out.  I am happy to cook a cauliflower that has a few caterpillars because it is one way to know that the vegetable is not heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Here is the recipe of Cauliflower in mildly spiced coconut-cashew sauce.
I have added other veggies too and it tastes yummy with green peas & carrots too!

Cauliflower florets from one large cauliflower and a cup of other veggies like green peas, carrot and capsicum
1 medium sized onion chopped fine
2 medium sized tomatoes diced with seed and skin
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt (or more if necessary as you cook)
1 small bunch chopped
coriander / cilantro leaves

Ingredients for the sauce:
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
1/4 cup cashews
3-4 garlic pods
1/4 inch piece of ginger
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1  green chili pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 sprig curry leave (optional)
Water for sauce consistency

  • Blend all the sauce ingredients with sufficient water into a very smooth thick paste and keep aside.
  • Take oil in a cooking pot and fry the onions until they turn opaque or are half done.
  • Stir in the cauliflower florets along with green peas and carrots and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook with lid on until cauliflower is half cooked. 
  • Add salt and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and cauliflower almost done. Do stir occasionally.
  • Mix in the sauce (use clean water to rinse the blender and add that water to the sauce).
  • Mix well, cover with lid and cook on medium to low flame until it begins to simmer. 
  • Taste the sauce and correct its flavor before you serve (that's something I always do before serving)
  • Garnish with more coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.


  1. Liked the "use clean water to rinse the blender and add that water to the sauce" tip as part of the recipe!

    1. Seema, you said it! I remember the days when we had no blenders/mixies and had to use a little clean water to wash off the grinding stone ~ and that made it special :) Thank you, I did not expect it to be noticed.

  2. Wow! :) This is a delicious dish for sure! :) Perfect!

  3. Thank you Sangeetha! I subscribe to yours too and love it!