09 May, 2012

Cauliflower Kurma Recipe | How to Make Simple Vegetable Kurma

Learn how to make Cauliflower Kurma

As soon as the early sunrays caressed the chubby cheeks of little girl with pigtails she opened her eyes slowly, rubbing it fast to kick the slumber still clinging to it in a hope of catching few more minutes of sleep… It was Sunday, a special day filled with promise of long hours of play time, favourite food and undivided attention of parents… Happily she climbed down from her bed and burst into the kitchen where her mother was cooking. She watched with fascination as her mother selected few spices from glass jars, a cinnamon, few green cardamoms and cloves grown in their farm along with other spices. The small cast iron pan was taken out from the top shelf and then her mother started roasting the spices… Within couple of minutes the whole house was filled with a heady aroma of spices. 

Little girl moved closer to her mother, mesmerised, as she inhaled the sweet aroma of freshly grated coconut. Sitting on the floor, her mother skilfully grated the coconut using traditional tool, a small rectangular wooden plank with short legs and a cast iron scraper attached on one end. Mother took a small handful of freshly grated sweet coconut and quickly added a small spoonful of sugar and a pinch of cardamom powder and served it in a small banana leaf. The eager, chubby hands clutched this favourite treat close to her chest and put a small spoonful of heaven in her mouth and closed her eyes in pure bliss while her mother watched her with love shining through her eyes and dimpled smile.

Cauliflower Kurma ~ a flavourful marriage of spices and coconut 

Mother lifted her little girl and placed her on a worktop close enough for the little girl to see all the activities but far enough to keep her away from hot pots and sharp knives. Little girl sat there, with awe, as her mother patiently and lovingly created magic. For the next few minutes the kitchen was buzzing with activities from chopping the vegetables to stirring the pots, from picking the fresh herbs to grinding the spices. The spicy coconut chutney was made to serve along steaming melt in mouth, soft pillows of Idli. The spices which were roasted earlier were mixed with freshly grated sweet coconut to be ground to smooth paste. The onion and tomatoes were chopped finely and were sautéed with ground coconut paste. While the gravy was getting cooked, mother gently placed the little girl on her lap and together they both started to break the cauliflower into big florets. Little one watched how carefully her mother placed the cauliflower florets in the large vessel half filled with warm water where her mother had mixed a teaspoon of sea salt and turmeric powder, a precaution taken while cleaning the cauliflower. 

Highly addictive ~ Cauliflower Kurma 

Quickly mother mixed these cauliflower florets to the coconut gravy and let the little girl to stir them, making her believe it was she who was in charge of cooking this delicious pot of Cauliflower Kurma. It didn’t take much time for the cauliflower to get cooked and the smile on little girl’s face widened as her mother asked her call her father and siblings for breakfast. She hopped all the way to garden where her father was watering the plants and tending them. She couldn’t contain her excitement and wait for them to taste the Cauliflower Kurma she had cooked!!! When every one came to dining room, little girl with pigtail announced proudly that it was her who had ‘cooked’ the Cauliflower Kurma and she wanted them to taste it immediately. She waited, with bated breath, as her father dunked the Idli in a steaming bowl of Cauliflower Kurma and put it into his mouth. The appropriate ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from both her parents and siblings was all the encouragement she needed to ignite a little spark of passion for cooking. She dreamt of the days when she could cook and create magic like her mother… 

Her dream did come true… She may not be half as great cook as her mother, but she can proudly say she is little above average cooks! For now she is happy that her loved one loves whatever she cooks and her blog readers faithfully visit her blog and cook the recipes she has posted here! :D So yes, she can proudly call herself above average cook! 

Simple and yet delicious ~ Cauliflower Kurma 

Here is the recipe for my mother’s Cauliflower Kurma (please don’t call it Korma!). This mildly spiced, creamy Cauliflower Kurma is one of my Amma’s signature dishes and also one the first recipes I learnt from her. It is quick to cook and easy recipe to follow. The whole spices lend heady perfume and the fresh coconut based gravy teases all the senses… You can use any vegetables of your choice and follow the recipe and yet the result is always pleasing to taste buds and soul! The best thing is it can be served with any Indian flat breads, any Dosa, Puri, Idli or even with rice and you will be pleasantly surprised as how well it compliments them! 

Cauliflower for Kurma 
Handful of carefully selected spices 
And sweet grated coconut 
The delicately spiced coconut paste for the base gravy

Cauliflower Kurma (Cauliflower cooked in mild creamy coconut gravy) 
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Mild to Medium
Serves: 5-6 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated up to 3 days
Recipe Source: My Amma
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or Akki Rotti or Chapatti or with any stuffed parathas), Dosa, Idli or plain/flavoured Basmati rice

1 medium head Cauliflower, cut into medium sized florets (approx 4-5 cups)
1 medium Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum, cut into ½ inch squares
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 large Tomato, finely chopped
1½ tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1½ tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

For Coconut Paste:
1 packed cup Grated Coconut, fresh or frozen
1 inch Cinnamon
3 Green Cardamoms
3-4 Cloves
1 tbsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ tsp Saunf/Fennel Seeds
5-6 Dried Red Chillies (Kashmiri or Byadagi or any mild variety. Adjust acc to taste)
Creamy and addictively delicious ~ Cauliflower Kurma 

  1. Grind all the ingredients listed for coconut paste to smooth paste by adding little water at time. The paste should be thick, so make sure you don’t add too much water while grinding. Keep it aside till needed. 
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add finely chopped onion. Sauté till it turns golden brown, about 3 minutes on medium flame. 
  3. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Mix in finely chopped tomatoes and sauté till they are pulpy and release their juice, about 2 minutes.
  5. Mix in ground coconut paste and stir it till it becomes little dry and the oil leaves to the sides of the pan, about 4-5 minutes. 
  6. Add 2 cups of water, cauliflower florets and salt to taste and cover the pan with lid. Let it cook undisturbed for 5-6 minutes on medium flame. 
  7. Mix in bell peppers and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes until the cauliflower florets are cooked through. Add little more water if you find the gravy to be too thick to get desired consistency. 
  8. That’s all! Serve this delicious Cauliflower Kurma with any flavoured or plain rice, dosa, idli or with any Indian flat bread and enjoy!

Sia’s Notes: 
  • Cauliflower can be replaced with any other vegetables of your choice. My favourites are potato, bell peppers, green peas, carrots, green beans or a combination of all these vegetables. 
  • Do not add too much water while grinding the coconut paste as the paste should be thick (as that one coconut chutney). 
  • You can serve this Cauliflower Kurma with  any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or Akki Rotti or chapatti or with any stuffed parathas), Dosa, Idli or plain/flavoured Basmati rice


  1. Fantastic! Cauliflower is such aversatile vegetable. The grated coconut looks so good...



  2. wow....what a delish...I'm drooling over the pics dear.....wonderful presentation with great clicks !!!


  3. loved the beautiful narrative as well the delicious recipe. have bookmarked this recipe. thanks sia for sharing your mom's signature recipe.

  4. This sounds like a perfect meal for my lunch today. I never really mixed coconut with cauliflower before .. but I am gonna try this today :)

  5. This looks delicious and superb !!!

  6. Delicious looking Kurma Sia! beautiful clicks as usual!

  7. Love Kurma! Some Ghee rice and a ladle full of Kurma, I am in foodie heaven :)

  8. Wowwwwww... looks so tempting and delicious.. stunning shots too !!
    Indian Cuisine

  9. Hey, I am drooling here.. So yumm!!!

  10. What an awesome recipe!!! The presentation and photography is amazing :)

  11. I have a nice big cauliflower in my refrigerator right now and I am tempted to try your recipe :)

  12. Nice story and resonates with me as well. Everyone is so much an extension of one person - your mom! Happy Mother's day!

  13. such a beautiful post! u have sritten it so well i felt i was right there :) the kurma looks mouth watering, testimony that u are definitely a much much more than average cook :)

  14. u got some gorgeous pics here.. mouth watering!! superb post..

  15. Awesome recipe and wonderfully written prose, too! I enjoy your blog and I'm sure you are one fantastic cook! I'm official drooling all over your photos now...

  16. Wonderfully presented kurma....loved your anecdote dear....smell does play an important role in preserving sweet memories in our brain :)....saw your blog after ages...I had a baby boy in 2010...he will be two this month end....time flies fast...take care...following your posts from now on :). Cheers!

  17. I tried this out and it really turned out well. The way you have presented this is awesome. Thanks :)


Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and feedback. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

I hope that you will stop by again to read my rants, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!