The month to enjoy: cauliflower

Cauliflower is exactly that – the tightly packed, knobbly flowers of a cabbage (in Latin, caulis) – and has been a staple of European diets for at least 2,000 years. It’s at its best in the early months of the year.

Cauliflowers sit on display at a farmer's market in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2010. Rising food costs threaten economic growth and are frustrating efforts to tackle global poverty and hunger, OECD Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurr’a said. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Unfortunately, consumption of this versatile and wonderfully textured brassica has fallen off in the UK in recent decades, due to it being supplanted by broccoli in the nation’s affections. It was introduced to India by the British in colonial times and one happy outcome was the discovery that cauliflower, or gobi there, is an excellent ingredient in vegetarian curries, especially as a vehicle for other flavour.


Simply delicious

This is my favourite cauliflower curry, adapted from a recipe in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking. It’s an easy winter warmer.



2 large potatoes

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander powder

Half tsp tumeric

Half tsp fenugreek

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp chilli powder

Tin of tomatoes

750ml water

1 tsp salt

200g frozen peas


1. Dice two large potatoes and cut up your cauliflower into florets. 

2. Fry a teaspoon of cumin seeds until they brown, then add a tablespoon of coriander powder, half a teaspoon each of turmeric and fenugreek, one teaspoon each of cumin and chilli power. Fry for 30 seconds. 

3. Add the vegetables and gently fry for five to 10 minutes until coated with spices.

4. Add a tin of tomatoes and fry for another five minutes before adding 750ml of water and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. 

6. Add 200g frozen peas, test for salt and spice heat and cook for a further three minutes.


7. Serve with rice and enjoy.