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January 9, 2023 —

Recipe: Cauliflower and lentil curry

A warming and nourishing cauliflower and lentil curry recipe made with seasonal ingredients, perfect for cosy winter evenings
Cauliflower and lentil curry in a bowl
ingredients laid out to make a Cauliflower and lentil curry
Emma Harrel
Food photographer & stylist,
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A comforting curry that celebrates the versatile cauliflower. Cooked in a spiced creamy sauce, made from coconut milk, turmeric, garlic, and lots of delicious warming flavours it is packed with plenty of seasonal vegetables making it a nourishing dish, just what’s needed at this time of year!

The recipe uses both the cauliflower and its leaves. The leaves work really well in curries, or they can be baked so the edges go lovely and crisp. It’s a good way to use up all of the vegetable and minimise food waste.

You can enjoy this cauliflower & lentil curry served on its own in your favourite bowl, or with basmati rice. A roti would be a delicious accompaniment too for mopping up the sauce! I always love to serve curries with a dollop of mango pickle and chutney, too.hands holding Cauliflower and lentil curry in a bowl

Serves 4-6 | Cooks in 45 minutes


  • 1 tsp oil – oil (coconut oil if you have it)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 25g fresh ginger – peeled and chopped into matchsticks
  • 4 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 20 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 medium white onion – sliced
  • 1.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small cauliflower – cut into small florets and the leaves chopped
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes – quartered
  • 1 can of green lentils – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsps garam masala
  • 4 leaves/80g of cavolo nero or kale – shredded


  • 4 spring onions – finely sliced
  • Basmati rice to serve

Cauliflower and lentil curry in a bowl on top of a pale coloured napkinMETHOD:

1/ Warm a large, lidded dish with the coconut oil then add the mustard seeds and heat these for a minute or two. Add the ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring everything.

2/ Add the onions, turmeric and salt then cook the onions until they look transparent. Add the cauliflower and its leaves along with the tomatoes, lentils, coconut milk, chilli powder and garam masala. Place the lid on the dish and simmer for 40 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. 

3/ Check for seasoning, you might need to add some more salt. Add the shredded cavolo nero leaves and let these cook for 5 minutes.

4/ Ladle out into bowls, scatter with the spring onions if you’re using them, and enjoy!

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