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Cauliflower Curry With Spinach & Ginger (or Gobi Masala)

Cauliflower Curry With Spinach & Ginger (or Gobi Masala)

I first tasted curried cauliflower at the home of a good friend when I was about 15. When she was just a little girl, her family had spent several months living in Mysore, India, studying yoga and Indian music, and developing their love of Indian food. Among the many things they brought home with them was an enhanced understanding of spices and the knowledge of how to prepare ghee (the Indian version of clarified butter.)

Although I admit I was skeptical at first (since nothing in my life up to that point had prepared me to appreciate cauliflower and it may also have been the first time I’d ever tried Indian food), all my doubts vanished at the first bite. What a wonderland of flavors!

This dish manages to be both hearty and delicate at the same time. The mix of ginger, garlic and various curry spices give it pizazz and complexity, the cauliflower is surprisingly sweet, the potato makes it feel hearty and substantial, and the spinach lends freshness.


If ghee is not available you can use either clarified butter, instead (or canola oil if you don’t have time to clarify butter.) You can make this curry as mild or spicy as you like by simply adjusting the amount of chilies you use. I’ve included directions for toasting some of the spices whole as that will provide the best flavor, but you can also use the powdered versions. And you can also shorten the cooking time by steaming the potatoes and cauliflower ahead of time if you prefer; just remember not to add as much (or maybe any) water, as it won’t be required to help them cook.

Spinach and sautéeing onions, garlic, ginger, jalapenos

It goes very well with basmati rice, naan, or chapatis and a bowl of raita (yogurt and cucumber sauce) to cool it off.

Curried Cauliflower With Spinach & Ginger


* 3 Tbsps clarified butter or ghee (if that’s too much trouble, you can also use vegetable oil)
* 1 cauliflower, washed, dried, and cut into bite-sized pieces (you can use the stem as well as the florets, just cut off the ends and anything that seems too tough and cut into pieces)
* 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 1 large onion, thinly sliced
* 2 tomatoes, washed and diced
* 1 bunch of spinach, washed, dried, and with stems removed
* 2 tsps minced garlic
* 1 tsp chopped or grated ginger
* 1 tsp chopped jalapeno pepper or a pinch of dried chili flakes (optional and to taste)
* 1 tsp black mustard seeds
* 1 tsp whole cumin seed
* 1 tsp ground coriander
* 2 tsps garam masala
* 1/2 tsp turmeric
* Sea salt
* Cilantro as garnish
* 1 – 1 1/2 cups water or stock, as needed


1. If you do not have ghee on hand, prepare the clarified butter (see directions here.)

2. Toast the whole mustard and cumin seeds over medium heat in a small cast iron skillet with a little oil. Cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Remove from the heat and transfer the toasted seeds to a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder (this should not be very difficult.) Combine with the other spices.

3. Heat the clarified butter/ghee/oil in a wide sautée pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the onion, season with salt and sautée until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes until they begin to fall apart.

4. Add the ground spices to the pan and stir well. Throw in the potatoes and the cauliflower, add the water or stock, cover and cook for another 10-12 minutes until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.

5. Add the spinach leaves and cook until wilted. Taste the curry and adjust the seasonings as needed — you can add more garam masala, ground cumin seed, salt, etc. Serve garnished with cilantro.

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Read more: All recipes, Basics, Blogs, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Garden of Eating, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.


+ add your own
6:39PM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Yummy, will try it

4:23PM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Sounds tasty

12:15PM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:30AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

A healthy treat

3:03AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Thank you :)

2:31AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Thanks for the recipe.

1:15PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Oh, I'm so going to try this, thank you!

11:50PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Sounds delicious, thank you!

10:06AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

I have been roasting cauliflower with turmeric and paprika, which is wonderful. I can't wait to try this one. Thanks.

9:26AM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Lady fingers aka okra can be added in for that extra savory taste.
Maybe for some people, adding a little bit but not too much of coconut milk makes the taste a little bit smoother.

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Get out of here. Promoting vegetables for breakfast is a stupid idea. A plate of rolled oats or some…

Very original..thank you

Very creative. Thank you for the ideas.

Thank you, quite a few I didn't know.


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