Cauliflower Curry

Easy vegetarian cauliflower curry with lots of turmeric! Potatoes, tomatoes, and peas join the cauliflower in this dish that takes just 30 minutes to make.

Shahi Cauliflower Curry
Sally Vargas

Many years ago, I ran a vegetarian restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana. One of our Indian friends and customers gave me this recipe, which I’ve revised over the years. (Thank you, Santosh, wherever you are!)

This is a nice curry for a weeknight since it doesn’t involve too much heavy lifting. There are many versions in India, of course, but this one makes a substantial vegetarian meal.

The official name for this dish is "shahi" cauliflower curry. The word shahi roughly translates as "royal," and it is indeed a royal dish!

Shahi Cauliflower Curry
Sally Vargas

Turmeric is the lead spice in this curry. It's what gives the curry its sunny yellow color, and there's evidence that it has anti-inflammatory properties. It's the superfood of spices.

By the way, here's a good trick for cutting apart the cauliflower, which I learned on the job at my first restaurant near Woodstock, New York. Our friendly neighbor, chef, and mentor taught us to cut a deep cross at the base and then separate the head into quarters. Slice away the core and outer leaves. Then, with a paring knife, cut between the little “branches” to make florets.

Serve this easy vegetarian curry with naan bread, cucumber raita, and a salad, and dinner is done!

Cauliflower Curry

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 3/4 pounds)

  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 poblano chili pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons frozen olive oil

  • 1 cup frozen green peas

  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 limes, quartered, for garnish


  1. Boil the water:

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower and potatoes:

    While the water boils, cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cubes. To prepare the cauliflower, use a chef's knife to cut a deep cross into the base of the cauliflower. Place your thumbs into the crevice and pull the head apart into 4 quarters. Stand each quarter upright, and slice off and discard the core and outer leaves. Break or cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.

    Shahi Cauliflower Curry
    Sally Vargas
    Shahi Cauliflower Curry
    Sally Vargas
    Shahi Cauliflower Curry
    Sally Vargas
  3. Cook the potatoes and cauliflower:

    Carefully transfer the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender. (Total cooking time is 14 to 15 minutes) Drain into a colander.

  4. Make the curry sauce:

    In a blender or food processor, combine the water, onion, chili pepper, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and salt. Puree until smooth.

    Shahi Cauliflower Curry
    Sally Vargas
    Shahi Cauliflower Curry
    Sally Vargas
  5. Cook the curry sauce:

    Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked cauliflower and potatoes. Taste and add more salt and garam masala, if you like.

  6. Finish the dish:

    Stir the peas and tomatoes into the pot. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot. Just before serving, stir in the yogurt and reheat gently (do not let it boil, or the yogurt may curdle.)

    Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
223 Calories
6g Fat
38g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 223
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 232mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 72mg 358%
Calcium 130mg 10%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 912mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.