Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Cauliflower Curry – Two Ways: Pakora and Bharta.

It’s obvious really, but still surprising how you can cook the same vegetable in two different ways and end up with totally different flavours and character!

Here’s a fab. way to use a cauliflower to create two different curries that complement each other deliciously.

cauliflower curry: pakora and bharta


Pakora are small vegetable pieces dipped in a thick ice-cold batter and quickly fried.

Bharta is pureed vegetables, cooked gently and infused with spices.



Amply serves 2


  • 1 medium cauliflower approx. 250 gms.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3 tsbs. vegetable ghee or hot oil such as  grapeseed.
  • 250 ml. water, or non-dairy milk ( I used oat milk)


  • 80gms. chickpea/besan/gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 80-90 ml. ice cold water


  • Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and slice in half.
  • Wash the cauliflower.
  • Cut half of the cauliflower into small florets, removing most of the stalk.
  • Peel and roughly chop 1 onion.
  • Place the onion, the excess cauliflower stalks and the other half of the cauliflower in a food processor and blitz until it forms a crumb.
  • Grind 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. chilli powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper corns and 1 tsp. salt in a grinder to form a smooth powder.
  • In a deep-sided pan on a medium-high heat, heat 3tbs. ghee/oil.
  • Add mustard seeds: sauté 20secs. until they sizzle and pop.
  • Add blitzed cauliflower/onion : sauté 2 mins.
  • Add ground spices : sauté 1 min.
  • Add 250ml. water/ or non-dairy milk.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, cover and  simmer very gently 30-40mins, until the cauliflower is soft and tender.

Prepare the batter:

  • Grind the seeds, spices and salt together to a fine powder.
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • When ready to prepare the pakora, add iced water slowly until you have a smooth thick batter.
  • Drop the cauliflower florets into the batter and stir to coat evenly.
  • In a wide pan, on a high heat, add about 1 cm. hot oil, such as grapeseed oil.
  • When the oil is hot (a breadcrumb should sizzle immediately when dropped in the pan) – drop in the pakora leaving enough space for them to fry successfully.  Fry for about 2-3 mins. on each side until golden.
  • Meanwhile, a few minutes before serving, turn up the heat under the bharta and remove lid to drive off excess moisture.

Serve with rice, or flatbreads, a raita yogurt dressing, lemon slices and sweet chutneys.








4 thoughts on “Cauliflower Curry – Two Ways: Pakora and Bharta.”

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