Vegan Sri Lankan cauliflower curry

Vegan Sri Lankan cauliflower curry Candid Orange

Hannah Steiner shares with us a warming and fragrant cauliflower curry, perfect for those looking for authentic South Asian food with a vegan spin.

A friend of mine travelled around Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and picked up this delicious coconutty recipe along the way. This dish usually uses chicken thighs, but I have veganised it and opted for the ever-versatile cauliflower instead.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 thumb of ginger (about an inch)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 cauliflower, broken into bitesize florets
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 2 kaffir lime or curry leaves, torn
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds

To serve (optional)

  • Cooked rice
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • Pomegranate seeds


  1. In a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic, ginger and cardamom pods together until they form a paste, and set to one side.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss together the cauliflower, turmeric, chilli flakes and pepper until the florets are completely coated. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the cauliflower until it has browned slightly. Transfer back into the mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining coconut oil and the diced onion to the same pan and fry until soft. Then add the paste, cinnamon and fresh chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, add the kaffir lime/curry leaves, the fenugreek seeds and the cauliflower mixture, and season with salt to taste. Mix well, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice, and garnish with the coriander and pomegranate seeds, if using.

For advice on how to make the switch to a vegan diet, check out Hannah’s piece on her (plant-based) rocky road to veganism.