Cauliflower with Toasted Spice

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Think of cauliflower, think of cauliflower cheese. Cheese in any form has a natural affinity with cauliflower but so too do spices. Serve this punchy side dish with Indian food or perk up some plain grilled chicken. I’ve used the same fragrant mix of cumin, turmeric and hot chilli with other similar vegetables such as broccoli and spring greens.


  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 450g
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Break the cauliflower into large florets (bigger than bite-size) leaving some of the inner leaves attached. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the cauliflower in it for 4-5 minutes until almost tender but still with a bit of bite left.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, put the cumin seeds in a large deep frying pan or wok and stir over a high heat for 1-2 minutes or until the seeds begin to jump and smell fragrant. Add the oil, garlic and turmeric and continue to cook, stirring, over a high heat for 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Add the drained cauliflower to the pan and stir-fry for about 1 minute until the cauliflower is tender and coated in the spice mixture.
  4. Squeeze over the lemon juice then stir in the coriander leaves, if using, just before serving to preserve their bright colour and aromatic flavour.

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