• 3/4 cup (150g) red lentils
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1.5kg cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, halved, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp good-quality mild curry powder
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 200g vine-rippened tomatoes, blanched, skin removed, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • Chopped coriander leaves, to serve
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


  • STEP 1
    Place lentils in a pan and cover with 2 cups cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until thick and creamy. Cover and set aside.
  • STEP 2
    Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add cauliflower and half the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • STEP 3
    Add remaining 2 tbsp oil and cumin seeds to hot pan, then, as soon as seeds start to sizzle, add onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until onion is soft but not browned.
  • STEP 4
    Add ginger, garlic and chilli, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, curry powder, coconut milk, cauliflower and tomato, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is just tender.
  • STEP 5
    Stir lentils and lime juice into the curry and season to taste with salt. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, then stir in coriander. Remove from heat.
  • STEP 6
    For the tarka, heat oil in a small frypan over medium heat, add spices and sizzle for a few seconds. Drizzle over the curry, cover and leave for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse before serving.

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