Cauliflower tikka masala

I have never ever been a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s. I have all his books, which I gladly passed on to my Uncle when he wanted to learn to make quick and easy meals that didn’t require a lot of ingredients, especially since he worked all hours of the day and only like one thing. Bone curry… I have never tasted bone curry in my life either.

When I saw that Jamie had come out with a new book, I was in two minds on whether or not to go out and get myself a copy. I never really cooked a great deal of recipes from his other books, but where ever I went or whenever I turned on the TV, there the book was being advertised.

He even created a TV show about the book, even before I actually went out and got myself a copy. After watching one episode, I still wasn’t really convinced that I would purchase one, but while standing in the paying queue and Woolworths the other day, there the book was staring me in the face, screaming at me to buy it, so I gave in to my temptation and finally bought one.

What can I say, the recipes in the book itself, not a single one of them caught my attention and screamed at me to try it out, most of the recipes had some sort of cauliflower in even though the book said “Vegetarian,” it still contained eggs.

I came across a recipe that seemed super easy to make and although it contained cauliflower, I overlooked it and wanted to make it anyway. I was not very optimistic that this dish would go down well with my family; both parentals are not huge fans of the smelly vegetable that we all know as cauliflower.

I tweaked and adapted the original  recipe, seeing as non-Indian people can very seldom cook a lekker curry. I am not being funny, but I have tasted a many curry where they say they put curry powder in, but it just seems like they buy some weak concoction in the super market that makes the food more yellow than anything…I love a curry where at the end of the meal, your nose hairs have been burnt away from the burn.

I have come across a lot of non-Indian male friends that tell me they cook a mean pot of curry, but seriously I have seen them through an entire box of Rajah curry powder in the pot and turn around and say they have used curry powder… nope, curry powder is what you buy that is red in colour from the Indian spice store, mixed with different spices, blends and with names that can make you laugh out loud in the isle. That my friend is curry powder.

The verdict, surprisingly enough, my parents loved this dish, even my mother could not believe that there was cauliflower in there and she kept the left overs for herself, my poor had to take cheese bread to lunch the following day, my mum refused to share, not even with me. Mean I tell you.


  • 60g x plain cashew nuts.
  • Pinch of saffron.
  • 1 x tbsp. Mrs Balls chutney.
  • Zest of 1 lemon.
  • 2 x tbsp. plain yoghurt.
  • 1 x tsp paprika.
  • 200g x paneer, cubed.
  • ½ x head cauliflower, cubed.
  • 1 x knob butter.
  • ¼ x cup  plus 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 x cinnamon stick.
  • A few fresh curry leaves.
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 x tbsp. curry powder.
  • ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x tin crushed tomatoes.
  • Salt and pepper to season.


  • Place the cashew nuts, saffron, Mrs Ball chutney and 700ml boiling water in a jug.
  • Whisk together till the chutney dissolves.
  • Set aside for a few hours.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, yoghurt, paprika, salt, pepper and 1 x tbsp. olive oil
  • Add in the cubed paneer and cauliflower and toss to coat everything with the marinade.
  • Place the mixture on a greased baking tray and evenly spread out.
  • Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  • Pour the cashew nut mixture into a blender and blitz till smooth.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • In a pot, melt the butter with the remaining oil.
  • Add the onions , cinnamon stick and salt and saute till the onions are soft.
  • Add the curry leaves and toss.
  • Add the tin of tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and have released their water.
  • Add the blitz cashew mixture into the pot, give it a good stir and allow the mixture to come to the boil.
  • Add the spices and mix.
  • Add the grilled paneer and cauliflower to the mixture.

Cover and cook till the gravy has reduced and has thickened.

Tell me what you think of this recipe