I love the aromatic sweetness of this curry. You can balance the flavours as you wish: if you really crave heat, add another chilli; if you don’t, remove the chillies altogether. As it is, this recipe gives a little warmth, but not too much spice. Serve it with a classic mango chutney or the Green Chutney on page 134.
3 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
3 tbsp ground almonds
4 tsp garam masala
6 tbsp olive oil
1 whole cauliflower
6 garlic cloves, crushed, or 3 tsp garlic paste
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp ginger paste, or 4cm piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
a large pinch of salt, plus extra to season
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 x 400g tin of full-fat coconut milk
½ vegetable stock cube or pot
400g spinach leaves
1 lemon, zest and juice
freshly ground black pepper
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)
a handful of flaked almonds
a few coriander leaves
a handful of pomegranate seeds
Heat the oven to 220°C.
Place the desiccated coconut and ground almonds on a baking tray and roast for
5–6 minutes, until toasted. Remove and set aside.
Mix 3 teaspoons of the garam masala with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season well and use to coat the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower on a baking tray and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, until dark brown.
While the cauliflower is cooking, put the garlic, onion, ginger, chillies and the large pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and pulse to a rough paste. (Alternatively, put the ingredients in a bowl and use a hand-held stick blender.)
Place a saucepan on a medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. When hot, add the paste and cook for 4–6 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t catch or burn. Put a lid on the pan (or use foil if you don’t have a lid) and simmer for 5–10 minutes to allow the aromas and flavours to intensify.
Combine the spices, then add them to the pan and stir. Cook, uncovered, for a few minutes, then add a dash of water.
Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, stock cube or pot, spinach leaves, lemon zest and juice and toasted coconut and almonds, then simmer on a high heat until the spinach wilts. You can serve the korma like this if you prefer, but I like to tip the whole lot into a food processor (or use a hand-held stick blender) and blend everything to a beautiful, green sauce.
When the cauliflower is ready, break it into florets and divide it between individual serving bowls. Spoon over the sauce and top with a sprinkling of almond flakes, coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds, if you like.
Life Kitchen by Ryan Riley (Bloomsbury Publishing, £22) is out now. Photography by Clare Winfield.
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