Tandoori Cauliflower and Lentil Daal

It's not all about meat when it comes to hearty meals. This vibrant recipe makes a really comforting mid-week dinner.


1 small-medium cauliflower

For the marinade

½ tsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp plain yoghurt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp garam masala

¼ tsp turmeric

Sea salt and pepper

3-4 tbsp olive oil depending on size of cauliflower

For the daal

1 large onion

1 tbsp coconut oil

100g red split lentils

3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped

12g fresh ginger, grated

2 green chillies, finely chopped

2 curry leaves

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp asafoetida

2 tsp lemon juice

1 can coconut milk

1 veg stock pot

100ml water

½ tsp garam masala

1 tbsp tamarind sauce

Salt and pepper

Serve with

Plain yoghurt

Coriander, finely chopped

Flaked almonds


Boil a large saucepan of salted water. Slice the cauliflower into 6-8 pieces. Add to a pan and cover with a lid then bring up to the boil quickly and cook for 2-3 mins. It should still be a little firm. Drain, rinse with cold water briefly to stop the cooking process and set aside to cool and dry.

Finely dice the onion for the daal and add to a medium sized saucepan with a 1 tbsp of oil. Cook for 30 mins on a low heat. The longer the better but keep an eye on it so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Stir to make a paste and season.

Add the cooled cauliflower into the marinade and make sure it's fully coated in the paste. I recommended using your hands to coat the cauliflower rather than a spoon so the florets stay in one piece.

Whilst the onion is cooking and the cauliflower is marinating, you can prepare the garlic, ginger and chillies and measure out the spices for the daal into a small bowl, leave out the garam masala.

When the onions look ready, add in the garlic, ginger and chillies then cook for 1-2 mins. Add in the spices (not garam masala) along with the lemon juice and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stirring to combine with the onions. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Add in the lentils and stir to coat in the lovely spice mixture. Add in a can of coconut milk, stock pot and 100ml of water. Leave to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes with the lid partially on. You will need to stir frequently to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan and you may need to add more water if it's looking dry.

Pre-heat the grill to a high heat (approx 250°C).

Add the cauliflower to an oven proof tray. Put under the grill for 10-15 minutes on the top shelf. Turn and grill for another 10-15 minutes on the other side. The knife should go through easily and should have a little char on the outside. Season with a little sea salt before serving.

When the cauliflower has been turned, add the tamarind paste and garam masala to the daal and stir. Taste for seasoning.

Serve the daal and place the seasoned cauliflower on top. Drizzle over the yoghurt, coriander and almonds.