Anjula Devi’s Cauliflower Koftas

Preparation time 40 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Serves 6

If you don’t like cauliflower, this is a dish which hopefully will change your mind!


  • 1 large cauliflower, rinsed and grated. Then laid out on a clean tea towel to absorb the water. Use the inner lighter green leaves too, which have lots of flavour.

For the Kofta

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 medium sized potato, boiled or baked in the oven. I prefer to bake.
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp mango powder
  • Stalks of one small bunch of coriander, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp pulped ginger
  • 2 tbs corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil to deep fry the kofta

For the Broth

Key Spices

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 1 inch piece of cassia bark
  • 1 Indian bay leaf
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes

Warming Spices

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 tbs sunflower oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tbs sundried tomato paste
  • 2 tsp pulped garlic
  • 2 fresh green chillies, pierced
  • 280 ml water
  • 2 tbs thick natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp grated jaggery
  • Sea salt to taste


  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped roughly
  • Zest and juice of one small lime


  1. Place a small dry sauté pan on a low heat and once warm, heat the cumin seeds and the coriander seeds for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and place in a pestle and mortar. Grind coarsely and set aside.
  2. Place a large sauté pan on a low heat, add the grated cauliflower and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Scoop out the contents of the baked potato and add to the bowl.
  5. Add the contents of the pestle and mortar and all the remaining kofta ingredients to the bowl.
  6. Mix and add sea salt to taste.
  7. Using clean hands to mix and blend all of the spices, you should find everything comes together and you will be able to form small golf ball sized kofta. If you find that the mixture is not holding, then just add a little more corn flour.
  8. Heat some oil to deep fry the kofta. Once the oil is hot, fry the kofta until a light golden-brown colour, for about 2 – 3 minutes. Drain the kofta and place on absorbent kitchen paper.
  9. To make the broth, place a sauté pan on a low heat, add the oil and once warm add the cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, cassia bark and Indian bay leaf. Allow to warm through for 1 minute.
  10. Add the onion and sauté until a light golden-brown colour.
  11. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli flakes, sundried tomato paste, garlic, green chillies, and jaggery. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
  12. Whisk the water and yogurt together, add to the pan bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a gentle simmer.
  13. Add the warming spices, simmer for 5 minutes and add sea salt to taste.
  14. Remove from the heat, add the fresh coriander leaves, lime juice and zest, and stir. Remember to count out the cloves.
  15. Place the fried kofta in the broth and place a lid on the pan. Allow the kofta to sit in the broth for 5 minutes before serving.
  16. Serve with chapattis (my preference) or rice.

Spice for Life by Anjula Devi includes meat and fish recipes too and is published by Clearview Books

Photography by Dan Jones.  Priced at £25 and available from Lakeland and all good bookshops. ISBN: 978-1908337-375