Recipe: Cauliflower, sweet potato and red lentil curry

There is a kind of alchemy in roasting cauliflower. After a spell in a hot oven, this usually mild vegetable takes on a nutty, caramelised flavour, which works well in this curry against the mellow sweet potato.


Serve the finished curry with rice or soft naan bread (or indeed both – I would never be judgemental about double carbs), with a sprinkle of nigella seeds and a handful of lightly toasted cashew nuts. If you’re craving a little more green, stir in a couple of large handfuls of spinach during the last 5 minutes of cooking.


Cauliflower, sweet potato and red lentil curry


  • 1 small head of cauliflower (400g-500g), leaves removed and cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2 large (or 3 – 4 small) sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
  • 100g red split lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • Sea salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C / 200 fan.
  • Place the cauliflower florets in a baking tin, toss thoroughly in 1 tbsp of the olive oil, and ensure the pieces are evenly spread over the tray.
  • Roast for 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, shaking the tin once or twice during cooking.
  • Meanwhile, heat the other tablespoon of oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onion, and soften for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the garlic and fry gently for a further minute.
  • Now add the sweet potato and lentils, along with the garam masala and turmeric, and stir through for a few moments.
  • Add the coconut milk and the water, and bring to the boil.
  • Once bubbling away, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  • The curry is done when the liquid has reduced and the sweet potato is tender. You may want to add a little salt.

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