Indian-Style Sauté of Cauliflower and Greens

(recipe, Deborah Madison)


I am indebted to Joe Evans for this dish, which marries the rich aromas of a curry with the speedy lightness of a stir-fry. The ghee is important to this dish for its flavor and high heating point. Serve with naan or pappadums.


  1. 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. ¼ cup clarified butter or ghee
  3. 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  4. 1 small cauliflower, quartered and thinly sliced, including the stem
  5. Salt
  6. 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  7. ½ tsp. turmeric
  8. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  9. 1 tsp. ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  11. 1 bunch spinach, stems removed
  12. 1 bunch watercress, large stems removed
  13. 1 small carrot, grated
  14. Juice of 1 lime
  15. Several pinches of garam masala
  16. Cilantro sprigs for garnish


  1. Steam the potatoes until tender. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until well browned, about 12 minutes. Remove and set aside. Melt the remaining butter in the same pan over high heat. Add the cauliflower, season with salt, and sauté until it begins to color in places, about a few minutes. Return the onion to the pan and add the garlic, spices, and potatoes. Lower the heat and cook until everything is heated through, about 4 minutes. Add the greens, carrot, and ½ cup water. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted, about a minute. Season with lime juice and a few pinches of garam masala, then turn onto a platter and garnish with the sprigs of cilantro.


Culinate editor's note: For a main dish, serve this recipe with steamed rice and a quick raita of plain yogurt, chopped cucumber, minced cilantro or mint leaves, salt, and pepper.