Malabar Mezhukupuratti (Malabar-Spiced Cauliflower with Ginger and Curry Leaves)



10 min


35 min



Malabar Mezhukupuratti (Malabar-Spiced Cauliflower with Ginger and Curry Leaves)

Photography by Erik Putz; Food styling by Ryan Barclay; Prop styling by Madeleine Johari

As much as this is an everyday recipe, don’t let the ease of it fool you in terms of taste. The flavours are a delight, with a robust infusion of gingery curry leaves that soaks into the cauliflower and potatoes.


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves , divided
  • 5 cm ginger root , finely chopped
  • 650 g cauliflower florets
  • 2/3 cup water , salt to taste
  • 280 g potatoes , cubed and boiled
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, then add the mustard seeds and let them sputter for 5 seconds. Add half of the curry leaves, along with the ginger, and fry for 20 seconds. Add the cauliflower and fry for another 4 min. Add the water and season with salt to taste.
  2. Cover, reduce the heat and cook for 12 min, stirring halfway through to make sure cauliflower doesn’t stick to the bottom of pan. Add the pre-boiled potatoes and pepper and simmer for a further 4 to 5 min, without the lid, until the cauliflower is cooked, stirring well so it doesn’t stick. Most of the water should have reduced at this stage.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the remaining curry leaves, along with the cilantro. Serve warm, with chapati flatbreads and some dal.

Curry leaves

Not to be confused with curry powder, which is a spice mix, this herb is sold dried and fresh, and is also called sweet neem. It’s used in many South Asian cuisines for its aroma and flavour: a mix of lemon balm, anise and allium.