• 600g cauliflower
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 2 medium onions finely sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, pounded to a paste
  • 2” peeled ginger pounded to a paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Splash of water
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • Generous pinch of saffron infused in about 2 tbsp of warm water
  • Coriander, to serve
  • Red onion slices, to serve
  • For the rice:
  • 500g basmati rice washed and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1L water or vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a mixing bowl add the cauliflower, turmeric powder, Greek yoghurt and salt. Mix well making sure all the pieces are well coated. Set aside and leave to marinate.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based pan and add all the whole spices. Add the onions. Sauté the onions on a medium heat for 10 minutes until they soften and turn light brown. Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry, stirring well for a couple of minutes. Add the powdered spices and cook for a further two minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower and stir well. Add the tomato puree and water and bring to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and cook for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Give it a stir halfway through. The sauce should reduce and coat the cauliflower pieces.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Ten minutes before the cauliflower is ready, bring a large sauce pan with a litre of water to boil. Add the rice, bay leaf, cardamom pods and salt. Bring to a boil and cook the rice for 7-10 minutes until three quarters done (the rice should have a slight bite to it). Drain the rice and set aside.
  5. Brush the base of a deep casserole with melted butter. Cover the base with a layer of rice followed by half of the cauliflower along with its sauce followed a drizzle of the saffron water. Follow with another layer of rice, the other half of the cauliflower and a drizzle of the saffron water. Finish off with a layer of rice and a drizzle of saffron water, the bay leaves and a few knobs of butter. Cover the dish with a tight fitting lid. Place the dish in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once done fork the rice gently, garnish with coriander and serve warm with onion slices.