The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
Jewelled Cauliflower  Rice Bowl
March 2023
Reading time 1 Minute

Kashmir is renowned for its produce, from an abundance of fruit such as apples, pears, pomegranates and cherries, to spices such as precious saffron, to vegetables, rice, wheat, barley and corn, to highly coveted cashmere wool

I wanted to design a recipe that captures this as well as bringing in the Persian and Mughal influences, with sweet and savoury flavours and celebrating a plentiful region.
  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower (approx. 400g of grated cauliflower florets – you can replace the cauliflower with freekeh or flattened poha rice, allow 60g of uncooked grain per person)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5g garlic, grated
  • 5g ginger, grated
  • 2 green cardamom pods (release the seeds and grind to a powder)
  • 1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 30–40g flaked almonds (or pistachios), toasted
  • 4 dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons golden sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon sour cherries, chopped (you could use barberries or cranberries)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds
  • Condiments
  • a drizzle of pomegranate molasses
  • yoghurt and walnut chutney (visit for recipe)
  • For the Yoghurt and Walnut Chutney
  • 1/2 a red onion, grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • 5g fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 200g thick Greek yoghurt or labneh
  • 25g walnuts, roughly chopped
  1. Grate the cauliflower using the coarse side of a box grater or pulse in a food processor until the florets resemble rice. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, wok or kadhai over a medium to high heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them release their aromas, then add the garlic and ginger. Allow these to turn lightly golden, then reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Add the ground cardamom, turmeric and salt and toast for a few seconds, then tip in the cauliflower ‘rice’. Stir everything together and see the white cauliflower turn golden with turmeric.
  4. Let the cauliflower heat through, then stir in the toasted almonds and dried fruit.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds, drizzle with pomegranate molasses, and serve with yoghurt and walnut chutney.

Yoghurt and Walnut Chutney 

The majority of India’s walnut (akhrot) production comes from Kashmir. I remember my granny would always have a stash of walnuts at Christmas, which is what I associate them with – as well as lychees, apricots, almonds, pomegranates and much more. These are all grown in Kashmir, which neighbours Punjab, and she had a knack for sniffing out the best produce. This chutney is served with rich wazwan meat dishes and is a lovely accompaniment to the seekh kebab opposite.

  1. Use a muslin cloth or similar to squeeze out the water from the grated onion, otherwise the chutney will be sloppy. Put the onion into a mixing bowl and add the finely sliced chilli, then chop the mint and chuck that in too, along with the salt.
  2. Finally mix through the yoghurt, followed by the walnuts, then taste and make any adjustments. Refrigerate until serving.

Desi Kitchen by Sarah Woods, published by Penguin Michael Joseph (£30) Photography by Liz & Max Haarala Hamilton

Desi Kitchen by Sarah Woods, published by Penguin Michael Joseph (£30) Photography by Liz & Max Haarala Hamilton

Buy here

This article contains affiliate links. We may receive a commission on any sales we generate from this piece.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.