Ruby Goss

Senior Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

The best thing about receiving community submissions is seeing all corners of the earth on a plate, with recipes coming in from cooks around the world. This week’s community pick, a recipe for cauliflower curry made with the fragrant seedy-spice mix panch phoron, comes courtesy of our community member ‘swarnavadlamani.’ It’s a delicious vegetarian main, served with rice, that brings the kind of warmth we’re all looking for at this time of year.

Cauliflower curry with panch phoron

Cauliflower curry with panch phoron

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Panch phoron is a blend of spices used in Eastern India, Bangladesh, and Southern Nepal that is made up of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek, nigella or onion seeds, and fennel seeds. Though you can purchase a pre-made spice mix, it’s easy enough to make at home and mix as needed using equal parts of each seed. Unlike other spice blends (have you met our handy collection of homemade spice mixes yet?) these spices are used whole and don’t need to be ground.

Tips for perfect curries:

1. To really unlock their fragrances, spices should be ‘bloomed’ or ‘tempered’ in hot ghee or oil to begin with. This is a rule of thumb that extends to many of the world’s cuisines, whether you’re perking up your pasta with fennel seeds or making the base for your palak paneer.

2. Though a dish like this can come together in about 30 min., we recommend going low and slow for a richer, more flavorful dish.

3. Don’t serve spiced dishes piping hot, as it tends to dull the flavor, instead let them cool a little before serving to really enjoy the range of flavors.

4. It’s no secret that curries taste better the next day. As they sit overnight, the complex flavors intensify—so make a little extra for lunch the next day.

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