Cauliflower Moilee Curry

Cauliflower moilee curry is a vegetable filled version of a classic South Indian coconut curry. This mouth watering curry is perfect paired with rice for a delicious and nutritious meal that happens to be vegan and gluten free!

Moilee curry is a delicious coconut based curry from Kerala. It’s typically made with fish, but the delicious creamy spiced curry sauce pairs beautifully with vegetables as well. To be honest, the sauce is so delicious on it’s own I would happily slurp it as a soup!

Coconut curries are common in Southern India, which is great for vegetarians and vegans. The sauces are typically already vegan! Leave out the meat, and throw in some veggies, tofu, or dumplings and you have yourself an extra tasty, extra flavorful, extra satisfying meal.

This moilee curry is laced with curry leaf, turmeric, cardamom, mustard seed, fresh ginger, and coriander. It’s got a mouth watering kick to it from a double dose of chiles, which is tempered by the coconut milk (and can be adjusted to suit your tastes).


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, or substitute vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1-4 fresh green chilis, to taste, leave whole for less heat or slice in half for more heat
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seed
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves (10-15 leaves)
  • 3 cardamom pods, smashed to split open
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 15oz can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime)
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and the cauliflower florets. Fry the cauliflower, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until they are lightly charred. Remove from pan.
  2. Add the second teaspoon of oil along with the onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, and mustard seed. Sauté until lightly caramelized and golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the curry leaves, cardamom pods, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and the teaspoon of salt. Stir in, and let fry for about 30-60 seconds.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk, and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the par-cooked cauliflower in the pot along with the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are softened and breaking down and the cauliflower is your desired level of tenderness. At least 5 minutes, longer depending on how you like your cauliflower.
  6. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Taste and add more citrus or salt as you like. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy as a stew or serve with basmati rice.

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