Recipe: cauliflower and potato coconut curry by Ryan Riley

This spicy dish is a restorative winter pick-me-up

Bowl of cauliflower and potato coconut curry
(Image credit: Craig Robertson)

If you need a pick-me-up this winter, do not underestimate the simple, restorative power of a curry, said Ryan Riley. This cauliflower and coconut version sings with fresh flavours, without detracting from everything that is welcoming and familiar in a bowl of warm curry deliciousness.

Ingredients: serves two

  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime, zested and quartered
  • 2cm piece of ginger root, peeled
  • 1 long red (Thai) chilli, destemmed, plus optional extra slivers to serve
  • 1 long green (Thai) chilli, destemmed
  • 1½ tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander 1 cinnamon stick (about 10cm long)
  • 1 x 400g tin of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 large potato (I like Maris Piper), peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 cauliflower, florets separated
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 100g coriander, finely chopped

To serve: boiled jasmine rice


  • Put the shallots, garlic, lime zest, ginger, both chillies, garam masala, curry powder, oil, ground coriander and a sprinkle of salt into a food processor and blitz until it's completely smooth.
  • Place the mixture into a large saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Give everything a stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and then place the pan over a low heat for about 20 minutes, until the mixture smells sweet and aromatic.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and then add the coconut milk and about 100ml of water and stir to combine. Add the potato, simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, then add the cauliflower. Stir well, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Finally, stir in the peanut butter and mix well until the sauce is combined. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Stir half the chopped coriander through the curry, then ladle it into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining coriander to serve. Serve with boiled jasmine rice, the lime wedges for squeezing over, and sprinkled with extra slivers of red chilli, if you wish.

Taken from "Small Pleasures: Joyful Recipes for Difficult Times" by Ryan Riley, published by Bloomsbury Publishing at £22. Photography by Craig Robertson. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £17.99, visit

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