Veggies Indian Style: Cauliflower and Sweet Potato

I was looking to make a quick and light supper the other evening before we headed to the gym, and was inspired by my recent foray into Indian cooking to try this cauliflower and sweet potato dish. It’s a variation on alloo gobi, the traditional cauliflower and potato dish that I’ve enjoyed a few times in Indian restaurants.

I found this recipe in Bal Arnason’s cookbook  Everyday Indian, and found it easy and fairly quick to make. I did find her cooking times rather optimistic, and I also needed to add more liquid than her recipe called for. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe and we were happy with how it turned out. The sweet potato was creamy, the cauliflower still had some bite to it, and the spices were mild and flavourful. And look at those colours – I love the palette of Indian cooking.

I must confess that my Garam Masala has been languishing in the spice drawer for a few years (albeit unopened) so it might not be as flavourful as it should be. I need to either try to make some from scratch or, at the very least, buy a new supply. It’s important to make sure spices are fresh, or their aroma and flavour will diminish. That said, I made this dish on the spur of the moment, so was glad to have some Garam Masala on hand, even it was somewhat anaemic!

Normally (as in when you’re not rushing out to exercise right after eating) this would be served with rice or rotis, or it could be a side dish to a larger meal. In our case, it was a great way to tide us over until we got home to have another light snack.

Indian Cauliflower with Sweet Potato

Slightly adapted from “Cauliflower with Yams” in Everyday Indian by Bal Arneson. Note, this recipe serves 4. I halved it for the two of us.

  • 2 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • approx 3/4 cup diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped into small dice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 large cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

Put the oil and onion in a large skillet and cook over medium high heat, for about 4 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add the ginger, cumin seeds, gram masala, turmeric and salt, and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes and juice to deglaze the pan, then add the sweet potato and water. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until the sweet potato is somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir so everything is well-mixed. Cover again and cook until the cauliflower is still somewhat crunchy. I found it took about another 15 minutes or so. Check periodically and add more water if necessary to maintain a small amount of sauce.

This was another successful addition to my fledgling repertoire of Indian cooking. I’m enjoying exploring a new cuisine, and the creative learning process that goes along with it. What Indian dishes do you enjoy making?


  1. Sounds great – apparently cauliflower has become unpopular lately, but I’m quite partial to them myself and in spite of being white, they do contain lots of vitamins 😉

    • Thank you for the compliment! I like it when I get those live action shots showing something bubbling, steaming or spinning. Doesn’t happen too often, but they’re all real – no fancy food styling tricks here. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • Cauliflower is one of my veggie faves too, and this is a great way to have it! (Have to admit, raw is probably my favourite though!). Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • I don’t know if cauliflower is trending or falling out of favour, but I like it! This dish is a great way to showcase it, and I love the combination with potato.

  2. Oh I know how good this dish can taste. Twice last week I made sweet potato and shredded white cabbage Indian wraps. So tasty. But I too like to go to gym at the end of my working days and as a result I miss on so many food photo opportunities!

    • Mmm, your wraps sound so tasty! I’m loving the long days now. It means I can take most of my food pictures out on the verandah overlooking the garden. The photos turn out so much better than when I’m taking pictures in the kitchen with no natural light. I took these photos in the front room, by the north-facing window, and was pretty happy with how they turned out.

  3. I’ve “rediscovered” cauliflower and have been eating it again, tho mostly roasted. This dish looks wonderful and if it tastes as good as your curry chicken & spinach, it’s a winner. The chicken dish was my dinner tonight & I loved it! 🙂

    • I’m a fan of cauliflower too, and really like it roasted. I used to cut all the florets off, but that was time consuming. I saw a method whereby you slice the cauliflower into ‘steaks’ and then add your oil and spices and roast it. Less time, and it looks cool. Nice to have a few different approaches up your sleeve. 😊

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