Phulkopir Malaikari: Cauliflower in coconut milk

Here is this delicious Cauliflower recipe where the cauliflower is cooked in a coconut milk gravy. Adopted it from my fellow blogger Priyadarshini’s recipe, this spicy, mildly sweet vegetable with a hint of coconut milk is super liked by my family members. Goes well with rice. You may also have it with Roti or Paratha. A pure Bengali delicacy, it’s close cousin is the famous Prawn Malaicurry.


  • Cauliflower – 1 large
  • Minced onion – 1 cup
  • Minced garlic – ½ tsp
  • Minced ginger – 2 ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder –  1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Thin/light coconut milk – 250 ml
  • Salt to tast
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard oil
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Whole spices
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Whole Dry Red Chilies
  • Cumin – ½ tsp
Cut the washed cauliflower in large florets and in a bowl keep the florets immersed in water to which you have added a little salt and turmeric powder. Leave for a hour, drain, and rinse and the cauliflower once more.

Now heat mustard oil in a deep bottomed pan and toss in the cauliflower florets, sprinkle a pinch of salt  and fry until they are a deep golden.  Keep aside.


In another pan, heat 2 tbsp mustard oil and I tsp ghee. Once hot, add the whole spices.


Once they splutter and exude their aroma, add the minced onion, fry a little then add garlic and ginger. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a little sugar. Fry until oil separates.

In a small bowl make a paste with the turmeric, chili powder and cumin powder and a couple of tablespoons of water. Add it to the onion-garlic-ginger.


Fry until oil separates. Add chopped green chilli and a cup of hot water.


Add the fried cauliflower, stir well to coat the cauliflower with the spices. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes until cauliflower softens.


Add coconut milk and some more slit green chilies. Bring to a boil. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Cook on medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Once oil begins to gleam around the edges, drizzle a little ghee and garam maala powder and take it off the heat.


Serve hot with Roti or plain rice.