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Cauliflower Stew

From the kitchen of Classical Turkish Cooking − Ayla Algar.

A dish that was first prepared for me by the lovely Kumbu Kim. It is simple, but warming, light and delicious.

Serve with basmati rice and maybe a little Sweet Thai Chili Sauce to spice it up.


  • 1 cauliflower (2 pounds or ca. 1 kg)*
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/3 pound (ca. 150 grams) ground lamb, beef or poultry*
  • 3 sprigs thyme**
  • 3 sprigs marjoram**
  • 1.5 cups meat/chicken stock or water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Flat-leaf parsley

*I don’t really measure these ingredients. I just use whatever I have – any cauliflower and the standard-sized package of ground meat. The recipe is not very fussy.

**I use dried herbs if I don’t have fresh, which is often. Especially in the winter.


  1. Remove the stalk and leaves from the cauliflower. Blanch it in boiling salted water just a few minutes. Refresh with cold water and set aside.***
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy pan and cook the onions until they begin to brown around the edges.
  3. Add the meat and cook, stirring until it browns.
  4. Divide the cauliflower into florets and stir into the pan.
  5. Add herbs, meat/chicken stock or water, salt and pepper; cover and cook gently for 30 or 40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  6. Five minutes before the cooking is finished, stir in a handful of parsley.
  7. During cooking check for liquid and add some if necessary. Adjust seasoning, take out the herb sprigs and serve hot.

I like to serve it with basmati rice and maybe a little Sweet Thai Chili Sauce to spice it up.

***I almost never blanch the cauliflower. I break it into florets and add it to the pot after I finish browning the onions and meat. I don’t like the cauliflower to get too mushy.

Published by kath on