Kala’s Prawn and Cauliflower in Tomato Gravy

Though we’re past the Spring Equinox, good quality cauliflower is still available. The tomatoes are also luscious. In Tamil Nadu, cauliflower is rarely combined with prawns, so I decided to experiment combining the two with tomatoes. The crisp texture of the fried prawns and the turgor of cauliflower add an interesting mouthfeel to the dish.


Kalas Prawn and Cauliflower in Tomato Gravy - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Prawn and Cauliflower in Tomato Gravy

It goes very well with naan, but not chappati. It also makes a great side dish for my Easy Peas Pulav.

Nutritive Value

The prawns in this preparation give very good quality protein at 19 g/100 g. The cauliflower is a medium source of vitamin C and a good source of Choline. The tomatoes provide vitamin C and antioxidants. Therefore this is a high protein, moderate energy, and vitamin-rich dish.


  • ¼ kg Prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1 small Cauliflower
  • 6 medium-sized Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 3cm piece Ginger, grated
  • ¼ C Coriander Leaves
  • 1 T Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Sombu (Aniseed) Powder
  • ½ tsp Pepper Powder
  • ½ tsp Caraway Seeds (Shahjeera Seeds)
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • ¼ C Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Salt, or to taste


  1. Marinate the prawns in one teaspoon salt and the lime juice for 30 minutes.
  2. Break the cauliflower into small florets. Soak in salted water for 15 minutes, then wash.
  3. Pulse the tomatoes at speeds 1 and 2 for 10 seconds each.
  4. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add the cauliflower. Boil for exactly a minute, drain and cool.
  5. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Fry the prawns on high heat till tender. Remove and drain.
  6. In the same oil, fry the caraway seeds. When they crackle, add the garlic and fry on low heat.
  7. When the garlic is soft but not brown, add the onion and stir till the onion is translucent.
  8. Add the tomatoes and rest of the salt. Cook till the gravy is reduced to half.
  9. Add all the spice powders (chilli, turmeric, cumin, sombu, and pepper) and the coriander leaves and ginger and stir.
  10. If the tomatoes become dry but are still not cooked, add a few tablespoons of water and stir until they are cooked.
  11. When the gravy and the spices have blended well, and the full flavour is developed, remove from heat.
  12. Arrange the prawns and the cauliflower in the serving dish.
  13. Pour the tomato gravy over it and serve.


  1. Cauliflower is soaked in salted water to for 15 minutes to kill or draw out any worms that it may have.
  2. Cook the cauliflower exactly for 1 minute. An overcooked cauliflower will develop a strong flavour and will clash with the prawns. It will also become mushy.
  3. I use Kashmiri Chilli Powder for its mild flavour and glorious colour. If you are using any other chilli powder use only half the amount.

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