Main Dish | November 2, 2015

Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowls

I am so excited for this vegetarian week! I’m from Texas, so I’m obviously a steak-grilling, brisket-pounding, burger-loving gal. BUT. I’m a changed woman. My husband and I lived in California for several years, so you know it was bound to happen. The hippies and the veggie-loving local-supporting crowd at the farmers’ markets and roadside fruit stands got to me. And I liked it.

Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowl on patterned cloth

Carly, one of the girls here at Oh So is a vegetarian, and I had several other friends that were vegetarian. Books were read, documentaries were watched, and I craved more Meatless Mondays and in essence, meat being served as a condiment instead of the star of the meal. There are so many more sources of protein besides meat. Grains such as quinoa and farro (pictured below), legumes like lentils (also pictured below), peanut butter, and beans, leafy greens (spinach and broccoli), and one of my favorites, eggs.

Red lentils come in this really pretty bright orange color, and cook down to an al-dente flavorful little addition to any salad, soup, or mixed bowl like in this dish. They take on whatever flavor you cook into it, just like farro. Farro is similar to rice, but a bit firmer and a tad chewier. They’re absolutely delightful! My kids love it. Very similar to quinoa in its fiber and protein content, but again, like quinoa, more nutrient-dense than rice (and pasta, obviously).

cooked lentils in bowl

One issue with vegetarian cooking is texture. If you’re cooking all vegetables and grains, sometimes you end up with one pan-texture, and it can be pretty boring. I love adding nuts to dishes like these, and the best way to add texture in my opinion, frying. Fry everything, always and forever amen.

These fried little cauliflower pieces are soft inside with a crunchy, salty, flavorful little crust. Perfect for popping in your mouth all by themselves.

Fried Cauliflower in bowl

This is a simple coconut curry sauce, which in my opinion, also makes everything better.

curry being mixed in pot

Throw in plenty of sautéed garlic greens because this is vegetarian week, and again, the protein!

greens being sauteed in garlic


Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowl

You’ll have yourself the most perfect little vegetarian dish and I promise, won’t miss the chicken.

Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowl on patterned cloth

Here’s to more Meatless Mondays and trying something new!

Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowl on patterned cloth

5 from 1 vote
Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowls
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

Delish vegetarian dish!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: fried cauliflower curry bowl, lentil curry bowl
Servings: 4 adult servings
Calories: 797 kcal
Author: Stephanie
  • 1 c farro medio, or emmer, or semi-pearled
  • 3 c broth or stock
  • 1/4 t salt depending on your stock
  • 1 c dry red lentils
  • 1 1/2 c broth or stock
  • 1/4 t salt depending on your stock
  • several large handful greens spinach, kale, collards, chard
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • handful toasted pinenuts
Red Curry Sauce
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 yellow onion minced
  • 1 T red curry paste
  • 1 t yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 t garam masala
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 c tomato sauce
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1 c broth or stock
Fried Cauliflower
  • 1/2 head cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T milk
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t ground mustard
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t dried parsley
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c flour
  • frying oil peanut or canola
  1. Cook farro by bringing 3 c broth and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add farro, reduce heat to low simmer and cover for 25-30 minutes, or until grain is al dente.
  2. Prepare sauce by melting butter in frying pan. Sauté onion over medium heat until translucent and soft. Add curry paste, curry powder, garam masala, salt, and black pepper, cook 1-2 minutes, or until well-incorporated and fragrant. Add tomato sauce, coconut milk, and broth. Simmer over medium/low heat until ready to serve and sauce has slightly reduced, darkened and thickened.
  3. Cook lentils by bringing 1 1/2 c broth and salt to boil, then adding red lentils. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 15 minutes, or until al dente.
  4. Fry cauliflower by preparing three dredging bowls and heating oil. In large frying pan, pour oil 1" deep and begin heating over medium heat. In first bowl, place 1 c flour and 1 t salt. In second bowl, whisk 2 eggs and milk. In third bowl, mix onion powder, ground mustard, garlic powder, salt, parsley, panko, and flour. Oil is hot enough when water flicked in begins to slowly sizzle (about 5 minutes of heating). Take several cauliflower florets and first dredge in flour/salt, then egg mixture, then panko mixture. Carefully drop cauliflower pieces into hot oil, they should immediately begin to sizzle, but not too violently. Pieces should lightly brown after 1-2 minutes, then flip over with metal tongs to fry other side. Once pieces are lightly browned, remove and let rest on paper towel-lined plate. Continue with remaining cauliflower.
  5. For sautéed greens, heat olive oil and minced garlic in frying pan over medium heat. Heat several minutes, or until garlic has softened and is fragrant. Add greens and cook until softened, another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Plate bowls by layering cooked red lentils, sautéed greens, and fried cauliflower over cooked farro, then topping with red curry sauce and toasted pine nuts.
Nutrition Facts
Lentil and Fried Cauliflower Curry Bowls
Amount Per Serving (1 c)
Calories 797 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 90mg30%
Sodium 3906mg170%
Potassium 1059mg30%
Carbohydrates 120g40%
Fiber 25g104%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 1960IU39%
Vitamin C 14.4mg17%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 10.4mg58%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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