cauliflower stew

I’m always in a battle when it comes to cauliflower. Cauliflower always gives me this nice set of straightforward arguments as to why I should not hate it. And I’m always replying with illogical responses like “but you make people burp – like ew!”

I don’t know what makes me love this dish so much now, because I don’t really like red meat, and I don’t like cauliflower. I think it’s just that slowly – overtime, as my mum made this recipe time and again, I gave in. I don’t “hate” cauliflower, I just hate it when people fry it and eat it (something done widely in Arab countries), or when they don’t serve it with a large amount of spices to overcome it’s cauliflower-ness.

Also referred to as “Syrian Cauliflower Stew” if it helps to know 🙂

Serves: 4-6


200 g minced meat

1 1/2 cauliflower heads

3-4 cloves crushed garlic

1/3 cup finely diced coriander

1.3 L water or thereabouts

1/2 stick cinnamon

10 peppercorns

salt, pepper, baharat



Wash and remove the leaves of the cauliflowers.

Break into large chunks, using a knife to assist you in cutting up the pieces from the core.

Heat up the deep fryer, when a piece of flat bread turns rosy, the oil is ready for use.

Pop in the cauliflower pieces, turning them within the oil frequently so they can evenly cook, be sure the core/stem is in the oil for a longer time than the top because the top cooks easily.

When the pieces are a faint golden colour, remove from the deep fryer and set aside to release excess oil.

In a non-stick tefal pot, add the meat and a large pinch of salt, pepper and baharat.

Cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat.

Add the cauliflower pieces into the pot, keeping their stems towards the bottom of the pot (almost like planting mini trees in meaty dirt – hehehe).

The pieces don’t all have to be in one layer, just be sure to put the bigger ones down the bottom.

Boil 1.3 L of water in a kettle.

Add enough of the boiled water to immerse the cauliflowers.

Break up half a stick of cinnamon and add to the pot.

Add the peppercorns and a large pinch of salt. Taste the broth, the salt content should be just over a comfortable saltiness.

Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 10 minutes.

Check on the pot’s contents stirring very carefully.

Reduce to medium and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Next add the coriander and garlic to the pot, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Dish up and serve with pita bread.

This dish is not eaten with a knife, fork or spoon – you rip up pieces of flat bread large enough to hold comfortably in 4 fingers, then you “clamp” onto a bite sized serving and munch along! Eat how you desire with a large dash of lemon juice and cumin.


12 thoughts on “cauliflower stew

      • misscorrigan says:

        They say third time’s a charm, so next time i will post about it. This time, so many dinner guests came over I didnt have time to ponder about it. (When maqluba is in the air, its likes honey to a bear.)

        Thanks for the reply, I love your site, it is exactly what I need right now.

  1. hotlyspiced says:

    I actually love cauliflower and have always looked forward to it as a great vegetable for winter. This is an interesting recipe and I’ll look forward to trying it when cauliflowers come in season.

  2. Good Cooks says:

    Love cauliflower, especially fried hahaha…Love the stew too but I like to add tahini sauce with some yogurt to the stock and with plenty of lemon juice as well.
    Thank you fati for the recipe.

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