Madras curry / Vegan cauliflower curry

Madras Curry

Pick up the menu in one of the Indian restaurants in the Non-Indian suburbs and you will find a surprising addition, Madras curry. Rather unusual by name and fame, this hot and spicy curry is a favourite among Indian cuisine lovers. Today we tried our version of this madras curry with cauliflower, pumpkin and snap peas.

Taste-testing the madras curry. 

Before we made our own, we decided to taste test the curry from a popular restaurant near us. No wonder, the lip-smacking curry is made at every restaurant,  it is damn delicious!! While choosing the curry we said medium heat! Thank God! The curry is certainly on the spicier side of curries (like vindaloo). We testes out at a different place the second time to receive a curry that literally burnt our mouth(quite unusual for Australia!!) Now we knew our flavour balance and it’s time to test it at home.

What makes restaurant curries so quick and tasty?

I have not personally worked in a restaurant, but here are some basic ideas. Most restaurants do not make curries in bulk and reheat! That will taste awful and is not customisable. Rather they rely on curry bases like the buna masala we made earlier. These are made a bit milder so that the heat can be adjusted. The flavours too based on the curry powders can be customised from the base recipe. In addition, sauteed onion paste and ginger garlic paste are the basic other ingredients that make a world of difference in the curries.
When these base ingredients plus the curry powders come together for a quick mix under high heat (and excess oil) it becomes a flavour bomb!

Fixing up this madras curry

If you have made a  couple of Indian curries you should not have any issues making this curry. The curry base is the same whether you choose meat or veggies to add to the recipe. Then comes the heat, assess which suits you better or add a little at a time to build up. Do a thorough prep work and madras curry is yours in no time at all.

Mixed veg curry with madras curry powder.
Here are the ingredients you need to get ready with and the step by step directions to get this spicy vegan cauliflower curry at home.

Madras curry

Try out this Lipsmacking Madras curry in a vegan, gluten-free option. Make this restaurant-style curry right at home to make your curry nights a success.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, International, Vegan
Servings 4 people


Vegetables needed.

  • 1/2 head cauliflower florets seperated
  • 4 wedges pumpkin diced as big chunks
  • 8-10 snap peas or beans

For curry base

for tempering

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 dry red chillies serrano pepper variety, spicy ones.
  • 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 2-3 pods garlic
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger root chopped.

for the gravy

  • 1 cup coconut milk thick
  • 1 cup coconut milk thin
  • 1 cup drinking water

Masala powders

  • 1.5 tbsp madras curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder avoid for mild curries, 1/8 tsp for medium curries.
  • salt to taste


  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped.
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves


  • Prep the veggies, ginger and garlic.
  • Set a deep pan on medium heat.
  • Add oil, fennel seeds, bay leaf, whole spices and cumin.
    tempering for madras curry
  • Saute till they turn aromatic,
  • Then add garlic and ginger and saute for a minute
  • To this add the smooth buna masala and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the madras curry powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric to this and mix well.
  • Add the thin coconut milk and mix well
    madras curry base
  • Add the chopped vegetables and 1 cup of water.
  • Cover and cook till vegetables are tender.
    vegan cauliflower madras curry
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, simmer and stir in the thick coconut milk.
  • Let this simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add chopped cilantro and kasuri methi ( optional) and the curry is ready to serve.
    Mixed veg curry with madras curry powder.
Keyword curry recipes, Indian vegetarian dinner, Winter warmers
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pair this madras curry perfectly.

The lip-smacking vegan cauliflower curry like this need a good flatbread to map up the juices. Go for thin phulkas or ghee parathas.
The rice on the side could be simple steamed rice or millet. Take it up a notch and add jeera rice or kalonji rice to the mix.
These spicy curries need something to cool your young with on the side. It is best done with the basic cucumber raita or bablimas raita.
Once you see curries it is natural to fill up quickly. Break down the binge with a good salad side on the plate. I love thakali sambola or kachumber on the side. You can choose a leafier salad to add.
To add to the classic restaurant effect, fry up some popadoms with a chutney.
Finish off this treat with some upgraded gajar ka halwa tarts or classic basundi.
This is the effect of madras curry.


The current theme for the Shh cooking secretly challenge is experiencing restaurant-style dishes made at home. This theme was suggested by Aruna Saras Chandra is one of the lesser-explored fields on my blog. The challenge was exciting as experiencing Indian food outside India is an entirely varied experience. With curries that are curated to cater to a different palate, it doesn’t feel own, yet is amazingly tasty. This Global experience is what I am exploring through this theme. So, get the naans ready!! 

My partner for this theme is Priya VJ, who has on her blog featured some tasty restaurant-style recipes. She chose coconut milk and cauliflower. The cauliflower instantly prompted me towards the vegetable Madras curry that I had tasted before. Enjoy the recipe. 


If you go looking for madras curry in south India you will probably end up with a bowl of sambhar. If you are visiting us, I will treat you to the fire blazing store one and then to my version. For you, you need to try it out for yourself.

Stay connected 

As usual share your thoughts and experiences with this restaurant-style Madras curry recipe in the comments below. If you happen to make this chocolate truffles recipe, don’t forget to rate it.
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Stay safe and see you at the next post. Wish you a great holiday season with plenty of edible treats.
Madras veg curry
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Priya Vj
2 years ago
Rating :

Simply loved the name Madras Curry . Nothing can beat the veggies being cooked in coconut milk . The classic flavors of this curry is what I can imagine now

2 years ago
Rating :

Madras curry looks very tasty, love to pair it with hot roti’s. Loved the way veggies cooked in coconut milk and aroma of buna masala in curry.

2 years ago
Rating :

This curry looks so inviting and delicious Seema. Love the veggies and with coconut milk it would just be awesome. Would love to enjoy with some Kerala paratha.

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
Rating :

Madras Curry sounds like a very flavourful and spicy curry. What I like is that one can use any veggies. Putting this recipe on my list to try out at home as I love coconut based curries.

2 years ago
Rating :

The bhuna masala definitely is a must have at restaurant kitchens, I guess. This unusual coocnut milk ‘madras’ curry is truly intriguing, sounds a but like bangalore saagu, yet distinctly different. a must try as I love working with vegetables.

2 years ago

I love the flavors in this curry! Coconut milk and spices make a lot of difference. This looks a very tasty one and goes perfectly well with roti or rice.

Sujata Roy
2 years ago
Rating :

I love coconut milk in curries. Madras curry looks so flavorful spicy and lipsmackingly delicious. Saving the recipe to try. Madras curry powder definitely makes the curry spicy and aromatic.

2 years ago

Madras curry looks so delectable and easy to make. The step by step pictures are so helpful to following a recipe.

Bachhav Poonam
2 years ago
Rating :

Madras curry with coconut milk and bhuna masala going in sounds flavorful ! Perfect to go with some hot phulkas and jeera rice .. yumm.

Jayashree T.Rao
2 years ago
Rating :

Madras curry makes a good accompaniment with any meal. The addition of coconut milk enhances the taste. Love this one.

Sasmita Sahoo
2 years ago
Rating :

ahaaa Just love this Madras curry with a vegan, gluten-free option. Coconut milk and the aroma of buna masala in this curry must be amazing.

Preethicuisine Preethicuisine
2 years ago
Rating :

Madras curry looks incredible. Any curry with coconut milk will definitely taste lip smacking . I love spicy curries and can’t wait to try this curry at home . Lovely Seema.

Swati Verma
2 years ago
Rating :

I love your version of cauliflower curry in South Indian style. Made with all the flavourful spices, coconut milk this sounds such a delicious and must try curry. Will love to pair with with jeera rice and relish it for lunch.

The Girl Next Door
2 years ago
Rating :

I absolutely love the look of this curry, creamy and delicious! The Madras curry powder must have made it burst with flavours, I’m sure, as must have the coconut milk. Would love to try this curry out shortly. 🙂

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