Korma with Parsnips and Cauliflower

The cool autumn weather makes me crave creamy, spicy dishes. I’ve experimented with many korma dishes and felt an urge to play with some new ingredients last night for the first time: cauliflower and parsnips.

I’ve harped on the limits of cauliflower as a vegetable, but the bold flavors of korma give it life. The carrot as a root vegetable appears frequently in korma dishes, but I’ve never seen the parsnip, its close cousin, among recipe ingredients. A good korma often balances sweet flavors from green peas and carrots, aromatic spices with subtle heat and heavy cream, coconut milk or cashew cream. I love the sweetness of oven-roasted parsnips and figured . . . why not korma? The cinnamon and ginger in this dish just felt right with parsnips.

The vegetables in this dish must be added in stages to allow them to cook properly and absorb the spices. For this recipe, I tried a method new to me for cashew cream. I’ve softened cashews with cold water to great success. This time I substituted vegetable stock to add some subtle flavor.

We enjoyed the results of this korma with new vegetable combinations. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. What vegetables do you like to use?

Korma with Parsnips and Cauliflower

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 thumb digit length of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced lengthwise and halved
  • 1 large parsnip, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 large carrot, chopped into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf (curry leaves if you have them)
  • 1/2 can (14 oz) of whole tomatoes, puréed in blender
  • 1/2 can (14 oz) lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets of a consistent size.
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • Sprigs of fresh cilantro


  1. Pour vegetable stock over raw cashews and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  2. Cut all vegetables from onion to carrot and cauliflower.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Add aromatics (onion, garlic and ginger) and toss until coated with oil. Add peppers sautée all veggies until they begin to soften.
  4. Add carrots and parsnips. Toss together and cover with lid for 8-10 minutes on medium low heat.
  5. Toast the cumin, nigella and coriander seeds in a dry skillet. Remove to a mortar and crush with pestle.
  6. Place cashews with stock in blender and purée into cream.
  7. Add all spices to vegetables in the skillet and mix until they bloom with fragrance. Add puree, crushed canned tomatoes, coconut milk and water to vegetables.
  8. Fold cauliflower and green peas into korma skillet. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and cover for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Test cauliflower for tenderness and then serve over basmati rice with cilantro garnish.

If you like this recipe, try my Chicken and Vegetable Korma.

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