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Recipe: Curried Cauliflower Lentils With Cucumber Raita

Level up on the spices to give this healthy dish an extra kick

Recipe curried cauliflower lentils with cucumber riatta

You’ll often find this flavorful dish on the menu at your favorite Indian restaurant. If you like your food spicy, use the Madras curry powder called for; if not, try a milder version. No matter what, your dish will benefit from the chilled raita, a yogurt-based condiment that offers a cooling counter-balance to spicy hot Indian food.


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Cucumber raita

1 cup non-fat yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely minced
2 scallions, white parts and 2 inches of the green, finely minced
1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
Kosher salt, optional
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed

Curried lentils

1 cup dried brown lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced, optional
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder, or to taste*
1 pound small cauliflower florets
1, 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice

*For a milder curry, decrease this amount or use regular curry powder instead.


  1. Combine all of the raita ingredients in a small bowl. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  2. Place the lentils and 3 cups water in a pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a non-stick Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic and chile, if using. Saute until the vegetables are limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cauliflower and tomatoes with their juice. Cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Drain the lentils and gently stir into the cauliflower mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl and offer the raita to spoon on each serving as desired.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 6 servings

Calories: 200 (11% calories from fat)
Total fat: 2.5 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Protein: 14 g
Carbohydrate: 34 g
Dietary fiber: 14 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 80 mg
Potassium: 653 mg

Raita only:

Calories: 20 (0% calories from fat)
Total fat: 0 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 4 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 25 g
Potassium: 55 mg

Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books).


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