Fried Cauliflower with Coconut Curry Dipping sauce

 Originally inspired by the fried cauliflower dish at Datsun restaurant in Ottawa, I bring this restaurant favourite into your home with the simple and easy to follow recipe that is sure to impress all of your friends and family! If you are new to frying foods at home, make sure to use a large pot and a deep fry thermometer to keep control of the oil. Other than that, have fun creating and enjoying this recipe 🙂

Servings: 4-6

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time:  30 minutes   |   Cook Time: 15 minutes   |   Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into small florets (approx. 3 cups)
  • 4 cups sunflower oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus extra for seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Begin by preparing the dipping sauce. Add the olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat along with the yellow onion. Fry for 4-5 minutes or until the onions have turned translucent, but have not turned brown. Add the curry powder and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions cool completely.

In a food processor, combine the coconut milk, Greek yogurt, lime zest, garlic and salt. Pulse the ingredients to combine. Add the onion mixture to the food processor and process until completely smooth. Place the dipping sauce in a bowl/jar in the refrigerator while you prepare the cauliflower. *Pro-tip: the longer the dipping sauce sits, the more flavourful it gets- so make this ahead of time if you can!

To begin frying the cauliflower, pour the oil into a large pot so that it is at least 2 inches deep. I used a large cooking pot which required 4 cups (approximately 1 liter of cooking oil). Place over medium high heat, insert a deep fry thermometer, and bring the oil to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile prepare the batter. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, cumin, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl until combined. Right before the oil heats to 350 degrees F, add the egg yolk and water and mix everything together until combined.

Immediately dip the cauliflower florets into the batter making sure to fully coat them before dropping them into the hot oil. Fry the cauliflower florets in batches to ensure that the oil temperature stays high and to not over-crowd the pot. Fry the florets for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Remove the florets from the pot using a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Repeat for the remaining cauliflower florets. Pro tip: while frying the remaining florets, place the cooked florets on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in an oven set at 350 degrees F. This will make sure that the florets don’t get soggy!

Affter frying all the florets, toss the curry leaves into the oil and fry for 30 seconds or until crisp. Place them in a large mixing bowl once fried. Once the florets have been fried and are still warm, place them in a large bowl and add some more salt to season them along with the mustard seeds, jalapeno pepper slices and cilantro. Toss all the ingredients together to fully coat the florets. Serve with the dipping sauce immediately.