Cauliflower and Spinach Bhaji

This simple vegetarian curry is loaded with flavour and comes together in less than an hour – including the homemade paneer, which is beyond easy to make and so delicious!


  • Large saucepan
  • Stove
  • Cheesecloth
  • Strainer
  • Bowl


  • 8 cups (2 L) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground turmeric
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz/498 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) vegetable broth
  • 1 pkg (142 g) baby spinach


  1. Pour milk into large saucepan set over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until steaming. Stir in lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute; remove from heat. Pour through cheesecloth-lined strainer. Rinse gently with water.
  2. Gather cheesecloth together and twist to make a ball, squeezing to release as much liquid as possible. Place in fine-mesh sieve set over bowl; top with large can. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Remove cheesecloth; cut cheese into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices, then into cubes. Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil in large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat; fry paneer for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer to plate; set aside.
  4. In large saucepan set over medium heat, heat remaining oil and butter; cook onion for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric; cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  5. Add cauliflower, stirring to coat; stir in salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in tomatoes and broth; bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  6. Add spinach; cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in reserved paneer until evenly coated.



  • When making paneer, if milk doesn’t immediately curd after adding the lemon juice, add up to 2 tbsp (30 mL) additional lemon juice until curds separate from whey.
  • Don’t throw the whey away! It’s a great source of vitamins and protein; add it to smoothies, use it to make pancakes, biscuits or bread, or use it in homemade salad dressings or marinades for meat.