Mustardy cauliflower cheese

Comfort food comes in all types of guises, and to be honest, cheesy comfort is a good thing all year round. This Ottolenghi recipe is a a neat take on a Brittish classic. The use of black mustard seeds, chilies, mustard powder, curry powder and cumin seeds give it a real Indian vibe.


  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 250 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 125 g mature cheddar, grated
  • 15g parmesan, grated
  • Himalayan Salt
  • 15g panko
  • 5g parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Cut the cauliflower is medium sized florets and steam over boiling water for five minutes, until just softening, remove and set aside.
  • Clean and finely dice the banana shallots.
  • Clean and deseed the green chilies and slice them very fine.
  • Pour the olive oil in a small pan and and sauté the finely diced shallots on medium heat for eight minutes, until soft and golden.
  • Add the cumin seeds, curry and mustard powders, and the sliced chillies, and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the mustard seeds, cook for a minute, then stir in the milk, half of the cheddar, all the parmesan and half a teaspoon of salt. Simmer for a minute or two.
  • Put  the corn starch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold milk and stir until smooth paste forms. Now whisk the slurry into the hot, simmering sauce. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the fire, add cauliflower. Stir gently.
  • Pour the mixture into a large oven dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix the panko, remaining cheddar and finely chopped parsley. Sprinkle over the cauliflower, then bake for eight minutes, until bubbling and hot.
  • Brown under a high grill for two to four minutes, until the top is golden and crisp . mustardy cauliflower cheese