Cauliflower and Spinach Bhaji

This simple vegetarian curry is loaded with flavour and comes together in less than an hour – including the homemade paneer!
  • Prep time 15 (+60 in the fridge) mins
  • Cook time 30 mins
  • Yields 6

Tested by BT!

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  • Recipe Submitted By BC Dairy Association


  • 8 cups (2 L) milk
  • ¼ 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) fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground turmeric
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz/498 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) vegetable broth
  • 1 package (142 g) baby spinach, or frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • cheesecloth
  • strainer
  • bowl
  • cutting board and knife
  • large non-stick skillet


Homemade Paneer

  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 or until milk splits into white curds and yellow-clear whey; remove from heat. 
  2. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Rinse gently curds with water.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove cheesecloth; cut cheese into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices, then into cubes. 
  5. 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.


  1. While the paneer is in the fridge, in large saucepan set over medium heat, heat remaining oil and butter.
  2. Cook onion for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric; cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add cauliflower, stirring to coat; stir in salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in tomatoes and broth; bring to boil. 
  4. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  5. Add spinach; cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in reserved paneer until evenly coated.


  • When making paneer, if milk doesn’t immediately form curds 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. 

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