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Cauliflower Leaves and Stems Recipe (Raita)

This cauliflower leaves and stems recipe is inspired by Indian raita. Raita is  a type of a salad or a dip, where yoghurt is mixed with herbs, spices and sometimes vegetables. A classic raita is prepared with the addition of cucumbers or a bottle guard. These vegetables, however, can easily be replaced with a cauliflower stem. 

In our video recipe Srikant is demonstrating how to prepare cauliflower leaves and stems for the recipe, and how to temper it with the spices correctly. 

This recipe is a part of our Zero Waste Cooking Series. To learn more about cooking with no waste check out our recipes for beet tops and watermelon rind curry.


  • 1/2 cups of caulilflower stems
  • 2 cups of yoghurt
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 fresh green chilli (optional)
  • salt to taste


Step 1. Separate the cauliflower stems from the cauliflower head and discard the hard parts of the stem, as they can’t be eaten. Wash them thoroughly.

Step 2. Steam or pressure cook the stems and the leaves together until they are ready. It will take about 8 mintues of steaming for the stems and leaves to be nicely soft, but not to loose their color. In a pressure cooker cook the stems for 3 minutes at high pressure

Step 3. Separte the leaves from the stems. In this recipe, we will only use the stems.

Step 4. Cut the stems in small pieces and mix with the yoghurt.

Step 5. Prepare the spice mix: make a smooth paste from green chilli, mustard seeds and ginger with a mortar and pestle. Add a bit of water to make the paste more smooth. Add the paste to the yohurt with the stems, add salt and mix everything thoroughly.

Step 6. Optionally, you can also temper the raita. The tempering process is explained in detail in the cauliflower leaves chutney recipe, as well as in the recipe video.

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