Jamie Oliver discusses his dream dinner party guests

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Jamie Oliver is gearing up to release a new cookbook, Together, and promises 120 recipes about “comfort, celebration, creating new memories and, above all, sharing fantastic food”. Before the book hits shelves, the chef has been asking his followers who their dream dinner party guests would be and what food they would serve. When sharing his own ideas for a feast, Jamie suggested cooking a curry. Here is his Gnarly Cauliflower Curry to recreate at home. 

Taking to his Instagram Stories, Jamie asked his 8.6 million followers “Who would be at your ultimate dinner party?” 

He then videoed himself revealing: “I have absolutely been loving your comments, your ideas on what you’re going to eat and all the people you’d want around your dinner table. 

“Just imagine if we could make this come true! 

“Okay, so I said I’d tell you mine if you told me yours. 

“So at my ultimate dinner party I think I would have Bob Marley and Shakespeare…right? Blended with Fanny Craddock the old school cook and Amy Whinehouse. 

“I’d have them around the table and we’d have a curry,” Jamie reiterated. 

“Just imagine that. A curry night with Fanny Craddock, Bob Marley, Shakespeare, and Amy Whinehouse – come on!

“Who wouldn’t want to be at that dinner party?” 

Over the years, Jamie has created many curries, but his Gnarly Cauliflower Curry promises a “great source of victim C and folic acid, which helps the brain function properly”. 

The recipe serves two and cooks in 50 minutes with a “not too tricky” difficulty rating. 

Ingredients for Jamie’s Gnarly Cauliflower Curry

One medium cauliflower (1kg)

Two heaped tablespoons of rogan josh curry paste

One red onion

Two cloves of garlic

150 g basmati rice

Two lemons

Half a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)

Pickled chillies (see tip – optional)

Extra virgin olive oil

Half x 400 g tin of light coconut milk

Four uncooked poppadoms

One pinch of dried red chilli flakes

Two heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt

Method for Jamie’s Gnarly Cauliflower Curry

1. Preheat the grill to high.

2. Trim the cauliflower, keeping aside any leaves, then halve through the core. Slice each half into three chunky slices, then place into a large ovenproof pan (30cm), ideally in one layer.

3. Rub the rogan josh paste over the cauliflower, then season with sea salt and black pepper. Tear the cauliflower leaves into the pan, then place over a medium heat on the hob. Pour in 500ml of water, so it’s just level with the cauliflower.

4. Peel the onion, cut into quarters and break apart into petals, then peel and finely slice the garlic, and place on top of the cauliflower. Bring to the boil, then leave to bubble away for 10 minutes.

5. Transfer the pan to under the grill, roughly five cm from the heat, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until gnarly, charred and cooked through, turning halfway.

6. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instruction with half a lemon thrown in, then drain.

7. Remove the pips and any pith from the cooked lemon, then very finely chop the flesh and rind. Pick the coriander leaves from one sprig and scatter over with a few pickled chillies (if using) and a splash of the pickling liquor, and finely chop and mix together. Drizzle with one tablespoon of oil, then put aside until needed.

8. Remove the cauliflower pan from under the grill, place over a medium heat, then pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring gently to combine – try not to break up the cauliflower slices.

9. One-by-one, puff up your dry poppadoms in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute each.

10. Pick the remaining coriander leaves and put aside, adding the stalks to a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt and the chilli flakes. Bash to a paste, then muddle in the yoghurt.

11. Sprinkle the coriander leaves over the curry, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the rice, then serve with the poppadoms, coriander yoghurt and lemon pickle. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges for squeezing over, then tuck in.

Jamie’s tips:

To make your own pickled chillies, finely slice six fresh chillies (he likes to use a mixture of green and red) and place into a clean, sterilised jam jar.

Season generously with sea salt and black pepper, add two tablespoons of caster sugar, then cover with cider vinegar.

Secure the lid, give the jar a good shake and leave to pickle, ideally overnight.

Store any leftovers in the fridge for jazzing up other dishes in the weeks that follow.

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