What some countries do best is inspire the world with their cuisine and ingredients. But olives are not the first ingredients that come to mind when thinking of South Asia.

The olive is one of those little delicacies that travelled back and forth on the old spice route and ended up in a few dishes.

Add the humble cauliflower to the exotic olive and you have a simple but delicate balanced dish.

Cut the cauliflower florets into chunky pieces and wash in cold salted cold water.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and lightly sauté the chunky cauliflower florets for 5-6 minutes until they are slightly browned.

Remove from the pan. Add the onions, chillies and garlic and fry until the onion has become yellow and translucent.

Then add the cauliflower and fry for a further 3 minutes until light brown. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt and garam masala. Stir and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Pop in the tomatoes and let it simmer for around 5 minutes.
Add 5 tbsp cold water, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and the olives. Serve hot.

Serves 2-3
300g cauliflower florets, cut into 4cm pieces
5 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garam masala
2 tomatoes, blended
1 tsp peeled and finely grated root ginger
10-12 black pitted olives

Words & Photography: Monir Ali umamistories.co.uk
Recipe: Manju Malhi at manjumalhi.com
Styling: Tracey Clark