Whole roasted tandoori cauliflower, slathered in a tandoori spiced yogurt marinade, makes for a unique combination of taste and presentation. This is a go-to dish for a vegetarian Thanksgiving or any feast where you want to make a bold statement with Indian flavors.
About the Recipe
A whole cauliflower, coated in a spiced yogurt blend, is baked to perfection until soft and caramelized around the edges. The result is a moist and flavorful cauliflower, boasting a delicious contrast between the creamy interior and the crispy exterior.
Bringing the whole cauliflower to the table on a pretty platter is a fantastic centerpiece to a vegetarian meal. I especially love to slice into the cauliflower and see the creamy white inside in contrast to the crispy yellow exterior.
Whether you’re aiming for a non-traditional addition to your Thanksgiving feast or an Indian-Western fusion gathering, the roasted tandoori cauliflower will leave a lasting impression. This creative dish is visually appealing and a nutritious addition to the table.
Cauliflower – the main ingredient in this dish. In Hindi it is called “phool gobi” – a popular Indian ingredient, an everyday Indian vegetable. Cauliflower is a vegetable that only exists through cultivation, introduced from England in 1822 by Dr. Jemson, In-charge of Company Bagh, Saharanpur, U.P.
Yogurt – this is a tandoori spiced marinade, and yogurt is the traditional carrier for the marinade. A cashew yogurt can easily be substituted to make it vegan; be sure to add a squeeze of lemon to add some acidity.
Garam Masala – the garam masala and other spices form a traditional tandoori spice mix. Alternatively, you can use a tandoori spice mix from a box.
Ginger and Garlic – add them separately, or use ginger-garlic paste
Red chili powder
Oven-safe pan – large enough to hold the cauliflower
Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower with Cilantro Onion Chutney
For the Cauliflower
- 1 medium cauliflower
- ½ cup thick whole-milk yogurt (Greek or Indian yogurt)
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chili powder or to taste
- 1 Tbsp grated beet optional, for color
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
For the Cilantro Onion Chutney
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup mint leaves or substute 1 tsp dried mint leaves
- ½ small red onion roughly chopped
- ½ cup yogurt
- ½ Serrano chili or to taste, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- Rinse and dry the cauliflower and cut off the leaves and core.
- In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the cauliflower.
- Brush the yogurt mixture all over the cauliflower. Make sure to get into all the crevices and don’t neglect the underside.
- Set the cauliflower in a casserole dish or cookie sheet and then in the fridge to marinate for an hour or two. You can leave it in the fridge for up to eight hours if you want to prep earlier.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Transfer the cauliflower to the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until a knife inserted into the middle goes in easily.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
For the Chutney
- Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
If you’re short on time, it’s okay to skip the marinating. It’ll still taste good.
(Originally published 2/4/2014 with major updates 11/15/2023)