Roasted cauliflower with Punjabi Seasoning

Roasted cauliflower with Punjabi spices

When I was in my twenties, one of my standard dinner party side dishes was fried cauliflower with a Turkish garlic and yoghurt sauce. It was a recipe from one my cooking bibles Tess Mallos’s The Complete Middle East Cookbook and it was always a big hit, but how can you go wrong with fried cauliflower in any form it’s delicious!

A few winters back roasting cauliflower became the rage and I seem to remember roasting cauliflower every second night. It was a revelation, as good as fried cauliflower but with a fraction of the effort and oil. I made all my favorite fried cauliflower dishes using roasted cauliflower. My absolute favorite from that winter of roasted cauliflower was Nourish Me’s take on the Indo-Chinese classic Manchurian-style cauliflower. Although my obsession with roasted cauliflower has waned a little I still love it. This dish from Madhur Jaffrey does the same fried to roasted translation with a Punjabi style dish. It makes a super easy side dish and lifts a simple dal and rice meal out of the ordinary into a feast.

Roasted cauliflower with Punjabi spices

Adapted from Vegetarian India by Madhur Jaffrey

  • 1 head of cauliflower broken into florets ( about 3 cm x 5 cm)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice ( Half a lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon of peeled, finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
  1. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, tumeric and ginger and pour over the cauliflower. Mix in the salt, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and groundcoriander and fresh coriander. Marinate  for 1-2 hours tossing the cauliflower occasionally,
  2. Preheat oven 220C (200C fan-forced). Heat oil in a small pan and let sizzle for a few seconds. Pour seasoned oil over the cauliflower and toss well.
  3. Place cauliflower in a single layer on a large roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 15 minutes turn cauliflower and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes until cauliflower is lightly browns and is tender.


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