Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices

cauliflower finalOut of all the Indian cookbooks on the shelf at the library (and there were quite a few), the cookbook that came home with me was American Masala, written by Suvir Saran. I was immediately intrigued by this fusion cookbook because Sam and I love integrating Pakistani-Indian spices into our regular ole American meals.

Here cauliflower—a vegetable I’ve roasted plenty of times with the standard American salt, pepper and thyme combo—takes on a new character when roasted with cardamom, chiles, coriander, cumin and black pepper. The cauliflower is tender as might be expected, and yet it’s also spicy and piquant. Honestly, I was quite bored with cauliflower and had almost given up on simple roasted cauliflower, but these spices have infused cauliflower with the bite I thought it lacked.

cauliflower diptych

cauliflower ingredients_620px

For a fuller vegetable variety, add potatoes, turnips or carrots to the mix. Enjoy alongside other Indian dishes such as Dal Roti or Chana Masala or serve with roasted spice-rubbed chicken.

Recipe adapted from American Masala, written by Suvir Saran.

Serves 8


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing baking dish
3 green cardamom pods
3 dried red chiles (optional, but highly recommended!)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 head of cauliflower (2 ½ to 3 pounds), cored and broken into medium florets
1 medium red onion, halved and thickly sliced
kosher salt

Make the Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices

Preheat oven to 425°F and grease a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil.

Combine the cardamom pods, chiles, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a blender or coffee grinder and grind spices until fine. In a small bowl, combine the ground spices and olive oil. Place the cauliflower and onions in the greased baking dish, drizzle with spices and toss the cauliflower and onions with your hands to fully coat them with the spiced oil.

Roast the cauliflower and onions until they are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir halfway through to ensure even roasting. Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve.

2 Thoughts on “Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices

  1. Hooray! New life for a tired vegetable! I am going to check out my spices and keep them handy for the next cauliflower that comes into my kitchen. Thanks for the simple facelift on an old friend.

  2. I can see from the size of your cauliflower that it must be organic. These are usually more tasty. I agree, cauliflower pairs super well with spices. The other way I cook it is with broccoli, garlic and red bell pepper. I cut them in tiny pieces and stir-fry them for 5 minutes, just enough time to keep them firm / tender and not overcooked.

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