Roasted Whole Cauliflower Tikka

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Are you not sure what to serve your vegetarian guests in place of turkey on the Thanksgiving table? Try this Roasted Cauliflower Tikka. Whole cauliflower marinated with aromatic spices then baked in the oven and served with a tomato based creamy sauce! This will surely impress your vegetarian guests!

cauliflower tikka

Do you guys like forced break? I have to travel this weekend for some important work (which cannot be avoided) and I don’t really like it! I have so much work and I am being forced to take a break. In a way it’s good because I haven’t been feeling good lately – both physically and mentally so maybe the break would do me good but at the same time, I am freaking about my work and deadlines! Anyway since I have no option, I will try to relax a bit and come back home recharged (hopefully!).

I have been thinking to share a show stopper vegetarian Thanksgiving dish with you guys and I am finally happy to share this roasted Whole Cauliflower Tikka. Doesn’t it look like the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table?

While testing this recipe, I actually made the whole thing twice with different flavors. I first made a tandoori masala at home, marinated the cauliflower with it and served it as such. I thought it was nice but a sauce would make it more complete. So then I changed the flavors and made this cauliflower tikka with a tomato sauce or you may call it Cauliflower Tikka Masala. Sarvesh thought both were good but I am sharing the one that I felt was more appropriate for Thanksgiving.

You can serve this one too without the sauce, just the cauliflower head with cilantro-mint chutney. It would make a great appetizer/meal but to make it more complete for the dinner, I suggest you serve with the sauce.

This Roasted Cauliflower Tikka

✓ is really flavorful with all the aromatic spices

✓ tastes better the next day so you can make this in advance

✓ will appeal even to the meat-lovers!

✓ is perfect to share with a crowd

This dish actually tasted so much better the next day. The flavors really come together as time goes by so you can make this in advance. Also, in the recipe I mention to marinate the cauliflower for 1 hour but if you have the time, marinate for a longer period of time. You can even marinate overnight and then bake it first thing in the morning. Either way, it would be just fine.

Can you make this cauliflower tikka vegan? I think is should work! Use coconut yogurt in place of regular yogurt to marinate and add vegan butter in place of regular butter in the end. Follow the rest of the steps as it is!

PS: I made a video for this too but just didn’t get the time to edit. Keep an eye on my facebook page, I will share it in a day or two and then edit this post to add the video as well.  Edited to add: Video added above!

Method

To a bowl add all the ingredients listed under “to marinate”. Make sure the yogurt that you use here is thick.

Whisk to combine everything together. Trim the outer leaves and stalks of the cauliflower but make sure the head remains intact.

Pour the mixture over the cauliflower head and coat the entire cauliflower with the marinade. Use you hands to spread the marination all over, going to sides and also to the back of the cauliflower. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. If you have time, you can even marinate 4-6 hours or even overnight. Once you have marinated the cauliflower with the masala for a desired amount of time, roast it in the oven at 400 F degrees for 40-45 minutes on until tender.

Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes till soft and translucent.

Add ginger garlic paste and cook for another minute or two till the raw smell goes away. Add the chopped tomatoes along with store bought tomato puree, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Let the tomatoes cook for 3 minutes.

Add red chili powder, curry powder, sugar and let the masala cook for 2 more minutes.

Once the masala is nicely cooked, add the remaining 3/4 cup water to the pan. Mix everything well and then blend the mixture to a smooth paste.

Transfer the puree back to the pan and add butter and chopped cilantro. Let it all simmer for 2 minutes.

Place the roasted cauliflower in the center of the serving plate and pour the prepared sauce all around the cauliflower.

Serve roasted cauliflower tikka with onion rings and cilantro-mint chutney on the side!

* You may serve this cauliflower tikka without the sauce. Serve it with cilantro mint chutney and it would make a great appetizer. With the sauce, it’s more of a complete meal.

* I strongly recommend using store bought puree here. But if you can’t get it, make a puree of 2 tomatoes and use in the recipe.

* A smaller cauliflower head might get done in less time and a bigger one will take more time so adjust the timing accordingly.

* Prep time includes the resting time of 1 hour.

Roasted Whole Cauliflower Tikka

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

Roasted Cauliflower Tikka served with a creamy tomato sauce will make a great vegetarian centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table!
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower (962 grams with stems and leaves)
to marinate
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons thick yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato puree, store bought
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. To a bowl add all the ingredients listed under "to marinate". Make sure the yogurt that you use here is thick. Whisk to combine everything together.
  2. Trim the outer leaves and stalks of the cauliflower but make sure the head remains intact.
  3. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower head and coat the entire cauliflower with the marinade. Use you hands to spread the marination all over, going to sides and also to the back of the cauliflower.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. If you have time, you can even marinate 4-6 hours or even overnight.
  5. Once you have marinated the cauliflower with the masala for a desired amount of time, roast it in the oven at 400 F degrees for 40-45 minutes on until tender [a smaller head might get done in less time and a bigger one will take more time so adjust accordingly].
  6. Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes till soft and translucent.
  7. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for another minute or two till the raw smell goes away. Add the chopped tomatoes along with store bought tomato puree, salt and ¼ cup of water. Let the tomatoes cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add red chili powder, curry powder, sugar and let the masala cook for 2 more minutes.
  9. Once the masala is nicely cooked, add the remaining ¾ cup water to the pan. Mix everything well and then blend the mixture to a smooth paste.
  10. Transfer the pureed mixture back to the pan and add butter and chopped cilantro. Let it all simmer for 2 minutes.
  11. Place the roasted cauliflower in the center of the serving plate and pour the prepared sauce all around the cauliflower.
  12. Serve roasted cauliflower tikka with onion rings and cilantro-mint chutney on the side!

Roasted Cauliflower Tikka

13 thoughts on “Roasted Whole Cauliflower Tikka

  1. What a stunning dish, Manali! This would be a great option for vegetarians at Thanksgiving, but I’m thinking we need to make this one just on a random weekday. I love cauliflower, but we don’t get around to cooking it very often here. But I’m definitely making this one soon…those flavors! And I love any dish that tastes even better on Day 2! 🙂

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