Spicy Tandoori Cauliflower

Spicy Tandoori Cauliflower is a perfect holiday dish, or even for a potluck. Amaze your family and your guests with this spectacular dish with an awesome presentation. It is clearly one of the best ways to enjoy a cauliflower. The cauliflower looks so good surrounded by a bed of spicy onion garnishing…it is just out of this world! Make sure everyone puts the garnish on top of their slice of cauliflower. The softness of the cauliflower and the crunch of the onions….mmmm!.

Cauliflower – 1, medium size

Yogurt – 1 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp
Tandoori Masala – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Paprika – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp

Onions – 2 medium, sliced
– 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Tomato – 1 cup, pureed
Red Chili Powder – 1/4 tsp or to taste
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped (optional)
Salt – to taste
Mango Powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Cilantro –  few sprigs, finely chopped


  1. Hang the yogurt in a muslin/cotton cloth for about 30-40minutes.
  2. Trim the Cauliflower and take off the leaves and excess stalk making sure the Cauliflower stays as one piece.
  3. Wash the Cauliflower very well under running water or soak it in water for a while.
  4. Put the Cauliflower into a zip lock/steaming bag.
  5. Do not drain out all the water out of the cauliflower and close the zip lock only half way- leaving it open for the vent to escape.
  6. Microwave on high 5-7 minutes (depending on the size cauliflower and the quality).
  7. Keep an eye on the microwave because microwave cooking varies. the Cauliflower should feel soft  yet firm on touch.
  8. Once the Cauliflower is done, take it out of the bag carefully (it will be hot and the steam can burn).
  9. Place gently on a platter that is oven-proof and can to used at the table as well.
  10. Pour the ‘hung yogurt’ into a bowl and add in all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well.
  11. Rub the marinade over the Cauliflower. Flip it as well as you want to let some marinade get into the stems.
  12. Let the Cauliflower marinate for about an hour.
  13. Place in the Cauliflower into the oven on broil on high.
  14. It will take between 5-10 minutes for the cauliflower to get a good color (a few spots of brown on the top).
  15. For the garnish, take a microwave safe dish and add in the onions and oil.
  16. Mix well and microwave for 2 + 1 minute, stirring after  2 minutes.
  17. Add in the rest of the garnish ingredients except for the cilantro and mix well.
  18. Cook in the microwave for about 8 minutes mixing every 2 minutes.
  19. Add in the cilantro and mix again.
  20. Place the garnish on the platter around the cauliflower and serve.
  21. Serves 8-10


  • The garnish can me made on the stove-top as well.
  • For faster and quicker steaming, cut the cauliflower into 2 or more pieces.
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    0 thoughts on “Spicy Tandoori Cauliflower

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    2. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

      I tried out this recipe today with a little alteration. I went ahead and used florets as opposed to the whole cauliflower ,microwaved them for 10 mins with water so that the florets are soft, marinated it overnight and broiled it at high.
      it turned out to be super-yummy…I loved the instruction of hanging curd so that it lets go off water.
      Thank You very much for the awesome recipe….you gals are super awesome !!!!!!!!


    3. Good evening ladies,

      I was going to make this cauliflower dish this weekend. Then I reread the recipe and am stumped, what is Tandoori Masala? I know it is a spice mixture. Do you have directions for this too?

      Here is to good eating. Rich

      1. Hi Rich,

        Tandoori Masala is a blend of spices, but different than garam masala. Unfortunately, we do not have a recipe or video for this one. It is easily available at your local Indian grocery store.

    4. Anuja and Hetal,

      I purchased a small package of red chili powder a while back and opened it just yesterday after I finally found a glass container the right size. I spilled a tiny amount on the counter top and wiped it up with my finger. The temptation was too much. I HAD to taste it. Talk about blow your sox off hot, merciful heavens! I though the top of my head was going to explode. Now I know how to make anything I want, vindaloo.

      Keep up your great work.

      A faithful fan, Rich

    5. This dish is so innovative, i’ve not seen anything like this in vegeterian! kudos to u ladies! 🙂
      can i use follow the same recipe using cauliflower florets instead of the whole cauliflower? does the broil time change in this case?

      1. Hi Deepika,

        We have not tried it with florets so cannot give you an exact time difference. However, it will definitely work and the time will be less.

        1. I recently had tandoori vegetables, cut into big pieces. Your recipe looks very good and I should be able to use it to recreate the tandoori vegetables I had at a restaurant. Theirs’ had a great lemony flavor which could be from the lemon.

          What do you guys think if I follow the same steps as you but with different veggies (they used cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, onions) and less cooking time in the microwave and the broiler?

          1. Hi Pinal,

            Different veggies will work great with this same recipe however, cauliflower takes longer to cook (especially when it is whole) then broccoli, onions and bell pepper. You should probably not have to use the microwave at all.

    6. this one is always a crowd pleaser. it comes out great..i have made 3-4 times. great recipe Anuja and Hetal. Thank you so very much.

    7. This looks really cool, I think I’m going to make this for Diwali 🙂 Which type of Indian bread do you think it would go best with for Diwali? Rotlis, tepla, naan, paratha…?

      Thanks again ladies for another cool recipe 🙂

    8. Hey Guys!

      I really love authentic Indian food and would like to try this recipe out. I got most of the ingredients from an Indian store but was confused by the brand of tanddori masala’s available. If you can let me know the brand that you are using, I would really appreciate that.


          1. Hi Stephanie,
            That is exactly the one I was talking about – sorry about the wrong spelling (I always transfer the contents and get rid of the container) so did not have an original container to verify the spelling 🙂

    9. Hi!!!
      just writing to say that I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!! thanks to you I learned to cook indian food properly, Im mexican but my husband is indian, and in your site I learned to prepare parathas, aloo goobi,to know your spices, everything!!!! and I like tha fact that also you share mexican, chinese, recipes etc… Please share more recipes with us!!!

    10. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
      What a wonderful dish!!!! I can’t wait to try it!!
      Jst 1 query……can we use any other regular masala instead of tandoor masala….

      1. Hi Cooky,

        Both masalas are just a combination of different spices. Depending on which brand you use, even the ingredients tend to vary. For garam masala, the basics are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, etc. Tandoori masala will have some of these spices but it usually has some color added to it as well to make the dish the typical red.

    11. Anuja and Hetal: This recipe looks great and I’m going to try it. One thing that I won’t do is microwave in plastic … I just can’t bring myself to do it. Couldn’t I use a ceramic dish with lid just as easily? We must be careful with plastics now that we know more about their dangers.

      Best wishes from Canada,


    12. hi….
      i made this dish and it turned out to be excellent it was soo yummy but the garnishing part is a but confusing ..it should be given in more specific steps…but overall its an excellent dish…
      thank u n keep posting such kind of dishes

    13. Hi Reena,

      You are right, the cauliflower is a little bland in the middle. But, the presentation is so good! You can try to “stuff” the masala into the crevices so that it does go inside a little bit. Otherwise, the onion mixture takes care of the flavor issue. Thanks for the feedback!

    14. I have to say the presentation of this dish was spectacular! I have a 7 year old son who is very interested in cooking and fine dining. He was thrilled that it looked just like ‘chicken’. Most of the times he likes being a vegetarian but sometimes complains about it. So this dish really satisfied his eyes.

      Taste: The taste was really good for the parts that had the marinade on it. The inside of the gobi was bland. Everyone in my family felt that way. The gobi was too spicy for my kids, even though I didn’t put any red or green chilli. Just from the tandoori masala. But for the adults it tasted really good.

      Next time, I’ll cut up the gobi, so that the marinade can coat all the parts. But I’ll surely miss the presentation 🙁

      Thanks for teaching me this spectacular dish. I wish there was a way to “inject” the masala inside the gobi.

    15. Hi Alexia,

      We usually try to show you every step and exactly what the dish looks like at each stage…but sometimes it is beyond our control. Having said that we will make a better attempt at it from here on.
      Thanks for the feedback and please do keep them coming.

    16. Hi

      I liked ur Tandoori Cauliflower recipe. But there’s one thing which u guys really need to improve on and that, showing the viewers, what the stuff looks like when u do certain things.

      Like in the Cauliflower recipe, when u put the onions in the microwave and then take it out and stir it and then u put it again and finally when it’s done. u need to show the viewers, what exactly or approx. shud be the outcome.



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