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Tandoori Cauliflower in the Oven

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Tandoori cauliflower makes a great veggie meal or side dish

If you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to serve cauliflower, then this tandoori cauliflower needs to be on your ‘must-make’ list! It’s so good and even better dipped into a good hot sauce or coriander and mint chutney.

Just look at that colour! You are going to love this.

Tandoori Cauliflower

Who will love tandoori cauliflower?

I get asked daily for new and exciting vegetarian recipes. You will find many mouthwatering veggie dishes in my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Veggie’, but I am always on the lookout for new dishes.

Although not exactly a new idea, tandoori cauliflower is just as good as it looks. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or just looking for a nice veggie side dish for your meat curry feast, tandoori cauliflower is not to be missed.

This tandoori cauliflower recipe takes a rather boring vegetable and makes it sing deliciousness. Short answer… almost everyone will love digging into this cauliflower dish.

How do you prepare the cauliflower for cooking?

Remove all the green leaves and trim the stem so that it will sit flat when cooking. You also want to make 3 to 4 slits in the base so that the stem end cooks faster and soaks in more of the tandoori marinade.

Can you substitute a large head of broccoli?

Yes. This tandoori cauliflower recipe works just as well with broccoli. Give it a try! The cooking times may vary some so keep an eye on it.

Can you work ahead?

Yes. You can prepare the tandoori masala paste days in advance. You can also rub the marinade into the cauliflower a day or two ahead of cooking. Just keep it wrapped tightly in the fridge.

How long can you keep cooked tandoori cauliflower in the fridge?

You can keep any leftovers in the fridge for about 3 days. This tandoori cauliflower is best served right out of the oven though.

If you do decide to store some in the fridge, you might like to try it chopped up and added to stir fried rice. Very tasty!

Can you upscale this recipe?

Yes. This tandoori cauliflower recipe will serve 3 to 4. If you want to serve more, grab yourself a few more cauliflowers and also ensure you have enough of the tandoori marinade to spread liberally over each cauliflower.

Do you have to use homemade tandoori paste for this recipe?

No. I would like to make this as easy as I can for you. Although I strongly recommend making your own tandoori masala paste, you could purchase it and use that. You will get better results if you make the tandoori paste from scratch though.

The oil in the paste also helps with presentation as it the cauliflower will char better. That said, you could just add tandoori masala powder to the yoghurt marinade to taste if you wish to use less oil. 

Is tandoori cauliflower vegan?

This recipe is not vegan but could easily be made vegan if you want. Just leave out the yoghurt.

The yoghurt is there to add a bit of flavour but your tandoori cauliflower will still be amazing without it.

Do you have to bake the cauliflower?

No! That’s just how I did it in this recipe. You could slice the cauliflower into steaks and fry it. You could also break it up into cauliflower tikka and air-fry or pan fry it.

Each method will bring slightly different results but all are amazing. 

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for tandoori cauliflower

Get all your ingredients together before starting. Notice… I forgot the lime! I had to go running around to find one.

How do you prepare the tandoori masala paste?

This is an easy job! Making your own tandoori masala paste will take you tandoori cauliflower up a few delicious notches!

You can also use homemade tandoori masala paste to marinate poultry, fish, meat, paneer and other veggies. 

I have a recipe for my homemade tandoori paste here. You will first need to prepare homemade tandoori masala powder but you could cheat and purchase some.

Slicing off the green leaves and stem of the cauliflower

Cut the green leaves off and the stem to flatten the bottom of the cauliflower so that it sits flat when cooking.

Making slices in the bottom of the cauliflower.

Make about 3 or 4 slices through the base of the cauliflower so that it cooks faster and the marinade penetrates better.

Tandoori masala paste and yoghurt in a mixing bowl.

Put the tandoori marinade paste and yoghurt in a mixing bowl.

The prepared tandoori marinade.

Stir well to combine into a thick marinade.

The tandoori cauliflower in the tandoori marinade.

Tub the marinade right into the cauliflower and the slices you made.

Oven baked tandoori cauliflower

So good with mint or coriander and mint raita.

Can tandoori cauliflower be cooked on your barbecue?

Most definitely yes! You will love the smoky flavour you get when cooked over hot coals on skewers or roasted over indirect heat.

If roasting, be sure to get your barbecue up to 220C before you start cooking.


Yield: 3 - 4

Tandoori Cauliflower in the Oven

Tandoori Cauliflower
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 medium sized cauliflower
  • 5 - 6 tbsp tandoori masala paste
  • 2 tbsp plain natural yoghurt
  • Juice of one lime or lemon
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • Flaky salt to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C/430F. While your oven is heating up prepare the cauliflower.
  2. Cut off the green leaves, if there are any and the stem at the bottom. You are doing this so that the cauliflower sits flat when cooking.
  3. Whisk the rapeseed oil and lemon/lime juice together and set aside for later.
  4. Now take a knife and make 3 – 4 slits into the base. This will help the cauliflower cook through in the base and also allow more marinade to penetrate deeper into the cauliflower.
  5. Whisk the tandoori masala paste with the yoghurt. Rub this tandoori marinade all over the cauliflower, rubbing it deep into the cauliflower and slits you made.
  6. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet in your pre-heated oven and let roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drizzle with a little of the lemon/lime juice and oil mixture. Repeat this step 15 minutes later.
  7. The tandoori cauliflower should take about an hour to cook but that also depends on the size of your cauliflower. Prick it with a fork and if tender, remove from the oven and sprink with flaky salt to taste. Serve hot. Serve with a good hot sauce or mint raita.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

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