This tandoori cauliflower salad has so many delicious flavours you are bound to have it on repeat!
Cauliflower is marinated in dairy-free yoghurt and spices and roasted in the oven to give a nice charred colour and flavour. With baby spinach, pickled onions, and lots of mint and pomegranate seeds, experience a flavour adventure from the first bite.
Tandoori Inspired Cauliflower Salad
When you think of tandoori recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is meat or fish dishes. However, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy the tandoori experience too! Indeed, this tandoori cauliflower was one of the first recipes I learned from my tandoori chef. He was a master of the tandoor, and I felt fortunate to learn under him.
The tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven for baking and cooking over charcoal. It is on my wish list so that I can cook tandoori dishes authentically. However, for this tandoori cauliflower salad recipe, we will cook the cauliflower in a conventional oven, mindful that not everybody has a tandoor.
In the tandoor, we would roast the marinated cauliflower whole. Roasting whole in an oven is a bit challenging as it cooks unevenly compared to a tandoor, so here we will cut it into florets.
I use baby spinach as the bed to create the cauliflower salad. The primary flavour kick comes from the earthy spiced cauliflower. The addition of lots of mint, pickled onion and pomegranate amplify the flavours. Pomegranate seeds burst with flavour with each crunch. Yum!
Last but not least, we have the secret magic powder commonly known as chaat masala!
Chaat masala is a spice powder mix that instantly adds flavour to almost anything. Chaat masala contains coriander, cumin, kala namak, amchur (dry mango powder), black pepper and asafoetida. This spice combination is the essential chaat masala mix; however, some people add garam masala.
The combination of kala namak and amchur powder brings out a unique flavour. It's tangy and earthy and gives this tandoori cauliflower salad an oomph.
- Cauliflower florets
- Baby spinach
- Dairy-free yoghurt
- Garlic paste
- Ginger paste
- Turmeric powder
- Chilli powder
- Garam masala
- Chaat masala
- Pickled onions
- Pomegranate seeds
- Mint leaves
First, prepare your ingredients.
Cut the cauliflower into florets.
Cut and seed the pomegranate.
Wash and pat dry the baby spinach leaves.
In a bowl add the dairy-free greek style yoghurt, ginger, garlic paste, turmeric, salt, garam masala and chilli powder and mix thoroughly
Add cauliflower into the marinade and coat each floret. Set aside to marinate for a minimum of 6 hours, you can also leave it overnight in the fridge
Once the cauliflower florets have marinated, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Place the florets onto a silicone mat or parchment paper in a baking tray and roast for 20-30 minutes. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
Now assemble your salad. On a plate arrange the baby spinach leaves as a bed for the cauliflower. Add the roasted cauliflower and then add the pickled onion, pomegranate seeds and hand-torn mint leaves. Finally, sprinkle with chaat masala.
Please visit my simple corn salad recipe for the method to make pickled onions.
Here is a video guide to making this Tandoori cauliflower salad
You can use dairy yoghurt for the marinade; use the same quantity stated in the recipe.
The roasted cauliflower keeps in the fridge for up to three days. If I have leftovers, I enjoy them in a wrap.
Dairy-Free Tandoori Cauliflower Salad with Pickled Onions and Spices
- 650 gms Cauliflower I head
- 50 gms Baby Spinach
- 20 gms Pickled onion
- 20 gms Pomegranate seeds fresh
- 20 gms Mint
- ¼ tsp Chaat masala
- 200 gms Dairy free Greek style Yoghurt I used oatly
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 10 gms Garlic paste
- 10 gms Ginger paste
- Salt to taste
- Cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets.
- Add the dairy-free greek style yoghurt, ginger, garlic paste, turmeric, salt, garam masala, and chilli powder in a bowl and mix throughly.
- Add the cauliflower into the marinade and coat each floret. Set aside to marinate for a minimum of 6 hours. You can leave it overnight in the fridge to marinate.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC. (Fan assisted oven)
- Remove the marinated cauliflower from the fridge and transfer it to a baking tray lined with a silicon mat (you can also use parchment paper). Ensure there is enough space between each floret. Once the oven reaches the desired temperature, roast the cauliflower for about 20-30 minutes. Once ready, set aside to cool.
- Cut and seed the pomegranate.
- Wash and dry baby spinach and transfer to a serving plate as a bed for the cauliflower.
- Add the cooled down roasted cauliflower, and then add the pickled onions, pomegranate seeds and hand torn mint leaves.
- Finish with a sprinkling of chaat masala
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are a top priority, and from the beginning of training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also essential. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food.
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly.
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours).
- Store food correctly.
For more details regarding food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.