Packed with an assortment of flavours, this tandoori cauliflower salad is so delicious you will be having it on repeat!
Cauliflower marinated in dairy-free yogurt and spices, roasted in the oven to give a nice charred colour and flavour. Together with baby spinach, pickled onions, lots of mint and pomegranate, experience a flavour adventure from the very first bite.
Tandoori Inspired Cauliflower Salad
When you think of tandoori recipes, the first thing that comes in mind are 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 learnt under 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, bearing in mind not everybody has a tandoor. Head on over to Wikipedia for more detail about the 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.
To create the cauliflower salad, I first use baby spinach as the base. The main flavour kick, of course, comes from the earthy spiced cauliflower, but the flavour experience is amplified with the addition of lots of mint, pickled onion and pomegranate. Pomegranate seeds burst with flavour with each crunch. Yum!
Last but definitely 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. It is made of coriander, cumin, kala namak, and amchur (dry mango powder), black pepper and asafoetida. This is the basic chaat masala mix, however, some add garam masala as well.
For me the combination of kala namak and amchur powder brings out the special flavour. Its tangy and earthy and gives this tandoori cauliflower salad an oomph.
Here is a video guide to making this Tandoori cauliflower salad
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 teaspoon 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 cauliflower into medium sized florets.
- In a bowl add the dairy-free greek style yogurt, ginger, garlic paste, turmeric, salt, garam masala and chilli powder and mix throughly.
- 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.
- Pre heat oven to 200ºC. ( Fan assisted oven )
- Remove the cauliflower from the fridge and transfer to a baking tray lined with a silicon mat (you can use parchment paper as well ) Insure 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.
- Add the cooled down roasted cauliflower and then add pickled onions, pomegranate seeds and hand torn mint leaves.
- Finish with sprinkling of chaat masala
Tandoori Cauliflower Salad Recipe Notes
You can use dairy yoghurt for the marinade, just use the same amount.
Find my quick pickled onion recipe here.
The roasted cauliflower keeps in the fridge for up to three days. If I have leftovers, I enjoy them in a wrap.