This Tandoori Cauliflower Salad is jam packed with flavor, textures, and utter deliciousness. Made with cauliflower marinated in yogurt and spices baked in the oven till crispy and tossed with fresh veggies, pickled onions, and cilantro dressing.
The most well-known tandoori dishes in America are tandoori chicken, chicken tikka and naan. In India the tandoor (Indian clay oven) is used to cook a variety of dishes from meat to fish to vegetables such as cauliflower. The key to tandoori cooking is the marinade which usually consist of yogurt, oil and spice mixture. The mild flavor of cauliflower serves as a great canvas for this tandoori marinade.
How to prepare the Tandoori Cauliflower?
To prepare the cauliflower first take a fork and gently pierce the cauliflower all over, this will help the cauliflower to really soak in the marinade. Then you want to cut the cauliflower into small florets, this is important because if your florets are too big then the cauliflower won’t cook evenly in the oven.
Then you’ll make the tandoori marinade which is quite simple, it contains equal parts of yogurt and chickpea flour, ginger, garlic, and spices. The chickpea flour makes it so that marinade sticks to cauliflower even while it bakes. Toss the cauliflower florets in the marinade, you want to make sure it is really nicely coated.
Marinate the cauliflower for an hour if you have time this really makes the cauliflower super flavorful. If you are short on time then you can simply bake it off right away. Transfer the cauliflower to an oiled wire rack placed over baking sheet. Give the cauliflower some breathing room, so they can crisp up nicely.
Bake it in the oven for 400 degrees for 30 minutes, till crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.
Tandoori Cauliflower Done!
What is in the salad base?
Romaine Lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and pickled onions make up the salad base. If you prefer other types of greens then use spinach, arugula, or even kale. For carrots I use a peeler to create beautiful ribbons, but if you don’t want a lot of crunch then I suggest grating the carrots.
How to Quickly Pickle Red Onions?
Heat vinegar, sugar, and salt till the sugar is completely dissolved. Place the onions in a mason jar, pour the vinegar mixture over the onions, close the lid, and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes. We only need half the pickled onions for this recipe, keep the rest in the fridge and use it on anything you wish. These pickled red onions bring so much flavor to the Tandoori Cauliflower Salad, don’t skip it.
How to Prepare the Cilantro Dressing ?
This is a great dressing that adds such brightness and is one of my favorite condiments. To a high speed blender add all the ingredients for the dressing and blend till smooth and creamy. I prefer the dressing a little on the thicker side, but feel free to add more water to reach your desired consistency.
Serving Tandoori Cauliflower Salad
First things First this salad should be served as soon as you place the Tandoori Cauliflower over the salad base, or otherwise the cauliflower will start to lose its crispiness the longer it sits.
Don’t enjoy salads then just serve the Tandoori Cauliflower on its own with cilantro dressing on the side.
Salads don’t need to be a boring bowl of veggies. It is possible for salads for be healthy, satisfying and delicious at the same time as this Tandoori Cauliflower Salad.
What to Serve with Tandoori Cauliflower Salad:
Tandoori Chicken Tikka (easy summer dinner)
30-minute Coconut Shrimp Curry
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|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
- 2.5 lbs. cauliflower
- ½ cup Full fat greekyogurt
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp carom seeds
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chili
- 1 tbsp. ginger paste
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 4 tbsp sugar or any sweetener you prefer
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups cilantro
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 tbsp chopped jalapeno remove seeds and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. avocado oil or light olive oil
- 4 tbsp. water or more depending on your desired consistency
- Salt to taste
- 2 medium carrots peeled and grate it or cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- 2 persian cucumbers thinly sliced
- 2 small heads romaine lettuce washed and rougly chopped
- 1 tbsp mint finely chopped (optional)
Quick Pickled red onions
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack on a baking tray and grease the rack. Place the thinly sliced onions in a glass bottle. In a small pot add the vinegar, sugar, and salt heat till the sugar is dissolved and then pour the mixture over the onions. Let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl add all the ingredients for the tandoori cauliflower except for the cauliflower. Make sure to mix well, the paste will be thick. Prick the cauliflower lightly all over with a fork and then cut into small florets. Put the florets in the marinade and make sure they are well coated. Marinate for an hour if you have time or bake right away.
- Place the tandoori cauliflower on the rack and make sure to space the cauliflower so they can crisp up nicely. Place the baking sheet on top rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is cooking make the dressing, place all the ingredients for the cilantro dressing in a high speed blender and blend till smooth. If you want your dressing more runny just add a tbsp of water at a time till you have reached your desired consistency.
- On a large tray place the Romaine lettuce on the bottom, then the cucumbers, and carrots. Season the salad with salt and then place half the pickled onions and mint on top. Lastly add the Tandoori Cauliflower. Serve dressing on the side or drizzle on top.
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