My love for cauliflower knows no bounds. This isn’t me jumping on a bandwagon, I’ve been a big fan for a long time as these previous posts will show. I love roasting cauliflower as it brings out a nutty flavour to the veg. Roasting it whole is even better again, you get more of the tender creamy veg with a contrasting coating.
Last weekend on Sunday Brunch Simon Rimmer made a gorgeous looking dish of roast cauliflower made with butter mixed with parmesan, mustard and garlic. I have made a similar dish using my Cauliflower Cheese recipe without the bechamel sauce. I then thought of my Indian Roast Chicken and how the yogurt gives it a really nice crust. Cauliflower goes very well with spices so I decided an experiment was in order. This Whole Roast Cauliflower with Spiced Yogurt was the result. The creamy, earthy flavour of the cauliflower is enhanced by the contrasting spice and the sweet tomato sauce adds another layer of flavour. Topped with cooling yogurt if the spice gets too much for you.
When did yogurt lose it’s ‘h’??
Useful tips & links:
- I use Ottolenghi’s method of boiling the cauliflower before roasting. This will help the cauliflower to cook evenly without the outside burning. A little charring is nice but you don’t want it to burn. You can just roast it but keep a closer eye on it.
- Some recipes recommend hollowing out the core of the cauliflower to speed up the cooking time but I fear the veg would collapse. I like the stalk to still have a little bite when finished. No one likes mushy cauliflower.
- This vegetarian dish is very economical. It can be made vegan by using a soy or coconut yogurt. Joanna from The Chopping Board wrote a great piece earlier this week about reducing the amount of meat we eat.
- I have used my own masala spice mix to make this (link below). If you want a shortcut a good curry powder with some garam masala and chilli powder would work fine.
- This is not particularly spicy but there is heat in the cauliflower and also in the sauce. If you are anxious about it being too hot, use less spice and those who want more heat can add chilli after.
- If you want contrasting crunch with this some toasted flaked almonds or toasted breadcrumbs would work well sprinkled on top.
- For more cauliflower inspiration have a look at Sheila’s Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry on Gimme the Recipe.
Whole Roast Cauliflower with Spiced Yogurt
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 150ml of natural yogurt, full fat
- The juice of ½ a small lemon
- 1 tablespoon of masala spice mix
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- ½ a small onion, very finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger grated
- 1 medium red chilli
- 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
- 400g of tinned chopped tomatoes or 5 large fresh tomatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon of the masala spice mix
- A pinch of sugar
To serve: (optional)
- 50ml natural yogurt
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Fresh mint leaves
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, one that is large enough to hold the cauliflower. Remove the leaves from the outside of the cauliflower and trim the stem that it is level when you put the cauliflower in to roast. Put the cauliflower into the pot, stem side up, and bring the water back to a boil. Boil for 8 minutes and then drain the cauliflower into a colander and allow it to steam dry.
- Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Pour a tablespoon of oil into the base of a suitable roasting dish and then place the cauliflower into the dish.
- In a bowl mix together the yogurt, masala spice mix, lemon juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Taste it to see if you want more spice or lemon. Pour this mix over the cauliflower and rub it in a bit to give the veg an even coating. Roast for 25-35 minutes until it is cooked through. If it looks like it will burn before it is cooked through you can cover it with some foil. Baste it halfway through the cooking time.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, dry out the pot that you boiled it in and put it back on a medium heat. Fry the diced onions in the oil and gently cook until they are soft, this will take at least 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and half of the chilli finely diced and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook that for a minute.
- Pour in the tomatoes and the spice mix with a pinch of sugar. Bring to a gentle boil and turn down the heat. Allow the sauce to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring every so often, while the cauliflower cooks. Taste the sauce and season as needed. When it is cooked to your liking add some fresh chopped coriander.
- Test the cauliflower by inserting a knife into the stalk. You want the knife to pierce the stalk with little resistance but you don’t want it so soft that the florets are mushy in texture. When ready allow it to stand for about 5 minutes.
- Chop up a few mint leaves and add this to the yogurt with a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the tomato sauce into a serving dish, place the cauliflower on top and pour over some of the yogurt sauce. Slice the remaining chilli and garnish the dish with this and some fresh coriander leaves.