Tuesday, February 10, 2009

roasted cauliflower with indian spices and yogurt dressing

roasted cauliflower with indian spices and yogurt dip

Sometimes, I operate under the delusion that I have excellent time management skills, that I can multi-task and that no goal is unattainable. Take this roasted cauliflower, for example. I wanted to share it with you before I left for my vacation to L.A., but I got a bit distracted and failed to do much of anything. And then I thought I might even write about this while on my vacation, but who was I kidding? Not that I didn’t have an opportunity – L.A. was rainy for the 4 out of the 6 days. So much for their eternal sunshine.

roasted cauliflower with indian spices and yogurt dip

In any case, you know that cooking during the week while juggling a demanding job, a social life, and some kind of a fitness regimen can be quite daunting. You get home and you have other things to do like sort your mail, pay your bills, or tidy up around. Before you know it, cooking starts to sound like a chore and not anything remotely pleasant and you find yourself dialing your favorite take-out. Sometimes, it’s just easier not to be bothered and just throw in the towel.

roasted cauliflower with indian spices and yogurt dip

But sometimes, a dish comes along that not only asks for minimal hand-on time, but cooks by itself happily and quietly. You throw a few ingredients together and magically, with a little heat, the meal transforms itself from something relatively pedestrian to something of a treat. Did I mention it was healthy and budget friendly too?

roasted cauliflower with indian spices and yogurt dip

In fact, this cauliflower is so good, that I implore you to drop everything you’re doing and run to the grocery store for the ingredients you might need. It’s that good and that easy. You make a dressing with the oil and the spices, pour over the cauliflower, being sure to coat it well and roast for an hour at 400 degrees. It couldn’t possibly be less work. And yet it’ll taste like a very sophisticated dish – precisely the effect you might be going for at an impromptu dinner party, where your guests, not devout vegetable eaters, not only serve themselves seconds, but confess that you can make any vegetable taste good and should you make them an entirely vegetarian meal, they wouldn’t mind one bit. Now, that’s high praise in my book.

roasted cauliflower with indian spices and yogurt dip

Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices and Yogurt Dressing


For the cauliflower:
1 (2-pound) head cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sambar powder

For the Yogurt Dressing:
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint (or just use cilantro without the dill or mint)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste


Position the oven rack in the middle and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and place in a deep bowl or, better yet, a plastic bag.

In another bowl or cup, combine the seasonings and spics with the olive oil, and drizzle over the cauliflower. Mix well and allow the dressing to coat cauliflower evenly.

Spread the cauliflower on a (9×13-inch) baking dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cauliflower is nicely browned around the edges. Periodically peek inside the oven and stir the cauliflower around.

While the cauliflower is roasting, combine the yogurt, dill, mint, cumin, and salt together and keep cool (like the refrigerator).

Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a serving platter, and serve with the yogurt sauce drizzled over it or on a side.

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  • 1
    Adrienne said:

    Oh, this looks like a great combination of spices. I don’t think I’ll ever steam cauliflower again it’s just SO GOOD roasted.

    February 10, 2009 2:59 pm
  • 2
    Sara said:

    Thanks! I’m always on the lookout for good cauliflower recipes–I hated it for too long and now believe that it’s just a matter of preparation. I agree with Adrienne–I just roasted it for the first time recently and it’s delish! Just like brussels sprouts–why have these vegetables been presented to us boiled for so long?

    February 10, 2009 3:23 pm
  • 3
    radish said:

    Adrienne and Sara, I cannot agree with you more. I feel like these vegetables have been unfairly maligned – they are so delicious and tasty, and yet they’ve been absolutely destroyed by boiling. Roasting is the way to go! Yum!

    February 10, 2009 3:30 pm
  • 4

    I love roasted veggies! It makes them seem so much more indulgent. Another one of my favorite ways to enjoy roasted vegetable is by serving them with this Garlic Yogurt Dip. So much more interesting that the usual crudite but not as heavy (or guilty) as a richer dip! Check out the recipe here – http://www.kitchencaravan.com/recipe/slow-roasted-veggies-garlic-yogurt-dip

    February 10, 2009 4:35 pm
  • 5
    Ulla said:

    That looks great! I love roasted cauliflower:)

    February 10, 2009 5:19 pm
  • 6
    Jenni said:

    You’ve sold me! That looks wonderful! Worry not about your time management skills–all is posted exactly when it should be:)

    February 10, 2009 5:53 pm
  • 7
    Dana said:

    I recently introduced my cauliflower hating husband to roasted cauliflower and he loved it! I just used olive oil, salt and pepper, but will try your version next time. I love those flavors.

    February 10, 2009 10:06 pm
  • 8

    this cauliflower looks great!! not my favorite veggie but recipes like this are really starting to move it up the list. sorry for the rainy days in our usually sunny CA!

    February 11, 2009 12:12 am
  • 9

    YUM! This looks amazing. Why have I only recently discovered caramelizing Broccoli and Cauliflower?

    February 11, 2009 9:22 am
  • 10
    Hillary said:

    I’m always looking for creative side dish ideas so thanks for this! :)

    February 11, 2009 3:15 pm
  • 11
    Kasey said:

    As much as I love vegetables, I just cannot bring myself to eat cauliflower. Those pictures look pretty enough for me to maaaaybe change my mind and give it a try.

    February 11, 2009 5:38 pm
  • 12
    sarah said:

    Cauliflower used to be the only vegetable I was not too fond of – but roasting! So good. This is the first Sassy Radish recipe I’ve made and won’t be my last. Used thick greek yogurt, made it more of a side dish/dip than a dressing.

    February 20, 2009 8:54 pm
  • 13

    Cauliflower and Indian spices go well for the ever demanding taste buds and this recipe is really fabulous i am gonna give a try, thank you.

    November 8, 2009 11:48 pm
  • 14
    Melissa said:

    I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook/submit


    Editor and Community Developer
    Foodista.com — The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit

    December 22, 2009 4:31 pm
  • 15
    ann said:

    i had printed this recipe ages ago – it is sensational. funny to find it again after making it about 20 times.

    September 7, 2010 3:46 am
  • 16
    Megan said:

    I make this dish all the time; it’s fantastic! I receive a lot of cauliflower in my CSA boxes, and have added carrots and yams/sweet potatoes to the dish to supplement the cauliflower. I do find the one-hour cooking time much too long, though. I roast my veggies only about 25-30 minutes for this dish.

    September 11, 2012 1:12 am
  • 17
    Radish said:

    Megan – so I went back to my notes on the recipe from a few years ago, and found it to say 30 to 40 minutes. Where I got 1 hour is beyond me. Fixed now, thank you so much.

    September 11, 2012 8:23 am
  • 18

    Hi Sassy Radish! We’re RootDown LA and we get city kids to eat (and now grow) their veggies!
    We just shared this recipe and a link to your page from our FB page – thank you!
    RootDown LA – You’re Gonna Wanna Eat Your Veggies.

    November 13, 2012 6:32 pm
  • 19
    olga said:

    RootDown LA – thank you! I LOVE what you guys are doing and so glad that kids are getting into eating (and growing) their own vegetables with your help!

    November 13, 2012 6:57 pm
  • 20
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