Recipe: Spicy Indian-Inspired Cauliflower

Unique side dish to wow family, guests
indian inspired cauliflower

Cauliflower gold is a tasty way to get more vegetables in your diet. It makes use of various Indian spices, tomato paste and ground walnuts for amazing flavor.

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3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower — cut into small florets
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin – ground
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups liquid vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup walnuts — coarse ground and toasted


  1. In small bowl, combine ½ teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon
    turmeric, 1 tablespoon garam masala and a pinch cayenne pepper; set aside.
  2. In large sauté pan, add oil, swirl to cover bottom, then add cauliflower and toss.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, toss and mix well.
  4. Continue to toss, stir and agitate frequently until cauliflower becomes golden brown (takes about 15-18 minutes) and remove.
  5. After removing cauliflower, add combined spices to the hot pan and lightly toast (about 10 seconds).
  6. Add vegetable broth to prevent spices from over-toasting, add tomato paste and mix well.
  7. Add cauliflower, toss and sauté 2 minutes.
  8. Add course-ground walnuts, mix well, remove and spread on flat pan.
  9. Allow to cool 10 minutes, place in bowl and serve.

Ingredient health benefits

The ingredients in this delicious dish are good for your brain, your heart and your overall health:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: This brain- and heart-healthy oil is full of vitamins — including vitamin A and vitamin E — as well as many other nutrients.
  • Cauliflower: This cruciferous vegetable is rich in vitamin C, which is important to keep your immune system functioning properly, as well as vitamin K, which keeps your heart and bones healthy.
  • Turmeric: This mighty yellow-hued spice is known to lessen inflammation, improve memory, lessen pain, fight free radicals, lower your risk of heart disease and more.
  • Walnuts: Regular servings of nuts can help keep both your brain and your heart healthy. They’re a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B6, zinc, copper and potassium.

Nutrition information

Makes eight servings.

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Nutritional information (per ½ cup serving)

Calories: 120
Sodium: 350mg
Sugars: 3g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Saturated Fat: 1g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrate: 7g

Chef’s Notes:

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  • This recipe can be made without oil by roasting cauliflower florets in the oven until al dente. Then follow the rest of the instructions.
  • Garam masala is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. It can be found at most large supermarkets.
  • Be sure to cut cauliflower into similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly. Different-sized pieces will result in having some that are overcooked and some that are undercooked.
  • This recipe illustrates how increasing surface area increases flavor. By cutting the cauliflower into small florets, the caramelization and coating of the remaining ingredients dramatically increases.

Created for Cleveland Clinic by Jim Perko, CEC, AAC

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