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What's the one thing I miss most about India? The food! Even though I cook for a living, I find that I’m not making or eating Indian food as often as I’d like to. I know it’s New York and there are hundreds of ethnic restaurants that I could eat at. But frankly it gets expensive and I always leave unsatisfied. No thanks! That's why for me, home cooked Indian fare is where it's at. While Indian food and spices can be intimidating to many people, I’m here to show you how accessible it can be with this Tandoori Cauliflower!
There are two things that make a dish tandoori. First, it can be cooked in a “tandoor” oven, which is a cylindrical clay or metal pot that reaches high temperatures up to 900ºF and retain it for long periods of time. It adds the most amazing char and smoky flavor to whatever is cooked in it. While we don’t have one at Feedfeed Brooklyn, cooking the cauliflower steaks at 425ºF still gets you crispy edges with just the right amount of char, which is pretty close to the real deal if you ask me. The second way is using a tandoori masala (spice blend) in a yogurt marinade.
Spice blends are very personal and change with every household in India, so my tandoori masala recipe is going to be different from... say what my neighbor makes, but this mix is my secret weapon in the kitchen! Toasting the whole spices is important because heat wakes them up and releases all those essential oils for a more fragrant powerful spice blend. To compare, I also tested this recipe with a store bought tandoori spice mix, and while it was still yummy, it was nowhere near as good as the fresh stuff. You don’t need to marinate this for a long time because vegetables tend to soak up flavors easily, but this recipe is super versatile and goes well with subbing the cauliflower with meat (if so, let it sit in the marinade for a few hours or overnight).
I served this as a main with a yogurt drizzle, squeeze of lime juice and chopped cilantro. But this also makes for an excellent side dish and even chopped up and topped on a salad. These Tandoori Cauliflower Steaks make an easy weeknight meal that will leave you wanting more!
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 4
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil and set a rack on top. Spray rack thoroughly with cooking spray.
In a bowl add yogurt, ginger, garlic, salt, lime juice, tandoori masala, and mix. Coat cauliflower steaks in marinade.
Place cauliflower steaks on the prepared sheet pan, brush with olive oil and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Serve cauliflower steaks with a drizzle of yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.
Heat a medium sauté pan on low and add whole spices, toast for 2 minutes until fragrant, take off heat. Once cooled, add to spice grinder along with remaining spices and grind to a fine powder.