Grilled whole cauliflower step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
Whole roasted cauliflower with Indian spices is a vegetarian centerpiece that is great for parties, gatherings, and family meals. A whole head of cauliflower marinated in yogurt and Indian spices, roasted until tender in the middle, and crisp on top is a perfect showstopper that will surely impress all your guests. It can be served as an entree or a side dish.
'Tandoori' refers to a style of Indian cooking where meat or vegetables marinated in yogurt and spices are cooked in a clay oven (called tandoor). In this recipe, I am using cauliflower and marinating it in tandoori spices. However, I am roasting it on the Weber barbecue instead of the tandoor. The result is perfectly cooked tandoori cauliflower with a soft center, crispy top, and smoky flavor that we get when cooked in a clay oven.
Read on for ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and useful tips to make this perfect vegetarian centerpiece, tandoori gobi, for your summer parties and barbecue.
Cauliflower: Use fresh cauliflower with a tight and firm head.
Yogurt: Make sure the yogurt is thick.
Besan: Besan (gram flour/chickpea flour) is a key ingredient. Roast the besan on low heat to remove the raw smell.
Spices: I use tandoori masala powder, chili powder, and pomegranate powder.
Ghee: I make this dish with ghee; however, you may replace it with any cooking oil of your choice.
Step by step instructions
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Mix well (steps 1,2).
Apply this marination to the cauliflower evenly. Make sure to coat the entire cauliflower. Let it marinate for 30 minutes (steps 3,4).
Prepare barbeque for indirect cooking over medium heat - 375F/190C - 450F/230C (step 5).
Place the cauliflower in the barbeque over indirect medium heat with the lid closed (step 6).
Let it roast for 1-1½ hours. Brush with some ghee once the cauliflower begins to char (steps 7,8).
Let the cauliflower roast completely. Insert a knife to check if it is cooked completely (steps 9,10).
The yogurt used for marination must be thick.
A key element of the marinade is besan (gram flour/chickpea flour). It is important to roast the besan well taking care it does not burn. Alternatively, you can grind ready-to-use roasted Bengal gram (hurigadle/puthani) into a fine powder and use that instead of besan.
Pomegranate powder adds a tang to the dish. It is optional and can be skipped. Alternatively, you can squeeze lemon/lime juice after roasting the cauliflower.
If the cauliflower begins to char after an hour, cover it with aluminum foil and cook for further 15 minutes.
Make sure the cauliflower you choose to make tandoori gobi has a tight and firm head. The cauliflower florets should be compact and the leaves must be green and crisp. The color of the head should be white or pale cream and it should not have any signs of brown and grey colored spots.
To prepare the cauliflower, trim all the leaves from it and cut the stalk to make a flat surface on the bottom. This way, it will be able to stand in the barbeque easily.
The time taken to roast the cauliflower depends on its size. Keep an eye on it to make sure you don’t overcook it.
You can also follow this recipe and roast the cauliflower in an oven. Bake the cauliflower in a preheated oven at 400 F (200 C) for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the cauliflower is cooked through.
To make it vegan, replace yogurt with coconut yogurt and ghee with any cooking oil of your choice.
Serve this grilled whole cauliflower with cucumber raita.
Tandoori masala is easily available in Indian grocery stores and supermarkets. If you don't have access to it, substitute it with garam masala and Kashmiri chili powder, although the taste of the final dish will not be the same and it will miss the smoky tandoori flavor.
Yes. Follow this recipe and bake the cauliflower in a preheated oven at 400 F (200 C) for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the cauliflower is cooked through.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, tandoori gobi does not freeze well and I recommend not freezing it.
This grilled whole cauliflower is:
- a great vegetarian centerpiece for gatherings
- delicious and flavorful
Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Indian Spices
- 1 large cauliflower head
For the marinade
- ½ cup yogurt
- 3 tablespoon besan gram flour/chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate powder (anardana powder)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- Wash the cauliflower and remove the leaves and thick stem. Cut the stalk to create a flat surface.
- Dry roast the besan for 2-3 minutes, until the raw smell goes.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for marination. Mix well.
- Apply this marination all the cauliflower evenly. Make sure to coat the entire cauliflower.
- Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
Roasting in Weber Bbq
- Prepare barbeque for indirect cooking over medium heat - between 375 F (190 C) to 450 F (230 C).
- Place the cauliflower in the barbeque over indirect medium heat with lid closed.
- Let it roast for 1-1½ hours.
- If the cauliflower begins to char after an hour, cover it with aluminum foil and cook for further 15 minutes or till the cauliflower is cooked through.
- Insert a knife to check if it is cooked completely,