Tandoori Cauliflower

Tandoori Cauliflower

Tandoori Cauliflower

Tandoori Cauliflower is a delicious recipe of cauliflower florets marinated in spiced yoghurt marinate and grilled.

In the last few years, cauliflower has become increasingly popular due to its versatility and health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and fiber. All the nutritional content makes it an excellent addition to any meal.

If you are a fan of Indian tandoori flavours, then you will definitely fall in love with this fragrant, spiced, roasted tandoori cauliflower . It is also called as ‘tandoori gobhi’ in India as ‘Gobhi’ is Cauliflower in Hindi.

For this recipe, parboiled cauliflower is marinated in an aromatic blend of Indian spices mixed with yogurt. This dish takes cauliflower from mundane to mouth-watering in no time. The marinade and the spices elevate the earthy, nutty flavours of the cauliflower. This gluten-free and low carb recipe is great as a healthy appetizer, side dish or snack!

Other recipes you might like to try are Tandoori Aloo, Hariyali Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Broccoli,  Tandoori Soya Chaap, Tandoori Mushroom Tikka, Hariyali Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Chicken.


500 grams cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)

For Marinade
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon paneer tikka masala
1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 tablespoon gram flour
1 tablespoon mustard oil
2 teaspoons green chilli ginger paste

Other Ingredients
1-2 teaspoons oil for basting
1 teaspoon chaat masala
Juice of 1 lemon

For Smoking
A small piece of charcoal
1 teaspoon ghee/oil



Boil water in a pan and par boil the cauliflower florets for 5-6 minutes on medium heat to gently soften them. Please remember the cauliflower should have a bite on them otherwise they will be mushy when added to the marinade, hence only parboil until al-dente.
Strain and keep aside to cool down.


To prepare the marinade, place a strainer on a bowl and pour the yogurt into it. Keep this in the fridge or a cool place for 1-2 hours and let all the water drain out. You will be left with thick, hung yogurt in the cloth. 1 cup of yogurt will give ½ cup of thick yogurt. Empty the thick hung yogurt in a bowl.


Add salt, red chilli powder, paneer tikka masala, kasuri methi, mustard oil, gram flour and ginger green chilli paste to the hung yogurt and whisk it to form a smooth consistency marinade.
Add the cooled par boiled cauliflower to the prepared marinade and gently mix to coat the cauliflowers. Cover and set aside for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.


Smoking the Cauliflower (Optional)
Heat a piece of charcoal over direct heat until it is red hot. With the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it burns evenly. Make a small bowl using aluminium foil and place it on the cauliflower. Place the hot charcoal in the bowl-shaped foil and pour melted ghee/oil on top of the hot charcoal. You will see smoke coming out of charcoal.
Immediately close the bowl with a lid/ aluminium foil and let it remain like this for 2-3 minutes. After 2-3 minutes, remove the charcoal bowl. The longer you keep the lid closed, the smokier the cauliflower will infuse. Usually 2 minutes is enough, but you can experiment with it based on your taste.


I usually like to roast them on direct fire like a BBQ. So, I place a cooking wire on direct flame and cook the marinated cauliflower on medium heat for 5-6 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Remember to baste with some oil halfway through cooking.
Other method to cook is to Pre-heat the grill to 220 C/200 Fan /Gas mark 7. Place the marinated cauliflower on a roasting tray lined with greased parchment paper and grill for 10-12 minutes, turning once halfway.
Sprinkle chaat masala and lemon juice.
Enjoy with onion salad, lime and green chutney.

Tips & Variations

  1. You can use Greek yogurt if you are short of time to make hung yogurt.
  2. You can use mustard oil, vegetable oil or olive oil for the marinate.
  3. Marinate the cauliflower for a minimum of 3-4 hours to give the ingredients time to get acquainted. If you have time, you can pop the marinated cauliflower in the fridge the night before. Be sure to keep it covered in the fridge. The longer the cauliflower is marinated, the better flavours get infused into the cauliflower hence this recipe needs a bit of planning.
  4. If you have marinated the cauliflower overnight in fridge, then bring it to room temperature before grilling.
  5. Taste the marinade before adding the cauliflower to adjust the seasoning. The marinade should taste lightly spicy when tasted on its own. Cauliflower will bring the heat down when mixed with marinate.
  6. You can brush the cauliflowers with some oil while cooking to avoid them from becoming dry.
  7. To panfry the cauliflower heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/griddle pan and place the skewers in the oil. As one side gets browned, turn to cook and brown the cauliflower from all the sides.