Roasted Cauliflower with Punjabi Seasonings

Make the most of the humble cauliflower with Madhur Jaffrey's simple recipe Roasted Cauliflower with Punjabi Seasonings. This dish makes for an excellent midweek meal served alongside pickles and rice.

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I wanted to simplify a cauliflower dish that I love, where I fry the cauliflower until it is lightly browned, and then sauté it with spices, such as ginger, coriander and cumin. After many tries, here is the beautiful result. I marinate florets of cauliflower with all the seasonings and then just roast them in a hot oven. Serve with a dish of chickpeas, or any other dal, a flatbread or rice, and a yoghurt relish.

Serves 4-5


1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets about 4 cm/1½ inches wide and 5 cm/2 inches long (about 675 g/1½ lb florets)
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
4 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds


Put all the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Combine the lemon juice, turmeric and ginger in a small bowl, then pour over the cauliflower. Add the salt, cayenne, ground spices and fresh coriander and mix well, using a plastic glove if preferred. Set aside for 2 hours, tossing now and then. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Put the oil in a small frying pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds, let them sizzle for a few seconds, then pour the spiced oil over the cauliflower. Toss well. Spread out the cauliflower in a single layer in a large roasting tin. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the pieces and roast for another 10–15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.

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