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Dinner with Rukmini

Browse all of the recipes in Rukmini Iyer’s cookbooks by ingredient.

Sesame and Thyme Roasted Cauliflower Pilaf with Feta Cheese and Watercress

A few choice spices take Rukmini Iyer's pilaf to new heights. Serve as a part of a sharing feast or as an accompaniment to a main dish.

From the book


Za’atar is one of my favourite spice mixes. It’s usually made with toasted sesame seeds, salt, sumac, dried thyme, marjoram or oregano. It’s readily available in big supermarkets, but if you can’t find any for this recipe, use a tablespoon each of dried thyme and sesame seeds. This pilaf makes a lovely side dish when entertaining, but works perfectly as part of a vegetarian sharing feast.

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200g bulgur wheat, rinsed
400ml hot vegetable stock
1 red onion, roughly sliced
2½cm fresh ginger, grated
1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
leaves from the cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 heaped tbsp za’atar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bag of (85–100g) watercress, roughly chopped
100g feta cheese
5 radishes, finely sliced


Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas 7. Tip the bulgur wheat, stock, onion, ginger and cauliflower leaves into a roasting tin and stir, making sure the bulgur is covered with the liquid. On your chopping board, rub the cauliflower with the oil, za’atar and crushed garlic, then scatter it over the bulgur wheat.

Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the cauliflower is charred and just cooked through. Remove from the oven and stir through the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and watercress. Top with the feta cheese and radishes and serve hot.

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From the book: The Quick Roasting Tin

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