Whole-Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower: A Dinner Table Centrepiece
Image Credit: myfoodbook

There’s something very satisfying about having a vegetarian dish that looks over-the-top and tastes equally delicious. Of course, the meat eaters have resorted to roasting chickens, turkeys and pigs to put on a show for dinner, but the vegetarians seem to be left far behind. A whole head of cauliflower can be tricky and unappetising, if not treated in the right way. Unlike most other dinner table centrepieces, having a head of roasted cauliflower not only adds colour and an element of novelty, but the concept of having a vegetarian centrepiece is refreshing and welcoming for those who are vegetarians.

A whole roasted cauliflower, spiked with classic tandoori masala (the kind you would use on chicken or paneer), adds drama as well as anticipation among your dinner guests while it is being carved. While the process might look elaborate, it is a rather simple technique that results in a savoury, spicy, smoky-flavoured vegetable with crispy and fluffy textures in each bite. Pair it with a delicious bhuna masala sauce and eat with steamed rice, to experience maximum enjoyment!


Image Credits: Rumi Spice


  • 250-300 grams cauliflower
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese
  • Salt to taste


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the whole cauliflower, floret-side down into the boiling water. Cook for 5-10 minutes on a roaring boil and use a slotted spoon to extract the cauliflower and set on a wire rack to cool slightly.
  • Mix together the tomato paste, ginger-garlic paste, onion and chilli powder, salt and olive oil into a thick paste. Using a silicone brush, brush the marinade into the crevices of the cauliflower and on the outer surface on the top as well as the bottom.
  • Cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 35-30 minutes, until the top of the cauliflower begins to develop a slight char. Sprinkle the grated cheese during the last five minutes of cooking and let it turn melted and blistered.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven, once cooked, and rest on a serving platter layered with cabbage or lettuce leaves. Allow the temperature to cool down for 10-15 minutes before carving into it and serving warm.