Masala Vegan

Plant based recipes inspired by spices and green living!

Tandoori Whole Cauliflower

Tandoori Whole Cauliflower

Now, that Spring is officially here, it’s time to break out my favourite barbecue recipes! Sadly, our ongoing renovations mean we can’t use my beloved open air barbecue. Oh well, the oven will have to do! I found this humongous cauliflower at the local markets this weekend, which of course followed me home 😄!

This recipe is split up into two parts, firstly make the Tandoori seasoning and, secondly making a paste to coat the cauliflower with. This homemade Tandoori paste might not be as bright as the commercial one but, certainly delivers on the flavour. The paste tastes awesome on baby potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini pieces, tofu cubes and pretty much anything else!

Tandoori Whole Cauliflower

For the Tandoori Seasoning, we need

  • Cumin Seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Dry Ground Ginger, pieces – 2
  • Cloves, whole – 6
  • Mace Flowers – 2
  • Green Cardamom Pods – 4
  • Red Chillies – 2
  • Cinnamon -2″ piece
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Red Smoked Sweet Paprika powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Salt, to taste

Roast the whole spices lightly until just warm. Cool well before grinding to a fine powder. Mix in the sweet paprika, turmeric and salt at the end. Store in an airtight glass jar, until ready to use.

To make the Tandoori paste we need,

  • Tandoori Seasoning – 4 heaped tablespoons
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 heaped tablespoon
  • White Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
  • Coconut Yogurt – 4 tablespoons
  • Season with more salt if desired at this stage.


  1. Either break the cauliflower into large florets and coat with the paste or, steam the whole cauliflower for 10 minutes in a large saucepan, if using whole. Make sure to cover the edges and the lower part too.
  2. Marinate for atleast 1 hour up to, overnight in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  4. If using any oil drizzle over the cauliflower before baking (I used nonstick spray).
  5. Bake the whole cauliflower for 40 – 50 minutes, until the top looks brown.
  6. If baking the florets then , around 30 minutes should be enough.

Check if cooked by inserting a fork in the middle of the cauliflower. Once cooked, the bits just flake off and smell heavenly.

We ate our Tandoori cauliflower with baked red onions and “Roomali” rotis!



I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I'm found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️