Whole Roasted Cauliflower

A perfect centerpiece for your vegetarian thanksgiving. This whole roasted cauliflower is so good looking that even your most hardcore meat eater friends would love to try this. It is easy, can be prepared ahead of time and vegan .

Cauliflower is the most versatile vegetable. I love to experiment with different types of cauliflower recipes, since it is one of our family favourites. This dish always reminds me of my early days of cooking. This was the one of the few dishes which I knew how to make right after my marriage. So whenever we had some guests at our place I made sure that this was on my dining table.

Whole roasted cauliflower always wowed my guests and created a perfect impression. The ultimate sophistication of serving a perfect looking whole cauliflower boosted my confidence as a cook.

What is Whole Roasted Cauliflower?

A perfectly compact cauliflower head is par boiled and marinated with simple herbs and a spice rub. It is roasted to perfection in an oven, air fryer, or pan. Coated with a mild tomato sauce this dish is delicate and delicious. I made this whole cauliflower with a coating of curry sauce. I have not served this with a base of curry. You can always do that, however I do not think it is necessary in this recipe.

How to make whole roasted Cauliflower?

The first step is to remove all the extra leaves and stem from the cauliflower. Wash it under running water. Take a big pot of water and keep it for boiling on the stove. Once it starts to boil, add salt and turmeric powder to it. Place the cauliflower in it. Boil it properly from both sides(top and bottom). It took me around 15 minutes. Keep your gas flame to medium. Boil it till the cauliflower is fork tender. Make sure you don’t over boil it.

The second step is easy. Place cauliflower in the plate. Make a mix of 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 1 tbsp of lime juice and 1/2 tsp of salt. Top the cauliflower with this marinade. Make sure it goes deep in to the cauliflower. Keep it in 15 minutes for rest.

Take a wok or pan. Add 1 tbsp of oil to it. Place the cauliflower with the head facing into the pan. Fry it on medium flame. Change the side and do it till it looks lightly charred.

Prepare a tomato onion sauce and top the cauliflower with this sauce. You can air fry or bake cauliflower, depending on your preference. You can make this in the pan as well. After it is perfectly roasted or baked, drizzle some sauce and serve it.

Can we freeze the whole roasted Cauliflower ?

Yes you can freeze the marinated cauliflower in a big freezer safe box and defrost it overnight in the fridge. Bake it or air fry it on the day of serving. However serving fresh will provide you better texture.

You May Want To Check These Cauliflower Recipes-

Achari Gobhi/Cauliflower

Tandoori Gobhi / Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Homemade Mini Shells

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

A perfectly marinated and roasted cauliflower topped with a mild creamy tomato sauce. Ideal for parties, get together, and special occasions. Serves best as a main course or a side dish.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian Cuisine.
Servings 4


  • 1 Medium Cauliflower Head

Ingredients used in boiling Cauliflower

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt

For Marination

  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder

For sauce

  • 1+1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Fenugreek Seed
  • 1 Medium Chopped onion(I use red onion)
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger -Garlic Paste
  • 1 Medium Tomato ,chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp kasoori Methi(Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • Salt according to the taste.
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk/Cream
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Chopped Cilantro Leaves


How to boil Cauliflower

  • Take a big pot .Fill it with sufficient water.Let it come to boil.Add turmeric powder and salt .
  • Remove the outer stalks and stems of the cauliflower .Do it carefully without breaking it.Place cauliflower in it .Boil it till cauliflower feels fork tender.It takes around 15 minutes .Time will vary depending on your cauliflower size.Don't over boil it .
  • Remove it from the water and keep it in a plate.
  • Mix everything written under marination and spread this mixture on the cauliflower head nicely.Leave it for 15 minutes.

Next Step-Quick Roasting in the pan.

  • Take a pan /Wok.Add 1 tbsp of oil to it.Heat it.
  • Place cauliflower flower side down.Fry it from all the sides ,till it looks little charred.It will take two to three minutes.Remove it from the pan .Keep it on the counter.

Making of Sauce

  • Take a wok /Pan.Add one tbsp of oil.Heat it .
  • Add fenugreek seeds.Dont let it burn or it will be bitter.
  • Add ginger garlic paste.Saute it till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add onion to it .Saute it for 2-3 minutes .It will be transparent and soft in that time.
  • Add turmeric powder,red chilli powder ,and chopped tomatoes to it .Add little bit of salt to it.
  • Saute it on medium /low flame.Add tomato paste and garam masala powder to it.
  • Saute it for 2-3 minutes on low flame .
  • Switch off the flame .Grind everything into a smooth paste.
  • Add this paste back into the pan .Keep the flame low/medium.
  • Add sugar,garam masala powder and kasoori methi.
  • Taste it .if needed add little salt .Let it cook till it releases oil.
  • If you want add coconut milk or cream at this time .If not ,it will still taste wonderful.Your sauce is ready.

Air Frying the Cauliflower

  • Pre -heat air fryer on 400 F.
  • Spread tomato curry sauce on the cauliflower .Make sure its coated nicely.
  • Air fry it for 6-7 minutes on 400 f.Check in between .Do not let it burn .
  • Remove it from the air fryer and drizzle some leftover sauce on it .Serve it with salad or bread.

Baking of Cauliflower

  • Pre- heat the oven on 400 f.
  • Spread tomato curry sauce on the head of cauliflower .Spread it nicely.
  • Bake it for 15-20 minutes or till it gets texture of your liking.
  • Remove it from the oven .drizzle some sauce on the cauliflower and serve it with some salad or bread.
  • Enjoy.

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