This Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower is an Indian-inspired, Whole30-friendly riff on my popular Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe! It’s a showstopper vegetable dish that will delight your vegan and omnivore friends alike!

An overhead shot of Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower on a brown plate with a wedge sliced out of it.

What is tandoori?

Tandoori actually refers to a type of Indian cooking that utilizes a tandoor, a super hot round clay oven. Proteins are traditionally marinated in yogurt or coconut milk whisked with an aromatic spice blend before they’re roasted in the clay oven. Like most of you, I don’t own a traditional tandoor, so I simply cook my tandoori-marinated meat and veggies in the oven or out on the backyard grill.

What’s in tandoori spice blend?

Tandoori spice blends (a.k.a. tandoori masala) can vary, but it usually contains garam masala (which typically consists of coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg), garlic, ginger, onion, and cayenne pepper. I buy a tandoori spice blend at the store or online, but you can mix some yourself by following this recipe. Tandoori’s not normally spicy hot, but it is very flavorful like an aromatic curry.

A collage of the cooking steps to make Whole30 and vegan Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower.

Ingredients

How to make Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Heat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle position. Grab the cauliflower head and…

Someone holding a head of cauliflower that is about to be made into Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower.

…trim away the leaves at the bottom of the cauliflower head. Carefully cut off and remove the stem and tough core, but be careful to keep the head intact.

Someone preparing a whole cauliflower head to roast it in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk coconut milk, tandoori spice, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

A shot of Nom Nom Paleo Tandoori Marinade available at select Whole Foods Market stores and 1/2 cup of marinade in a measuring cup.
You’re gonna have to make your own tandoori marinade because my sauces are no longer available!

Place the cauliflower head bottom side up in the dish or pan you are going to roast it in. Pour some of the tandoori marinade all over the bottom of the cauliflower and brush it evenly on the bottom.

Someone pouring and brushing Whole30 Nom Nom Paleo Tandoori marinade on a whole cauliflower head.

Flip the cauliflower over and pour the rest of the tandoori marinade over the top and paint the top until it is completely covered.

Someone pouring Nom Nom Paleo Tandoori marinade to make whole roasted cauliflower.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. (You can also put a layer of parchment between the foil and cauliflower if you prefer.)

Someone covering Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower with aluminum foil.

Put the skillet on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, covered.

Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower covered with foil in the oven.

Remove the foil from the skillet. Baste the top of the cauliflower with the sauce in the pan and roast for an additional hour in the oven.

Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower baking uncovered in the oven.

Once the cauliflower is golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside, take it out of the oven.

An overhead shot of Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower golden brown and ready to serve.

Transfer the cauliflower head to a cutting board or platter and sprinkle with your favorite flake finishing salt for crunch and salinity!

An overhead shot of someone sprinkling salt on top of Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Carve and serve!

Someone slicing into Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Got extra Tandoori marinade?

Make these simple recipes pronto:

How do I cook this recipe faster?

Although the final dish is worth the wait, you can streamline this recipe into a quick weeknight vegetable side dish. Simply cut the cauliflower into florets and toss with the tandoori marinade. Lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes, tossing the florets every 10 minutes, or until browned and tender. Yep, broccoli florets also work!

What do I serve with whole roasted cauliflower?

You can serve Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower as a main dish for your vegetarian pals or you can serve it as a side dish to your favorite grilled meat or seafood.

If you want to make an Indian-themed dinner, you can serve it with these dishes:

How do I store and reheat leftovers?

Store the cooked tandoori whole roasted cauliflower in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months. Reheat the cauliflower (thawed if previously frozen) in a covered dish at 325°F until warmed through. Remove the cover and broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Tandoori Whole Roasted Cauliflower

4.34 from 9 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4
Indian-inspired, Whole30-friendly riff on my popular Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe! It’s a showstopper vegetable dish that will delight your vegan and omnivore friends alike!

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle position.
  • Grab the cauliflower head and trim away the leaves at the bottom of the cauliflower head. Carefully cut off and remove the stem and tough core, but be careful to keep the head intact.
  • In a large bowl, whisk coconut milk, tandoori spice, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
  • Place the cauliflower head bottom side up in the dish or pan you are going to roast it in. Pour some of the tandoori marinade all over the bottom of the cauliflower and use a pastry brush to paint it evenly on the surface.
  • Flip the cauliflower over and pour the rest of the tandoori marinade over the top and paint the top until it is completely covered.
  • Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. (You can also put a layer of parchment between the foil and cauliflower if you prefer.)
  • Put the skillet on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, covered.
  • Remove the foil from the skillet. Baste the top of the cauliflower with the sauce in the pan and roast for an additional hour in the oven, uncovered. Once the cauliflower is golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside, take it out of the oven.
  • Transfer the cauliflower head to a cutting board or platter and sprinkle with your favorite flake finishing salt for crunch and salinity!

Notes

If you chill the marinade, it’ll make it easier to paint the tandoori on the cauliflower!

Nutrition

Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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9 Comments

  1. Wow, I love whole roasted cauliflower! Anything tandoori spiced is also a winner in my book. And yes, full fat coconut milk is KEY for flavor and creaminess! I’d just eat at least half the cauliflower myself 😉

  2. Yummilicious! Also, it’s so nice to see natural fingernails rather than those fake silly things that every other woman seems to wear. Thank you!

  3. If you use the nom nom paleo tandoori marinade, do you still use the 1/2 cup of coconut milk and tandoori spice?

    1. Nope! You either use 1/2 cup of the bottled marinade or make it with the coconut milk and tandoori spice blend.

  4. My 85 year old Mom lives in San Diego. My husband and I live up in Portland. I make Michelle’s recipes, take pics of the finished dishes and show her my masterpieces. She asked me for a copy of this recipe (she’s as non-Internet savvy as they come). Today she decided to make this as a side dish for friends who are coming for dinner. This is how today’s conversation has gone so far. I’m waiting to hear how the guests loved it.

    My mom: boy it aint easy coring a cauliflower! part of it came away. Guess i cut too deep
    Me: oopsie. You know what though? Even if it fell apart it’ll still be tasty when you roast it
    My mom: just not as pretty. but most of it is intact just a few big parts arent which i will put beside whole head and serve only the intact part
    Me: you’re making me laugh
    My mom: did you find the additional hour was enough?
    Me: It was perfect. I had used a too-small head of cauliflower, so i think I only roasted with 45 min and then poked it to see if it was tender. it was
    My mom: well this was 2 lbs before the pieces fell off
    My mom: stop laughing
    Me: can’t
    My mom: you know i will blame you if its not perfect
    Me: I’m good with that
    My mom: lol
    Me: Gene (my husband) is laughing too
    My mom: i will get you both!
    Me: and our little cats too?
    My mom: absolutely they take after their mommy and daddy
    Me: yeah they’re laughing too
    My mom: Maddie (her dog) is crying
    Me: with laughter
    My mom then cyber-whaps me.

  5. Looks great! If I use the sheet pan method for the cauliflower dish do I still cover with foil and just remove to stir and recover?

  6. 2 stars
    I’m Nomnompaleo’s biggest fan. Love so many of her recipes. This one though was not a fan. Hubs hit the nail on the head when he said he felt like he was eating Cauliflower pudding. Flavor good, but the texture just wasn’t for us.