Masala Roasted Cauliflower

i overbought veggies this week and was worried that i wouldn’t get to everything in time, so i figured i could just start roasting stuff and then use it over the weekend. roasting stuff started to get boring and by the time i dug a head of cauliflower out of the back of the crisper, i really wanted to do something different. IMG_7930

i remembered a whole brown butter roasted cauliflower, that i saw on Ruhlman’s blog, a while back, and then i looked to see what else i had to use up. There was buttermilk and that’s when i thought “marinade”

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But then there’s always marinade leftover.

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what to do? what to do? brine for fried chicken. yay! IMG_7966 masala chicken frying

masala fried chicken masala fried chicken

Masala Roasted Cauliflower

inspired by


2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee

1 head cauliflower, trimmed

For the marinade:

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon olive oil  or ghee

1 lime, zested and juiced

1 or 2 sprigs of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder (feel free to mix several types, smoked chili powders work nicely, in this recipe)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon ground masala mix

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 420° and lightly grease a small baking sheet or ceramic baking dish with oil or ghee. Set aside.
  2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the stem, so that the cauliflower will stand level on its base in the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk with the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, masala mix, salt and pepper.
  4. Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and thoroughly coat in the marinade.*
  5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes. The cauliflower is done when you can poke into it with a paring knife and feel no resistance. The marinade will crust over the surface of the cauliflower.
  6. Sprinkle cauliflower with salt and pepper to taste. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into serving portions.

* I used the leftover marinade as the basis of a brine for spicy fried chicken, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days and used as a marinade or cooking liquid for meat, fish or vegetables
If you’re nervous about the whole head of cauliflower cooking all the way through you can steam it for 5 minutes in the microwave before roasting.

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