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Tandoori Cauliflower with Fried Paneer

Sometimes, a person needs to let off some steam; sometimes, a person needs that steam to build up inside their lungs until they burst into flames. While this isn't the spiciest Indian dish out there, you'll certainly need more than one glass of water.

Tandoori Cauliflower with Fried Paneer side view

What on Earth is "Tandoori?"

Tandoori is most commonly applied to chicken, but it can in fact be used to prepare any roastable dish. Tandoori, technically speaking, is a style of cooking in India that uses a special ceramic oven known as a tandoor (which looks like a giant vase).

So, despite the title of this recipe, we won't actually be cooking real tandoori cauliflower since very few people (myself included) have a classic tandoor oven. But, over the years, the word "tandoori" has come to refer more to the spices of the recipe rather than the cooking style.

Tandoori Cauliflower with Fried Paneer top down

Prep: 20 | Cooking: 40 min | Total: 1 hr

Serves 2


For Tandoori Cauliflower

  • Plain Greek yogurt (1 cup)

  • Lime juice (1 tbsp or 1/2 of a lime)

  • Garlic powder (1 tsp)

  • Turmeric (1 tsp)

  • Paprika (1 tsp)

  • Ground Trinidad Scorpion pepper (1/2 tsp)

  • Cumin (1 tsp)

  • Garam masala spice (1/2 tsp)

  • Fresh ginger, grated (1/2 tsp)

  • Ground cloves (1/4 tsp)

  • Salt (1/4 tsp)

  • Cauliflower (1 head cut into large florets)

For Fried Paneer

  • Olive oil (3 tbsp)

  • Lime juice (1 tbsp or 1/2 of a lime)

  • Paprika (1 tsp)

  • Cumin (1 tsp)

  • Tumeric (1/2 tsp)

  • Garam masala (1/2)

  • Onion powder (1/2 tsp)

  • Salt (1 tsp)

  • Paneer, (two 8-oz. blocks, cut into two large circles)


  1. To prepare tandoori cauliflower: In a large bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic powder, turmeric, paprika, cumin, garam masala, ginger, cloves, and salt.

  2. Stir in the cauliflower until well incorporated, then seal with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge until you're ready to use.

  3. To prepare the paneer: In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lime juice, paprika, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, onion powder, and salt. Pour the mixture into a large, sealable plastic bag.

  4. Put the two paneer circles in with the spices and shake the bag a bit. Place in the fridge.

  5. Cooking the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425 °F. Spread cauliflower out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until red-brown and tender.

  6. Cooking the paneer: When cauliflower has 10 minutes left, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the paneer and fry for 3 minutes on each side so that they are golden brown.

  7. Transfer both dishes to a serving plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Serve.

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