Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

whole roasted cauliflower

Whole Roasted Cauliflower for Christmas? Yes, please! Here’s a quick and simple recipe for a spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower is more than just a meal in its entirety. It’s a popular food trend, especially among non-meat eaters. Having a roasted cauliflower in the middle of the table instead of a turkey or whole gammon has become a popular option these days. It makes for a great centrepiece at the dinner table and guests can slowly twist off little florets of the vegetable while enjoying festive cheer. 

This cauliflower is a rather large one because I was preparing this for a large group of people. You can make this on the day of Christmas, or whenever you are serving this. While it is not necessarily nice when reheated, the leftovers are perfect to make my carrot and cauliflower soup


I have used chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder for this recipe. However, cauliflower is a vegetable that can carry many different flavours quite well, so feel free to experiment! The chilli powder I’ve used here is Kashmiri Chilli Powder, which is all bark but no bite. That is to say, this chilli powder provides a bright red hue without any of the fire that comes with this among of chilli paste. I find the red colour to be essential in giving the finished dish a nice deep vermillion, almost orange colour. Top this with yoghurt and you have yourself a Bollywood moment. 


This recipe requires a dutch oven; or an oven-proof dish with high sides. I had used my Tefal saucepan; it presented a perfect fit for the size of cauliflower that I was using. Essentially, placing the cauliflower inside a dish like this helps to cook it evenly, especially when covered with foil. 

Cook this covered with foil first, then remove the foil for the last 25 mins of the cooking time. This will help to give the cauliflower a nice, crispy edge (especially with the oil to help it along). 

If you like the cauliflower to cook till tender, then you can leave it in the oven longer. If you like yours with a bit of bite, then remove earlier. The timing I have provided here is perfect doneness (for me, anyway.). 

Another useful tip when roasting a whole cauliflower is to have a tray of water inside the oven before you put in the cauliflower. This will keep the air in the oven moist and prevent the cauliflower from drying out.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Recipe by Krishy MalCourse: MainCuisine: WesternDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Whole Roasted Cauliflower for Christmas? Yes, please! Here’s a quick and simple recipe for a spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower!

You’ll need;

  • 1.2 KG Whole Cauliflower

  • ½ Cup + ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil

  • 1 Tsp Ginger Powder

  • 2 Tsp Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seed Powder

  • 1 Tsp Coriander Seed powder

  • 1 Tsp Tamarind Paste

  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced

  • ½ Tsp Salt

You’ll need to;

  • Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Place a square baking tray filled with water (about three-quarters full) into the bottom shelf of the oven. Prepare a dutch oven or oven-proof saucepan large enough to accommodate the whole head of cauliflower. Set aside.
  • Combine ½ cup vegetable oil with all the dry ingredients, tamarind and garlic. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside.
  • Turn the cauliflower over and cut a cross on the base of the cauliflower (see video). This will help with even cooking. Then, pour in ¾ of the spice paste into the base of the cauliflower, let the spicy oil flow down. You can help it out by easing the spice mixture into the crevices between the stalks. Then, turn the vegetable over.
  • Pour out the remaining spice mixture onto the top of the cauliflower. Massage it such that all of the cauliflower is covered. Then, pour over the remaining ¼ cup of oil and massage it onto the cauliflower again. This will help the top get nice and crispy, while the inside stays tender and moist.
  • Place the cauliflower into the prepared dutch oven or saucepan. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue cooking for a further 25 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with a side of rice or couscous.

Recipe Video

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