Salan masala cauliflower

Salan masala cauliflower

The moment I lifted the lid from my spice grinder when I made salan masala for the first time I could almost hear the cogs in motion inside my head. Yes I could easily knock up a good curry and add the spice mix at the end but I wanted to get a little more creative. I wanted, to celebrate the earthy and sweet perfume of my newly-created spice mix and make a dish that also celebrates the colourful Indian subcontinent. Anyone that’s been to India knows how colour is everywhere you look.

I played with purple and green cauliflower in a previous recipe so this was my starting point. Steamed cauliflower? Nah, I want to retain as much of the vibrant colour as I could, plus introduce even more of it. Grilled? Why not. An easy combination of salan masala, some oil and the delicious applewood smoked salt I picked up at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets on my last trip to the States. This was all I needed to toss into the cauliflower before it hit the grill. And remember, if you want to just use regular white cauliflower, go for it.

Grilled cauliflower on its own can be a little plain so I had to think of a dressing. Something with yoghurt? How about buttermilk? Yup. That’s when it rolled into what I created; that intensely pink dressing that’d go fine on any cooked vegetable or salad. This was one very experimental recipe!

Salan masala cauliflower recipe

Salan masala cauliflower recipe

salan masala cauliflower

serves 4-6


the dressing

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp grated cooked beetroot
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp honey


Place all ingredients into a blender or processor and blitz for a few seconds until combined. Set aside.

the cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp salan masala
  • 1 tsp applewood smoked salt (or smoked Maldon sea salt)
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils, to garnish
  • parsley leaves, to garnish


Heat a barbecue or griddle pan over high heat.

Place the cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Combine the oil, salan masala and salt and pout this mixture over the cauliflower. Toss well to coat. Barbecue the cauliflower for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until each piece gets charred marks on the surface. Remove form the barbecue and arrange on a serving platter. Pour the dressing over and garnish with pomegranate and parsley. Can be eaten immediately or at room temperature.

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