These easy roasted tandoori cauliflower wings are delicious crispy oven-baked cauliflower with Indian spices. Learn how to make tandoori cauliflower in the oven- a quick and healthy appetizer recipe the whole family would love!
Healthy baked tandoori cauliflower bites
If you’re looking for some vegetarian tandoori recipes, cauliflower will automatically be your first choice. Unless you hate cauliflower. Even then, I suggest that you try this recipe, you may change your mind.
“Tandoori cauliflower” recipe (tandoori gobi) sounds fancy (looks and tastes fancy, too) but is very easy to make at home. It’s even easier, hands-free cooking when you roast them in the oven. Make the tandoori marinade with yogurt and a few Indian spices, marinate the cauliflower florets and pop them into the oven.
In 30 minutes, you can bite into yummy, addictive tandoori cauliflower wings! Pair with a simple raitha and you get a restaurant-style appetizer.
If you’re a fan of tandoori and tikka flavors, you’ll love the oven-baked tandoori chicken, too. There are a few changes in the marinade ingredients and cooking time and temperature but the basic “tandoori” spices remain the same.
Tandoori cauliflower marinade
- Chilli powder (can be replaced with cayenne pepper or skipped entirely if you don’t like it spicy)
- Kashmiri chilli powder (can be replaced with smoked paprika)
- Coriander powder
- Ground cumin
- Garam masala
- Chaat masala- for its characteristic spicy, sweet, tangy flavor.
- Yogurt– the most important ingredient of the marinade.
- Chickpea flour (besan)- helps keep the cauliflower crispy.
- Ginger garlic paste.
- Lemon juice
- Cooking oil (mustard oil is typically used for tandoori marinade but any oil is fine, I use sunflower oil.
- Himalayan pink salt– can be substituted with regular salt.
- Kasuri methi- dried fenugreek leaves. These are optional and can be skipped if you can’t find them. The tandoori cauliflower would still taste great, just a little different from the restaurant ones.
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. The cooking method is as straightforward as it can get.
How to make tandoori cauliflower wings in the oven
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)
How to chop cauliflower
Rinse the cauliflower and wipe dry. Cut and discard the stem at the base. Chop the cauliflower into “wings”. The trick is not to break into florets but rather chop the florets with the stems, keeping them as long as possible. This ensures that you don’t waste the stems which have flavor, too. The long stem also helps hold the floret intact when cooked. They look pretty too!
Marinating the cauliflower wings
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together. Add to the chopped cauliflower and mix well until all the wings are covered with the marinade. Let them marinate for 10 minutes.
How to bake tandoori cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C. Place the marinated florets in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them apart so they don’t touch each other. Roast the wings for 30 minutes. Brush with oil, set the oven to “broil” and cook for 3 more minutes. This last step helps brown the wings.
What to serve with tandoori cauliflower
Serve the cauliflower wings paired with a simple raitha made with yogurt, sliced onions, coriander leaves and seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin. Optionally, add some shredded carrots, cabbage, coriander leaves and sprinkle with a dash of chaat masala and lemon juice before serving.
You may have a few questions about how to make tandoori cauliflower in the oven. I’ll try to address them here.
Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy?
Cauliflower turns soft when cooked at low temperatures or when there’s moisture. The solution:
1. Roast in the oven at a high temperature for a short time.
2. Wipe the cauliflower dry after rinsing. The presence of moisture will “steam” the florets, turning them mushy.
3. Place the florets apart from each other which helps brown the florets rather than “steam” if they are clumped together.
4. Adding chickpea flour in this recipe also helps absorb the moisture and helps the cauliflower brown.
Do you wash cauliflower before roasting?
Yes, the cauliflower has to be washed and dried thoroughly before roasting. The drier the florets, the crispier they will turn out when roasted.
Should I cover vegetables when roasting?
If you want browned vegetables, you should roast them uncovered, on a baking sheet or pan. Vegetables get steamed when cooked covered, making them soggy.
How long does tandoori cauliflower last in the fridge?
Tandoori cauliflower stays fresh in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat them in the preheated oven, the same way as you roasted, placing them apart and heating for 5 to 10 minutes.
I haven’t tried freezing the tandoori cauliflower. If you want to know, please leave a comment. I’ll test the next time I make the recipe and get back to you 🙂 If you have any other questions about the recipe, please feel free to ask in the comments section. I promise to help!
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Thank you and happy cooking!