Baked cauliflower pilaf with cucumber and mint raita

Baked cauliflower pilaf with cucumber and mint raita

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • Meat-free
  • 20 minutes
  • 1 hour 20 minutes

"There are always a few one-pot recipes that I’m particularly proud of. This is one of them! It’s so simple, extremely delicious, and a great crowd-pleaser too." – Alan Rosenthal


  • 1 large whole cauliflower, trimmed of all green leaves
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 300 g basmati rice
  • 2 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 25 g unsalted butter or ghee
  • 50 g sultanas
  • 25 g flaked almonds
  • 4 T store-bought crispy fried onions
  • For the marinade
  • 3 T sunflower oil
  • 1 T finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 T finely grated garlic
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 2 t garam masala
  • ¼ t chilli powder
  • ½ t ground turmeric
  • 2 T chopped mint
  • 2 T chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • For the cucumber raita
  • ¾ cup plain yoghurt
  • 1⁄3 large cucumber, grated
  • 2 T chopped mint

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

2. First, trim the stem of the cauliflower to allow it to stand steady when you come to place it in your deep pot.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients, along with 1½ tsp salt. Rub some of the marinade into the gaps on the underside of the cauliflower, then place the cauliflower in your deep pot, right way up, and rub all but 1 tbsp of the marinade over the surface. Add the onions to the remaining marinade and give them a good toss around, then arrange them in the pot around the cauliflower. Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the cucumber raita by mixing together the yogurt, cucumber and mint in a bowl with a pinch or two of salt.

5. Rinse the rice in cold water, then drain. Using a large spoon, remove the cauliflower from the pot and transfer temporarily to a plate (don’t worry if it falls apart a little). Add the rice to the pot, followed by the stock, butter or ghee, sultanas (golden raisins) and ½ tsp salt. Mix well to combine with the onions.

6. Return the cauliflower to the pot, placing it gently in the centre. Pop the lid back on and return to the oven for another 25 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with the almonds, then bake for a final 5 minutes, uncovered, to allow the almonds to turn a little golden.

7. Scatter with more fresh coriander (cilantro) and the crispy onions, and serve with the raita on the side.

This is an extract from Foolproof Veggie One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal. It’s published by Quadrille an imprint of Hardie Grant Publishing. Photographs: Rita Platts.

Find more vegetarian recipes here. 

Alan Rosenthal Recipe by: Alan Rosenthal
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Alan Rosenthal is a chef, recipe writer, cookery teacher and supper club host. He has been teaching his one-pot cooking courses at Leith's since 2010. He also authored Foolproof Veggie One-Pot

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