Colorful Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower

Actually, it's cardamom, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, peppercorn and red onion roasted cauliflower. It's easy to make and has wonderful flavors from the Indian spices. The past few months, we've seen purple and orange cauliflower at the grocery store and finally tried them in this roasted cauliflower recipe. Wouldn't you want colorful cauliflower too?

Purple cauliflower looks nice and pretty raw, but turns dark when cooked, like most other purple fruits and vegetables. We couldn't taste any differences between the white, purple and orange cauliflower, but the spices and caramelized red onions are the predominant flavors in this dish.

According to this All About Cauliflower article, purple cauliflower...

"cooks faster than white cauliflower and has a little milder taste. When cooked, its color changes from purple to green. Purple cauliflower can be substituted for white in most recipes."

Colorful Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower

The purple color is caused by anthocyanins (like those found in red cabbage and red wine), which is an antioxidant. And orange cauliflower...

"is very similar to regular white cauliflower in taste and appearance except it is bright orange in color. Because of its high content of beta-carotene, orange cauliflower's vitamin A content is approximately 25 times higher than white cauliflower. Its color and nutritional value are two characteristics that will make this a popular vegetable choice."

We're glad our purple cauliflower didn't turn green, but then again, green is better than turning black.

We usually serve the cardamom roasted cauliflower with jasmine or basmati rice. The caramelized red onions are a great compliment to the cauliflower. The onions are crispy, a little oily and are delicious mixed in with the rice.

We'll pass on cooking with purple cauliflower in the future, but we'll definitely use the orange one again. I think the orange color would be interesting in our curry cauliflower soup.

A Mountain of Ground Spices

Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

SND Note: We've added the salt before and after roasting. While it's easier to salt the vegetables before roasting, the salt draws out the moisture in the vegetables, which makes them harder to brown and caramelize. Salting the vegetables after roasting is the recommended approach.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing sheet pan
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1-2 dried red chilies or 1 fresh Thai chili (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 head cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) cored and broken into medium florets
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a sheet pan or jellyroll pan with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Grind the cardamom pods, chilies, coriander, cumin and whole peppercorns in a coffee grinder or mini food processor until fine. Mix the spices with oil in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and onions and toss to coat. Add additional oil if necessary.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to a baking pan, spread evenly. Roast until they're tender and the onions are caramelized, about 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer to large bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss, adjust salt to taste and serve.

Makes 4 servings as a side dish

[Adapted from American Masala by Suvir Saran]

[tags]cauliflower, roasted, cardamom, cumin, coriander, peppercorn, spicy, red onions, caramelized, easy, indian[/tags]

17 Comments on “Colorful Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower”

  1. Mandy said:

    roasting is my favorite way of eating cauliflowers too. But purple and orange varieties are certainly rare in my neck of the wood. Congrats on the DMBLGIT win!

  2. This looks sooooooo great !!! :X I have read several recipes similar and even the same to this one, but I only feel like this one :P Maybe because it’s … colourful :X :P I must try it this week. That’s perfect for diet :P Thanks a lot!!!
    And by the way have you ever tried deep-fried broccoli (covered w flour + egg or sth like that) I’m just wondering if it’s delicious or not.

  3. Hi Chuck, I just came by your mouthwatering blog via tastespotting. Your photos and recipe selections are positively luscious. I’ m a cauliflower fiend, so I cannot wait to try this recipe.

    BTW, I saw in your archives that you have made my Baked Hot Chocolate recipe – how cool is that! Glad you liked.


  4. Chuck said:

    Mandy, sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to be able to live in San Francisco. The fresh produce in the Bay Area is amazing. Thanks on DMBLGIT!

    Minh, no problem and thanks for the complements. I haven’t made deep-fried broccoli, but I’m sure it’s good… it’s deep-fried! It’s not a good diet food though, ha!

    Heidi, thanks for stopping by and commenting! And thanks for creating the baked hot chocolate recipe. I love it for its textures and simplicity!

  5. Congrats on your DMBLGiT win…I feel that I could just pick it up and eat. ;)

  6. Dana Zia said:

    Holy Cauliflower batman! What a beautiful blog! I’m sure you hear that all the time but I mean wow! I have a food blog my self at
    Check it our if you get a chance. How do you take the pictures? How do you get multiple pictures on your blog?
    Once again, thanks for the beauty!
    Dana Zia

  7. Your cauliflower trio dish is perfect to welcome in Spring! I agree with you on salting the veggies after roasting. My veggies brown much better that way too.

  8. Just to follow up – I made this recipe a few days ago to accompany a red lentil soup – delicious. I did the after-salt – perfect. (It was even good IN the soup!)

  9. Jennie said:

    Good golly, Chuck, both the dish and the photography make me drool! I haven’t tried the non-white cauliflower varities yet. They just seem unnatural. But perhaps for this dish, I’ll give them a shot. The color is indeed lovely.

  10. Chuck, your photos are amazing! I had never seen purple cauliflower before stopping by your blog. I linked to this entry in my latest blog entry: “Is Cardamom the new Cinnamon?”
    Great blog!

  11. Leah said:

    I came across your wonderful site doing a google search for Trader Joe’s Orange Cardamom Star Cookies. I am having no luck finding a recipe that comes close to these delicious little morsels. Do you have any ideas?

  12. Dana Zia said:

    We miss you guys. I have used this recipe so many times I’ve decided to do a post on it. Thanks for the good times! Hope you are well.

  13. Jaime said:

    I love having Cauliflower, if I could eat it everyday i would, I’m also a cardamom lover/ grower myself, so this would be the perfect recipe for me

    thanks a lot


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