Creamy Almond Mughlai Cauliflower Recipe

Emily and Matt Clifton

Why It Works

  • Roasting the cauliflower beforehand allows it to caramelize and release its sweetness.
  • A well-rounded dose of warm spices adds richness and depth to the sauce.

This vegetarian side dish or main course features roasted cauliflower in a fragrant, creamy sauce, spiced with ginger, cinnamon, anise, and more, and studded with plump raisins and slivers of crisp almonds.

Recipe Facts

Active: 75 mins
Total: 75 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds; 680g), halved, cored, and cut into 3-inch florets (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound; 450g), finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 ounce; 30g)
  • 5 medium cloves (25g) garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) dried chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) garam masala
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds (30g; can be ground in a food processor from about 1/3 cup slivered raw almonds)
  • 1 cup (240ml) Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup (240ml) homemade quick vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (75g) golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (45g) toasted slivered almonds, for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) and place rack in middle position. Place cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown on one side, about 10 minutes. Turn and roast until brown on second side and just tender, 7 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and set aside.

  2. In a large cast iron skillet or stainless steel sauté pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, chile flakes, garam masala, ground almonds, and 1/2 cup (120ml) water. Cook, stirring often, until water is absorbed and ground almonds begin to look and smell toasted, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in yogurt, stock, cream, raisins, and brown sugar. Season lightly with salt, then lower heat and simmer until sauce thickens to a creamy glaze, about 10 minutes. (If it gets too thick, stir in a little more water or stock.) Stir in roasted cauliflower and toss until cauliflower is warmed through and coated in sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick pieces and star anise. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and scatter with toasted slivered almonds and cilantro. Serve with raita, rice, and/or Indian flatbreads.

Special equipment

Rimmed baking sheet, large cast iron skillet or stainless steel sauté pan

Notes

Feel free to use either standard white cauliflower or, if you can find it, the orange variety pictured here.

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