This roasted curried cauliflower from chef Suzanne Goin is easy to make with cauliflower, onion, curry, and paprika. It’s like having a restaurant-style side dish that’s easy to make at home.
This roasted curried cauliflower recipe found its way onto the menu at chef Suzanne Goin’s A.O.C. when they were training the staff down the street at the sister restaurant, Lucques. According to Goin, “One night, my Lucques sous-chef at the time, Rob Chalmers, cooked whole cauliflower heads with a mess of spices, curry, and vinegar for staff meal. We all went crazy—it was so, so good! The second I tasted it, I knew some things are just too delicious to keep in the kitchen. This one had to go on the menu.” And we’re glad she decided to share. Noting customers’ response, she explains, “Everyone loves this preparation’s exotic layers upon layers of flavor, its blend of aromatic spiced notes, savory caramelized onion, bright acidity, and back notes of smoke.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Now go ahead and taste for yourself.–Renee Schettler Rossi
What Wine To Sip Alongside
Curry and cauliflower. Each in its own right can be tricky to pair with wine. But together?! Fortunately chef Suzanne Goin was kind enough to share her insights on what to sip with this heavily spiced yet surprisingly nuanced roasted curried cauliflower dish. “I always like pairing it with Cabernet Franc—either a light-bodied version from the Napa Valley or in the form of Chinon from the Loire,” says Goin. “Cabernet Franc is fresh and bright, with brambly fruit and dark savory elements that partner nicely with the curry and spice, as well as an inherent pleasant green vegetal quality that works really well with cruciferous vegetables. The key is to choose a wine that is not overly concentrated or high in alcohol, so as to avoid overpowering the cauliflower, as well as to keep the spiciness of the recipe in check.” Noted.
Roasted Curried Cauliflower
- Mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika*
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
- 1 medium to largish head cauliflower cored and cut into florets (ideally about 8 cups of 1- to 2-inch [25 to 50 mm] florets)
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled, cored, and cut into sixths
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat just until the seeds release their aroma and are lightly browned, no more than a minute or two. Keep a careful watch on them so they don't scorch. Transfer the seeds to a small plate and let cool.
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cooled coriander and cumin seeds until they’re coarsely ground.
- Combine the ground coriander and cumin with the curry, paprika, salt, and a few grindings of black pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the cauliflower florets and onion in a large bowl and pour the olive oil and melted butter over the top. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Add the vinegar and toss again.
- Place the cauliflower mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower, stirring every 8 minutes or so, until it's tender and nicely caramelized, 25 to 45 minutes total, depending on the size of your florets.
- Scatter the cilantro over the cauliflower, toss with a large spoon, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.
*What Kind Of Paprika Should I Use?The original recipe calls for “bittersweet paprika,” although to be honest, we’ve not seen that anywhere. Despite the fact that at least some our staff consider ourselves experts on the topic of paprika!). Hungarian paprika works swell in its place. Or for more depth of flavor, try a mix of Hungarian and smoked paprika.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This roasted curried cauliflower uses a fabulous little flavor combination perfectly suited for cauliflower. I loved the addition of red wine vinegar. I roast vegetables at least weekly, but have never though to use vinegar in my seasoning.
I simply used my generic paprika, which worked beautifully, though a smokier flavor would have been nice, too. I toasted the cumin and coriander seeds in my little cast iron pan. Such a nice aroma wafted from that pan—I wish there was a cumin and coriander incense on the shelves at Williams-Sonoma.
After 35 minutes, everything was nicely roasted with crisp edges. We ate the cauliflower hot, right out of the oven, and the 2 of us could have finished the whole batch right there. Instead, we exercised restraint and used the leftovers to make cauliflower tacos. We found that a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to be a perfect garnish for this dish. It probably yielded about 4 hearty side-dish portions.
This curried cauliflower is fantastic! That said, if you start taste-testing this once it comes out of the oven to see if it tastes best hot, warm, or room temperature, then the yield drops to 2. (This was my issue. My wife wondered what happened to all the cauliflower. Whoops.)
I left the florets fairly large (2 inches or so in diameter) so they wouldn’t completely shrink in the oven. I toasted the spices for about 90 seconds. I was probably on the low side of medium-low, just so I wouldn’t scorch them. I also swirled and shook the pan the entire time to keep the seeds moving over the heat. I have a sweet paprika from Hungary that I used for the seasoning.
There’s a lot of browning and caramelization of the cauliflower that takes place during the last 10 minutes of roasting, so don’t be discouraged when it looks like nothing is happening at first. I absolutely loved the cauliflower hot from the oven. I tried one of each size, from the small nuggets up to the larger florets, to see if there was any difference in the taste. Nope, no difference, but see my earlier warning about serving size. So I let the cauliflower cool a bit and tried it again when warm. Same thing. Still had that nice smoky flavor from the paprika and curry and a nice sweetness from the caramelized onions. Cook extra, you’ll probably need it.
It paired well with Pinot Noir.
How can I express how good this roasted cauliflower is? I can tell you that I almost ate the entire bowl of cauliflower before the rest of the dinner was ready. And I can tell you that before the night was over, I’d singlehandedly eaten an entire head of cauliflower. And that this recipe is going to make me go back to the grocery store to buy another head of cauliflower. And, finally, that this recipe will forever change how I view the potential of this often overlooked vegetable. Yes, it was that good!
This recipe is good hot out the oven, at room temperature, even almost cold. I’m sure it would also be good added to a salad the next day. I’m not sure what that “thing” is that makes this so good. I think maybe it’s the combination of flavors and that subtle hit of vinegar that helps everything come together so perfectly. What I can tell you is that I’m sure that I’ll eat another head of cauliflower tomorrow…and enjoy it just as much!
I used a combination of smoked paprika and regular paprika. It’s important to really mix the cauliflower well before cooking. It took 25 minutes to cook the cauliflower to a nice, caramelized color.
I am moonstruck over this roasted curried cauliflower, seeing as I made it three times during two weeks. Twice I served it with big honkin’ pork chops and the third time with lovely pieces of cod. I just love how complex and gentle the curry becomes when roasted.
I used a simple grocery store brand Madras curry powder and sweet paprika. The last time I served the cauliflower, I cut the butter and olive oil in half to 1 tablespoon each, just to see if it was still amazing. It turned out just as good, so no one will fault you if wanted to bank some calories for dessert or another glass of wine.
My baking sheet was covered with parchment paper and the total roasting time was a tad over 20 minutes at 450°F (230°C). You can lower the heat to 400°F to buy yourself an extra 10 minutes to get the rest of the meal together if you like. Friends, please note that my 1-pound head of cauliflower (weighed after I cored it) was the perfect yield for 2 people. If you’ve got a family of more, plan on doubling the recipe. Enjoy!
After making the Buffalo Cauliflower recipe from the site a few weeks ago, I’ve been hooked on cauliflower. I even love just plainly roasting it—the whole head or florets with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper—but decided I needed to expand my cruciferous vegetable repertoire.
I’d never used this combination of coriander, cumin, and curry, so I decided to give it a try. I toasted the coriander and cumin seeds for 7 minutes. I don’t own a mortar and pestle, so I crushed the seeds using my cast iron skillet. Rather than dirtying a bowl, I put all the ingredients (my paprika was Hungarian, not bittersweet) in a resealable bag to coat them before putting them on a baking sheet, which was covered with aluminum foil and left almost no residue to clean up. My florets ranged in size—some were smaller than I intended, so I was concerned about the roasting time at such a high temperature. There was no need to worry as the cauliflower came out perfect after 30 minutes.
I skipped the cilantro out of personal preference. I didn’t think this would be so good that it would become my new favorite cauliflower dish, but it is that good! It’s so good, I made it again the next night, but that time I took the shortcut of using ground coriander and cumin and still toasting them in a skillet. The final product tasted exactly the same to me—an amazing combination of flavors. I think this recipe would work well adding a variety of other vegetables if you like—sweet potato comes to mind first, but carrots, peppers, anything with this seasoning is going to be good.
It’s just one of those recipes that you want to keep making. Whether it’s exactly as-is or with some twist, it’s sure to be a hit.
Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite things. This roasted curried cauliflower recipe resulted in a very flavorful dish. The spices provided a nice complex flavor.
I’m not sure that I tasted the vinegar, but none of the individual flavorings were really dominant. I used smoked paprika as that’s all I had. It took me about 40 minutes to roast the cauliflower. I also didn’t have the oven quite up to 450°F because my smoke alarm goes off when the oven is that temperature or higher. I enjoyed the cauliflower just out of the oven and also when it was just slightly warm.
I had to put the leftovers away quickly because I found myself eating more each time I walked by. The finished dish would probably generously serve 6 as a side dish or 2 to 3 as a main dish.
Roasting is a great way to get a deep flavor from your vegetables, and the hands-off preparation frees you up to work on other components of your dinner—if your dinner has other components. I can be pretty happy with just roasted vegetables for dinner.
This roasted curried cauliflower recipe preparation seasoned with curry powder, cumin, coriander, and paprika will put a lot of flavor on your table with very little effort. It’s worth taking the trouble to toast and grind your cumin and coriander. It only takes a couple minutes, and the spices will have a lot more oomph. The paprika I used was Hungarian “half-sharp,” which has a bit of kick to it.
The roasting time yielded tender vegetables. I think I would have preferred to go just a bit longer to get a bit of char on the edges.
There are many recipes for roasted and seasoned cauliflower, but this one has several elements that really make it stand out. First, the combination of spices gives the roasted cauliflower a nice, complex, slightly smoky flavor. I used a smoked Spanish paprika, which is pretty much my “go-to” paprika most of the time.
The vinegar is, in my opinion, a novel addition and adds a nice, tangy flavor in the background.
Don’t skip the final step to season with salt and pepper. This clearly makes a difference in achieving the right balance of flavors in the dish. The cauliflower and onions were perfectly roasted in 30 minutes. I tasted the cauliflower when it was hot right out of the oven, after 5 minutes when they were still warm, and then later when they were at room temperature. I have to admit that I loved it at all temperatures, but hot and slightly warm were slightly preferred by my tasters.
This curried cauliflower was one of the best dishes I’ve had in recent months. It’s out of this world! And so easy! Just mix the spices, toss with the cauliflower, oil, and butter, and then bake for 30 minutes. That’s all.
I served the cauliflower on toasted garlic-rubbed bread and topped it with a pan-fried egg with a runny yolk. I used Hungarian paprika, which worked just fine, a medium hot curry powder, and a bit more cumin and coriander (1/2 teaspoon versus the 1/4 teaspoon the author suggests, just because I love those spices). The baking time was 35 minutes, and the cauliflower retained a slight and nice crunch.
I love roasting cauliflower, but I’d never done it with these spices and vinegar. This is an amazing recipe, and it’s so easy and elegant looking. Can’t wait to make it again! The dish tastes great at room temperature, too. (I just nibbled on a few leftover pieces.)
This cauliflower recipe is an extremely easy way of making a flavorful dish as roasting intensifies the flavors of the vegetable.
I would, however, like to suggest a couple of tweaks to the recipe. I noticed that the spices tended to burn in the hot oven. I suggest that we instead make a paste with the spices and the oil and the vinegar and smear it over the cauliflower florets. This would minimize the risk of the spices burning. I also think we can lower the oven temperature to 400°F to minimize the edges of the onions and cauliflower burning prematurely. The total time in my oven for 1-inch florets was under 20 minutes. The cauliflower had browned and softened well. I served it at room temperature.
This roasted cauliflower is flavorful, delicious, and balanced. We loved toasting the spices and pounding them in the mortar and pestle before mixing with all the rest of the ingredients. We served this with chicken and a simple salad and everyone was “yummm-ing” throughout the meal. We will absolutely make this again.
A simply prepared dish with many layers of wonderful flavors—a winner! The curry is fantastic with cauliflower, a touch of vinegar brightens it, and the butter makes it just rich enough. It was delicious at any temperature, but the butter flavor and the smoky aroma of the paprika were more pronounced at room temperature.
The baking time was spot on for the cauliflower, which was tender yet still crisp and nicely browned in some spots. The onion layers that got separated during tossing were beautifully caramelized and sweet while the wedges that stayed together were a little crunchy.
I don’t normally cook cauliflower, as I find it rather bland and uninteresting, but with this recipe the folks at A.O.C. deliver a vegetable side dish that’s rich in aromatics, perfectly textured, and so easy to prepare that after experiencing it just once, the recipe has vaulted to the top of my weeknight meal repertoire.
I used 1 teaspoon sweet paprika and 1/2 teaspoon smoked (pimenton), because quite honestly I don’t even know what bittersweet paprika is, let alone have any in my pantry. It was a good call. The smokiness of the pimenton nicely amplified the char on the cauliflower florets after their time in the blisteringly hot oven. The cauliflower soaked up all the warm spiced goodness of the cumin, coriander, and curry, the caramelized onion adds a seductive sweetness, and the fat of the oil and butter gave the vegetables a rich mouthfeel. Finally, the freshness of the cilantro and the acidity of the vinegar brighten the mix and bring all the other elements into perfect balance.
Bold and delicious straight from the oven the night I first made it, the dish was equally tasty served up at room temperature as a side later in the week and even cold from the fridge the next day as a quick snack. It’s rare for me, when I’m contemplating making a recipe a second time, to not change anything. But with this recipe, the only thing I would consider changing is to double the batch.
This recipe is a gem. Dang, I should have made more. It’s inspired. Go make it now!
I actually made this roasted curried cauliflower recipe twice. The first time exactly as the recipe instructs, which was exceptional (though the serving size was a small amount per person, and since we love veggies, this was far from enough for each of us). The second time I tripled the recipe and decided to add carrots as well as broccoli. Both versions of the recipe were huge hits.
I was unsure of what bittersweet paprika was, therefore I decided to use Portuguese sweet paprika, which has a nice, smoky flavor. The timing was perfect, although I didn’t end up with caramelized vegetables. The result was a perfect addition to our simple dinner of white rice and pork ribs, though I must say that if you double or triple the recipe, this could easily be eaten as a main vegetarian course as its flavors are nice and strong with an “Indianesque” hint. Absolutely loved it.
This is a rock star recipe, even for those who are mildly finicky about cauliflower. I made this for a large family gathering with children ages 5 to 17, and they gobbled it down amid protests that they didn’t like cauliflower.
I recently purchased the KitchenAid spice grinder and it works like a charm on pulverizing seeds. I used smoked Spanish paprika in my mixture and after I tossed it all together, I couldn’t stop eating it raw. Certainly line your baking sheet with parchment for easy clean up. I found the roasting time to be about 20 minutes. Delicious hot, warm, or cold!
A nicely balanced dish and very versatile dish. I used Pimenton de la Vera (smoked paprika).
This recipe is a wonderful base for a host of flavors. This was super easy and delicious either room temperature or warm. This would make great a great addition to a picnic or tailgate party and I look forward to trying it again with different spices to match whatever main course I’m serving.
The curry was lovely but I would have liked more coriander. I used two different paprikas–1 tablespoon smoked hot paprika and 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika. The smoked paprika ended up being too dominant.
Originally published January 09, 2019
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
First off, I’m a HUGE fan of Suzanne Goin. While I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at A.O.C., I’ve been to Lucques a few times to enjoy her famous Sunday night suppers. If you get a chance to visit, do it! But back to the cauliflower. I love this recipe so much. It’s amazingly simple yet deliciously flavorful and satisfying.
The ingredients were pretty easy to find, yet I had never seen bittersweet paprika before. So in place of that I used Hungarian half sharp paprika. While I’m not sure of the difference, I will say that the half sharp has a very strong smell, like paprika amplified, if that makes sense. I used what I felt was a medium cauliflower. I love onion and these thick wedges turned out so sweet and caramelized.
We tried eating these hot, room temperature, and cold. My favorite was at room temperature, as the flavors seemed to open up at around room temperature. The cauliflower had an amazing flavor, texture, and fragrance. Next time, I won’t forget the wine!