Turmeric roasted cauliflower steaks with curried ghee

The sweet, earthy flavors of turmeric bring out the best in these simple, roasted cauliflower steaks for a vegetarian side or main that can stand all on its own. When the cauliflower comes hot out of the oven, we drizzle it with a little spiced ghee that needs nothing more than a minute on the stove with a touch of fragrant garam masala.

 Spring naan flatbread

For the next two weeks, I’m embarking on a massive cooking challenge.

The mission? To make delicious, filling and protein-rich vegetarian recipes every day, all day that my husband and meat-loving toddler will enjoy — no eggs allowed.  

The occasion? A couple of my favorite Indian relatives are on a six-month tour of the U.S. and we are their first stop. They’re strict Hindus, which means no meat and no eggs. It’s almost like a vegan diet, but not quite, since they do need their daily serving of yogurt.

This aunty and uncle are visiting from Vizag, a coastal town in southern India where my husband was born and much of his mom’s side of the family still lives. They’re a very special aunty and uncle, since they have represented me at my (almost) Indian wedding in India when my parents couldn’t join, and have been present for every major milestone. I’ve learned the most amazing dishes from my aunty and the art of patience and kindness from my uncle. Hopefully I’ll get to learn a few more delicious Indian meals (and take you along for the ride) while they’re here.

While I can cook some basic, traditional Indian dishes, I prefer to use Indian spices in dishes that I’m a little more familiar with. (It takes the pressure off not making it as good as they do!)

These roasted cauliflower steaks are probably the easiest recipe on my blog right now. They take hardly any prep time and cook up beautifully in the oven — with little mess.

If you want to simplify it even more, you could add the ghee and garam masala to the cauliflower marinade. However, I like to drizzle it on at the end with the ghee because the garam masala stays way more pungent this way. I hope you make it and put your own unique spin on it, too.

In the meantime, do you have any more easy, flavorful vegetarian main dishes for me?

COOKING NOTES

Cutting the cauliflower into steaks makes for a beautiful presentation, as well as a great substitute for anyone craving a big main. However, if your cauliflower isn’t cooperating, there’s no harm in just cutting it up into florets, tossing it in the marinade and cooking it as is.

SERVES 4 (AS A SIDE)

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES TOTAL: 25 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

1 large cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil (coconut oil works, too)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon ghee
½ teaspoon garam masala

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the cauliflower lengthwise through the core in about 1-inch “steaks,” so to speak.  
  2. Place a cast-iron skillet in the oven and heat to 400°F.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt.
  4. Brush half of the olive oil mixture over the tops of the cauliflower steaks and carefully transfer to the heated cast iron.
  5. Roast the cauliflower in the oven until it’s just starting to get tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully  turn over each steak and brush with remaining olive oil mixture. Then, continue roasting until tender and golden, about 10 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small pan on the stovetop, warm the ghee over low heat. Stir in the garam masala and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. Serve the cauliflower steaks with a drizzle of the spiced ghee.