Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spicy Manchurian Cauliflower

You can download a printable version of this recipe at!

As you might have heard by now, I’m on a diet. I made a very public New Year’s Resolution to lose 20 pounds by March 31, and with the support of my Facebook friends and readers who email me, I’m more than halfway to my goal. Yay, me.

But I’m getting kind of bored. I’ve been eating a lot of very bland food. Steamed chicken breast, steamed broccoli, steamed cabbage… Salad without dressing. Chicken without skin. Cheese without fat.

Food without flavor.

No, I’m exaggerating. It hasn’t been that bad. But I did feel like I needed to wake up my tongue this week with something different. I decided a taste trip to the East was just the answer. The Manchurian Cauliflower is my version of a spicy cauliflower dish from an Indian restaurant I visited pre-diet. The “real” stuff has some sort of breaded coating and is deep fried. This version is a lot lighter but still has a lot of flavor.

Recipe: Spicy Manchurian Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
2 t ground coriander
1 ½ t ground cumin
1 t pepper
½ t ground cardamom
½ t ground cloves
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t salt
2 t vegetable oil, divided
6 cloves of garlic, minced
¾ C ketchup
1/8 – ½ t cayenne pepper
1 green onion, sliced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the cauliflower in a large Ziploc with 1 t oil. Shake to coat. Add coriander through salt to the bag. Shake to coat. Put cauliflower in a single layer on a large, ungreased baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping once.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ketchup and cayenne pepper to taste.

Mix the cauliflower with the ketchup mixture, then return to the baking sheet. Roast for another 20 minutes, flipping once. Put in a bowl and toss green onion slices on top.


  1. Eating "diet" food is typically known as bland. It is my belief that bland food is the real culprit behind failed New Years resolutions and failed diet plans. There is so much exciting food that is great for the waistline. Too bad it's not more prevalent in the media...Congrats on your achievement. You can do it.

  2. I definitely agree! The one problem with this cauliflower is that it's so delicious I didn't want to stop eating it. Even food that's good for you can prevent weight loss if you eat too much of it. LOL