This Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower Rice Bowl is one of the best vegan lunch or dinner bowl recipes ever! It’s easy to make, healthy, delicious and perfect for meal prep! I also included a quick and easy recipe to make your own tandoori paste at home below.
Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower – Tandoori Gobi or Gobi Tikka
When the meat eaters enjoy Tandoori Chicken, the vegetarians can enjoy this meatless crispy Tandoori cauliflower aka Tandoori Gobi! I served the roasted tandoori cauliflower florets in this Indian-inspired vegan lunch or dinner bowl made of curry garlic rice and fresh veggies topped with roasted chickpeas and drizzled with a homemade raita sauce. It is a healthy bowl that uses simple everyday ingredients done in 30 minutes. It’s hearty, flavorful, and has everything our body needs to function day to day.
The perfect Lunch or Dinner Bowl – Healthy & Vegan
Nourishing Buddha bowls are packed with energy-giving carbs and protein, dietary fiber, and loads of vitamins from vegetable toppings. They are customizable so can use any type of rice, plant protein, veggies, and sauces to make them. Plus, they are easy to put together and are ideal as on-the-go lunches for school or work or to eat in front of the TV while watching your favorite series.
My Crispy Sesame Tofu Rice Bowl and Vegan Burrito Bowl are always a hit and so will this Tandoori Cauliflower Bowl for sure! Enjoy the robust flavors from the tandoori, yogurt, and other spices, and the play of textures from the fluffy curry rice, crispy chickpeas, crunchy veggies, and tender cauliflowers!
What is Tandoori Gobi?
Tandoori recipes are a favorite in Punjabi or North Indian families! Also known as Gobi Tikka or Cauliflower Tikka, Tandoori Gobi are marinated cauliflower florets which are later grilled in an oven or tandoor. It is often served as an appetizer or snack with green chutney but you can also put it into wraps or veggie bowls.
I don’t have a tandoor at home so I used my oven to prepare this Tandoori Gobi. However, the result is very close to the original! You can also use your air-fryer.
Homemade Tandoori Paste
Tandoori is an Indian spice blend and is similar to Garam Masala, which I also used for my Tofu Tikka Masala recipe. Included are aromatic ingredients such as garlic, onion, paprika, chili, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, lime juice and/or lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper, sunflower, and peanut oil. Optionally, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon can be added to taste. To keep things easier, you can use your favorite store-bought tandoori paste. However, making your own vegan version of this classic Indian condiment is easy and I added the full ingredient detail further down.
For the Curry Garlic Rice. I used basmati rice, oil, garlic, curry powder, water, and salt to make this. Sautéing the garlic in oil (you can use coconut, canola or olive oil, or vegan butter) gives the curry rice a nice savory base. I also stir-fried the basmati with curry powder before boiling to give them a deeper smoky taste. You can use other types of rice as well like brown or jasmine rice.
For the Tandoori Cauliflower. You only need 4 ingredients to make this. Cauliflower florets, Tandoori paste, Greek-style Vegan yogurt, and oil. You can use peanut or sesame oil to give the florets a touch of nuttiness.
For the Roasted Chickpeas. I coated the chickpeas with paprika powder, oil, salt, and pepper before roasting them. You can also add a bit of chili powder to taste.
For the Sauce. I used my homemade dairy-free raita sauce recipe. It is a traditional Indian yogurt sauce with a light, cooling, and refreshing flavor similar to Greek Tzatziki.
Garnishes (optional). You can top the Tandoori Cauliflower Bowl with fresh mixed greens like baby spinach, chard, and arugula. I also like adding cucumber, radishes, and toasted slivered almonds for some crunch as well as pomegranate seeds and cilantro for more flavor and color.
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Oven-roasted Tandoori Gobi
Divide cauliflower into florets and combine with the marinade (tandoori paste, yogurt and oil). Place the marinated cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 428 °F (220 °C) for about 20-25 minutes, until the roasted cauliflower is tender.
Step 2: Roasted Chickpeas and Toasted Almonds
Combine chickpeas, paprika powder, oil, salt and pepper. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy. Then remove from the baking sheet. Spread slivered almonds on the baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Curry Garlic Rice
Start by sautéing the garlic for 1 minute. Then add curry powder and rice and stir-fry for a few seconds. Deglaze with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the rice is tender.
Step 4: Assemble the Bowl with Veggies and Raita Sauce
In the meantime, make the raita sauce according to this recipe and prepare the remaining ingredients for your bowls. Once all components and veggies are ready, assemble everything in bowls and garnish with desired toppings like pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds and cilantro leaves. Enjoy!
- To make Tandoori Cauliflower Tikka Skewers, you can also thread the marinated cauliflower into skewers and cook on the air fryer, oven or grill.
- Aside from tandoori, you can use another Indian seasoning paste. Depending on how intense it is, you can adjust the ratio of yogurt to paste.
- To make this dish low-carb, you can use veggie noodles or cauliflower rice. Of course, you can also use other grains like quinoa, millet, or couscous instead of rice.
- You can skip roasting the vegetables and use your favorite fresh ones, however, roasted or grilled vegetables really go well with this rice bowl recipe!
- Instead of chickpeas, you can also use other crispy toppings like toasted peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts.
- Instead of raita, you can also prepare hummus, baba ganoush, guacamole or a creamy curry sauce.
- You can also top it with vegan feta cheese or avocados, Yum!
- Make sure to drain and pat the cauliflower florets dry before seasoning and roasting them. This will ensure that the flavors will stick and they will roast perfectly and not become limp due to excess moisture.
- Slice bigger cauliflower florets into half if needed. They need to be equally sized so they will cook evenly in the oven.
- Always follow the package direction to cook the rice. The amount of water and cooking time will vary depending on what you are using.
- Reduce the amount of paprika and chili powder if needed. Your kids may not like it too spicy.
To make homemade vegan Tandoori paste from scratch, simply combine one teaspoon of each of the following tandoori spices. You can add or reduce the amount of ingredients based on your preference.
- cayenne pepper
- coriander, ground
- red chili powder
- 3-4 tbsp coconut yogurt (or other thick dairy-free Greek-Style yogurt or peanut oil)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
Tandoori Cauliflower Bowls are best enjoyed right away. If you are making this in advance, keep the layers in separate containers and store them in the fridge overnight. You can just reheat them and assemble the bowl before serving.
Homemade Tandoori paste can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks and in the freezer for 3 months. This means you can enjoy it anytime you feel like having a flavor-packed dish in just minutes! You can also use this paste on your pasta, soup, curry or stew recipes to instantly give them a burst of deliciousness that you will find absolutely irresistible!
This Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower Bowl Recipe is:
- Plant-based (Vegan, Vegetarian)
- Easy to make
- Healthy and colorful
- Loaded with veggies
- Topped with crispy protein-rich chickpeas
- Rich in vitamins and nutrients
- Versatile and customizable
- Perfect for meal prepping
- Super delicious
- Perfect for lunch or dinner
If you try this easy vegan Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower Rice Bowl recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a review! And if you take a picture of your nourishing veggie bowl and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Tandoori Cauliflower Bowl with Curry Garlic Rice and Crispy ChickpeasAuthor:
- 1 medium head of cauliflower approx. 25 oz (700 g) cauliflower florets
- 1.5 tbsp Tandoori paste or Tikka Masala paste
- 3 tbsp dairy-free yogurt coconut or Greek-style
- 2 tbsp oil e.g. peanut or sesame oil
Curry Garlic Rice
- 2 tbsp oil e.g. coconut, canola or olive oil or vegan butter
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1-2 tsp curry powder
- 1 cup basmati rice or other rice
- 3 cups water
To serve (optional)
- 1 recipe raita sauce
- mixed greens of choice e.g. baby spinach, chard, arugula
- 4 mini cucumbers
- 8 radishes
- ½ pomegranate seeded
- 4 tbsp slivered almonds
- cilantro or other herbs
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos in the post above!
- Preheat the oven to 428 °F (220 °C convection oven). Divide the cauliflower into small florets, cut larger florets in half if necessary.
- Put the cauliflower florets, tandoori paste, yogurt and oil in a large bowl and mix together. Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the florets, until the cauliflower is tender.
- In another bowl, mix the chickpeas, paprika powder, oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 20-25 minutes, tossing once in between, until the chickpeas are crispy. Then remove from the baking sheet. Spread slivered almonds on the baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
- While the cauliflower and chickpeas are in the oven, cook the rice. To do this, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add curry powder and rice and sauté for a few seconds. Deglaze with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and put a lid on. Cook for about 10 minutes (or according to package directions) until the rice is cooked and the water has been absorbed (be careful as it burns quickly!).
- In the meantime, make the raita sauce according to this recipe and prepare the remaining ingredients for your bowls.
- Once everything is ready, divide the curry garlic rice and greens among bowls. Assemble the tandoori cauliflower, crispy chickpeas and raita sauce on top of the rice. Divide the cucumbers and radishes in between and lastly garnish with pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds and cilantro.
- Tandoori paste is also easy to make from scratch. Find the recipe here. Alternatively, you can use another Indian seasoning paste. Depending on how intense it is, you can adjust the ratio of yogurt to paste.
- Instead of rice, you can use quinoa, millet or couscous.
- Instead of raita, you can also make hummus, baba ganoush, guacamole or a creamy curry sauce.
- Vegan feta or avocado is also a delicious addition!
- More helpful tips and information, including storing notes and recipe variations, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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