Let’s add some more flavor to your busy weeknight routine with Indian Butter Cauliflower! This vegetarian dish has a creamy and richly spiced flavorful sauce that everyone will absolutely love. Not a Vegetarian? Add in some chicken for extra protein!
My love affair with Indian food continues. This amazingly comforting and delicious Vegan Indian Butter Cauliflower was inspired by a reader who loved my Chicken Tikka Masala, but wanted a plant based Vegan option. I am more than happy to test out an abundance of Indian food in my kitchen.
So I set to work to make you all the most flavorful Indian Butter Cauliflower your taste buds can possibly handle. That’s pretty much why I love Indian food. The depth of authentic flavors of Indian food are unmatched, and more and more deliciousness is revealed with each bite. This version of Indian Butter Cauliflower is no exception!!!
What is Indian Butter Cauliflower?
Indian Butter Chicken is a common Indian dish that consists of a creamy, flavorful, tomato sauce with rich flavors like ginger, garam masala, and coriander. The cream portion is usually from butter and heavy cream or coconut milk. In this version, we’re omitting the butter and using ghee or coconut oil, and using cauliflower in place of chicken. Although, feel free to add in some chicken for protein!
How to make Indian Butter Cauliflower
For this recipe we’ll gather up the following ingredients:
- coconut milk
- garlic cloves
- arrowroot starch
- diced tomatoes
- garam masala
- curry powder
- ghee or coconut oil (Vegan version)
- cilantro for garnish
I actually started this recipe with a quick marinade of the cauliflower, ginger, and coconut milk. After the mixture marinades for at least 15 minutes, cover the cauliflower in some arrowroot starch. This helps to give it a “sticky” texture!
At this point, you can roast in the oven at 450, or use my favorite method of roasting cauliflower: the Air Fryer!!! The cauliflower will need to look browned and roasted to give it the best texture. Either method won’t take long!
Meanwhile, we will make the most delicious sauce. Heat up a large saucepan or skillet to medium high, add in the ghee or coconut oil, and saute the onion. After a few minutes, add in the garlic. Once they are both fragrant, we add in the coconut milk marinade (plus a bit more coconut milk), spices, and diced tomatoes. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, and add in some more ghee or coconut oil to the mixture. We will then blend the sauce so it’s beautifully smooth and creamy. Add the roasted cauliflower to the skillet, and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes before serving.
Here are a few variations that I know many of you may be thinking about or may ask about:
Chicken: You can either add chicken to this recipe, or use chicken in place of the cauliflower. I prefer to add it so that I have both!
Butter: Feel free to use butter in place of the ghee or coconut oil
Starch: I use arrowroot starch in this recipe as a grain-free thickening agent, and one that helps to give that sticky texture. You can use tapioca starch or even corn starch in its place.
Serve this delicious recipe over rice, or Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. That sounds funny to serve cauliflower over cauliflower, but I promise it’s amazing! Just getting in extra fiber 🙂
This recipe will hold up well in the fridge for up to a week, and tastes even better after 1-2 days. You can also freeze!
Indian Butter Cauliflower
- 2 large heads of cauliflower
- 2 cups Full fat canned coconut milk* divided
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided
- 3 tbsp coconut oil or ghee divided
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Begin by prepping the cauliflower. Chop into florets, place in a large bowl. Add 1 cup coconut milk, lime juice, and ginger. Let sit and marinate for at least 15 minutes. If using the oven, heat to 450 degrees. You can also use the air fryer.
After marinating, pour the liquid in a separate cup and save. Toss the cauliflower with the arrowroot and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. If using the oven, place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and spread out (be sure to use a non-stick spray or parchment paper so the cauliflower doesn't stick). Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden and cripy. If using the air fryer, fill the basket in one even layer (may need to do 2 separate batches). Set the air fryer to 390 and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway to ensure even cooking.
Meanwhile, make the butter sauce. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tbsp of the coconut oil or ghee, then add the onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the minced garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
While onion is cooking, mix together the spices: garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.
Pour in the reserved marinade to the onion mixture, then add the remaining 1 cup coconut milk. Stir in the spices, and finally add in the diced tomatoes with their juices. Let simmer over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, then melt the remaining ghee or coconut oil. Remove from heat.
Pour the sauce into a blender or food proccessor, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the sauce back into the skillet, and add the cauliflower. Cook for few minutes, coating the cauliflower with the sauce.
Serve hot over rice or cauliflower rice with chopped fresh cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.
*2 cups of full fat coconut milk will require 1 can, plus some more of a 2nd can. Purchase 2 cans for this recipe.