Pan-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower With Peas Recipe (2024)



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A standard technique in South Indian kitchens is to bring out the flavor of the cumin and mustard seeds by adding them first to heated oil or ghee. Cover the pan and the mustard seeds should make a splattering sound. You may need to lower the heat so that the seeds pop but do not burn. After the popping subsides, you add the ginger,chilies, garlic , then turmeric and then the cauliflower and lastly the peas. You can substitute curry leaves for the kaffir lime leaves.


Very happy to see that the Indian "sabzi"...or traditionally cooked vegetable dish....are getting mainstream. But this recipe takes a misstep.
The mustard and cumin seeds need very high temperatures....mustard more than that is the first step to get ANY Indian cooking. The cauliflower will the next. Personally as a purist, I never mix my mustard seasoning with cumin when making dishes. In this recipe, I would stick with only cumin.

Indian Cook


What's the point then? What's left? :-)


you are absolutely correct... the cumin, mustard AND the garlic ought to go in first.


Indian homes often have a baby saucepan (I like mine with a long handle!) for heating spices like cumin in a bit of ghee or oil, which are then thrown on top of the almost done dish. This yields aroma, but doesn't penetrate the food as much as putting it in early. Of course, there's no holy book which says you can't do a bit of both.

Joan Canada

See note added by Reva. The blandness comes from not letting the spices bloom - very important when using any mixture of spices.

Jackie N

An excellent side dish! Dish has with a great blend of spices that jazzed up cauliflower to a new level. Used a mix of frozen and sugar snap peas, and added some chucks of boiled potatoes at same time as peas. Could not finds black mustard seeds so used brown, and skipped the lime leaves (would use if available). Next time will try fresh turmeric. Served it long side with pan fried/oven baked salmon. This is a dish we will be making again, and again!

Memphis girl

I used edamame instead of peas, and a little more garlic. Tastes very flavorful and has plenty of color!

Joan Canada

That's what I was taught to do too. (I'm from Ireland originally but have many Indian friends.) If you don't let the spices bloom the dish will be tasteless.


I live in very middle America. No Indian restaurant in town, no Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I couldn't live here without Amazon. I make a lot of Indian food so get most of my spices from them.


This didn't even take 20 minutes. Delicious! Make sure to season it with enough salt.


I love this as my mother used to make it with potatoes added in too (chop small and par boil them first). A bit of tomato doesn't hurt and if you really want to go fancy, throw in some dried or fresh coconut. And I use a bunch of curry leaves - dried or fresh - one or two really don't do the trick. Best with some yoghurt and a good helping of coriander (cilantro) chutney on the side.


Enjoyed this tonight. Great taste. Would have liked a little more color to dish, maybe grape tomatoes or carrots added towards the end.


I live in flyover country, and all of these ingredients are easily found at whole foods. Also, when in a pinch - Amazon will send anything to you in two days!

Anne Hansen

Amazing depth of flavor. I bloomed the spices first, as other suggested. I also added some sliced red bell pepper for color. I served it on a bit of quinoa, as that’s the grain I had on hand. So delicious! Will definitely make this again.


Delicious. Changed nothing.


Didn’t add turmericAdded 2 slices of prosciutto


Delicious! Used coconut oil and left over peas. Fresh turmeric and black mustard seeds make this dish amazing.


This was good, but I toasted the cumin and mustard seeds first and thought they tasted burned in the finished dish. I served with dal, brown basmati rice, and a little green salad. Made a pretty plate, using yellow cauliflower from the farmers market.


This was pretty good. I toasted the cumin and mustard seeds first but thought they tasted kind of burnt in the finished dish. I served with dal, brown basmati rice, and a little green salad. Made a pretty plate, using yellow cauliflower from the farmers market.


I think the order is «cauliflower first» in this because it isn’t parboiled so takes a while to cook. Possibly Mr. Tanis wanted the chopped seasonings to be more identifiable than they would if cooked first. I made the recipe as is, using curry leaves I had in the freezer. It is a good dish; fresh shelled peas were great, but I made had more fresh peas than cauliflower and it might be nicer the other way.


Easy and delicious. I did toast the seeds in a little cast iron pan before adding. Would not describe as bland. Highly fragrant, reminded me of India.

Low carb maker and baker

So perfect!!! Thanks for the comment to serve with yoghurt! A nice addition!


This was great and super simple to make. I didn't have any kefir lime leaves in the house, so I didn't use them. I can see how they would have added even more flavor. This recipe is a keeper.


I was onions? But it tasted great! I added, in addition to cumin seeds, a 1/2 tsp of cumin powder and 1 tsp of coriander powder and 1/2 tsp of Indian red chili powder. I also browned the cauliflower while cooking. And, I didn't have the lime leaves, so I substituted curry leaves. I added stuff in the same order as the recipe dictates.

Nancy R

Good flavor Cut a big cauli in 1/2 inch wedges. Needed a lot more time to cook it on the soft side of al dente. Used curry leaves and combo of frozen peas and edamame. Super delicious. Sautéed the spices and fresh garlic/chili combo in the ghee first.


delicious - did not have mustard, did have lime leaves. Yum!


I substitute edamame for the peas. Tastier.


See notes in Most Helpful especially on cooking spice seeds in hot better before adding other spices and vegetables last.

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Pan-Roasted Spiced Cauliflower With Peas Recipe (2024)


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