Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower with Kefir Sauce


  • 1 large head cauliflower (2 pounds), broken into bite-size florets
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 cup minced red onion (5 1/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cups kefir or buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • Rice, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan or a baking dish. Sprinkle with the garam masala, season with salt, and toss to coat. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and toss to coat evenly. Roast the cauliflower for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and slightly charred. Stir the florets halfway through roasting.
  3. While the cauliflower roasts, place a deep, medium saucepan or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the onion, and sauté until it just starts to turn translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric, and chili powder if using, and cook for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low, and add the chickpea flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and fold in the kefir, stirring constantly. Watch the liquid carefully as it cooks until it thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Fold the roasted cauliflower into the liquid, and remove from the heat. Taste, and add salt if necessary.
  7. Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds, and cook until they start to pop and the cumin starts to brown, 30 to 45 seconds.
  8. Remove from the heat, and add the red pepper flakes, swirling the oil in the pan until the oil turns red. Quickly pour the hot oil over the cauliflower. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice.
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