Friday, October 03, 2014

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Can Be Paleo)

This Curried Sauteed Cauliflower is called Gobi TakTakin in India, where it's a popular dish that's sold on the street.

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites. Phase One Recipes are also Low-Carb and Gluten-Free, and this recipe can even be Paleo if you use approved oil. This Curried Sauteed Cauliflower was updated with new photos and better instructions, October 2011.)

Back in the early days of my blog I did a whole series of recipes adapted from Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World.  This international cookbook has dishes that Bittman traveled around the world to sample, and I think I've liked every recipe I've made from the book.   This dish of chopped cauliflower sauteed with red onions, cumin seeds, and curry powder is called Gobi Taktakin in India, suppposedly because of the "tak-tak" sound made by knives of the street vendors when they chop up the cauliflower as it cooks.

This is a recipe where the chopped cauliflower, onion, and spices are quickly sauteed over high heat, and I like the way the cauliflower still has a little crunch when it's done.  Mark Bittman says that cumin seeds are optional in the recipe, but they're so traditional in Indian cooking and they add so much flavor that I'd probably opt for a recipe like Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon, Curry, and Cumin if you only have ground cumin.  The recipe as Bittman wrote it has chopped cilantro mixed in and also sprinkled on top as a garnish, but if you're a cilantro hater I think mint or flat parsley would be good in this.  And please don't skip the fresh lime squeezed over as you eat it!

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on
Chop up the cauliflower into small pieces.

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on
Finely chop enough red onion (or shallots) to make 1/2 cup.

Heat the oil, sizzle the cumin seeds for 30 seconds, then add the cauliflower, red onion, curry powders, and start to cook over medium high heat.

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on
Continue cooking about 6-8 minutes, stirring a few times (but not too often so the onion and cauliflower will get slightly browned.)  It's done when the cauliflower is cooked through but still slightly crisp.

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on
When cauliflower is done, turn off the heat and mix in most of the chopped cilantro (or other herb of your choice), saving some to sprinkle on top.   

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on KalynsKitchen.comAnd just for fun, here's the original photo of this recipe from back in 2005!

Curried Sauteed Cauliflower found on
Curried Sauteed Cauliflower
(Makes about 4 servings; adapted from The Best Recipes in the World)

1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into very small pieces
2 T peanut oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp. cumin seed (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or shallots
1 tsp. sweet curry (or more to taste, I used Penzeys)
1/2 tsp. hot curry (or more to taste, I used Penzeys)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup or more fresh cilantro, chopped (or use mint or parsley if you're not a cilantro fan)
1 fresh lime, cut to squeeze over when eating

Use a large frying pan which will hold all the cauliflower in a single layer. Preheat the pan for 30 seconds over medium-high heat, then add oil and heat about 1 minute. 

Add cumin seeds and saute 30 seconds, then add onion, cauliflower, curry powders, salt and pepper and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring only occasionally so the onion carmelizes and cauliflower gets slightly browned.  (It's done when the cauliflower is cooked through but still slightly crisp.)

Add most of chopped cilantro (or other herb) and stir, then put on serving dish. Top with the rest of the chopped cilantro and serve with cut limes to squeeze over.

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
This would be a great side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other type of low-carb eating plan, even Paleo if you use approved oil.  I'd eat this with something like Grilled Curried Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce or Janet's Mustard Chicken.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Cauliflower:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Cauliflower Rice with Fried Onions and Sumac from Kalyn's Kitchen

Roasted Cauliflower Slices with Kalamata Olive and Garlic Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen

Farro and Roasted Cauliflower Salad from [No Recipes]

Lemon Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Pan-Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce from eCurry

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Sounds and looks delicious!

  2. This is how I make at home for my everyday meal, Kalyn. (except for the the pastes, instead I add homemade garam masala powder).I am sure there are some, who make the curry with curry paste too.

    Congrats on making very authentic Indian recipe.

  3. Happy Birthday Kalyn. I thought about "blogjacking" your site with a post about your birthday but decided I'd better not. Hope your day is delicious and wonderful. I love you. Rand

  4. Happy Birthday Kalyn!!! Your blog is wonderful.. Hope you have a great day!

  5. The recipe sounds wonderful. I've been debating on whether to go buy the cookbook and I think you just sold me on it. Oh and Happy Birthday!

  6. Did someone say "Birthday?"

    Happy Birthday, Kalyn! Now, if it weren't so damn cold...

    I love cauliflower with curry. My best friend growing up came from this large extended Indian family and they cooked such good food. I remember a dish of curried cauliflower, and it was chopped much finer. The texture was great.

    Roasting has been good, too. I just toss the cauliflower with a little olive oil, curry powder, and garlic cloves and let hte heat blister and soften the veg. And yes, curried cauliflower anyway is REALLY good with poultry, fish, or lamb.

    Argh, an hour and a half to lunch?!? Stay warm, birthday girl.

  7. Happy birthday!

    I've been cooking from the new Bittman book too. It really is a great book. I've made Bittman's kimchee twice already and the book just came out.

  8. Happy Birthday. I hope you have a wonderful day!!

  9. Happy Bday!!

    I need to get more cauliflower into my life. And, just look at the copious amount of cilantro in that picture...big surprise there!!!

  10. Happy Birthday Kalyn!! Hope you have a good one.

    Lots of Love,


  11. Talk about popular!!! Happy Birthday famous Blogger! Love Emily

  12. Happy Birthday, Kalyn.
    Love ya,

  13. Never followed a recipe in your life? Ah, a girl after my own heart! :-)

    Happy birthday, Kalyn!

  14. Wow, I do feel kind of overwhelmed with birthday good wishes. Thanks to everyone. The kids were cute at school too. I keep joking about being 29 and one student gave me a card that said "Happy 29th birthday" and then inside it said "Yeah, right". Pretty funny for a fourth grader. (For those who only know me in cyberspace, I am a tiny bit older than 29. And that's all I am going to say.)

  15. Happy Birthday, Kalyn!

    The recipe and picture look great - I've been debating about adding that book to my list, and you might have just convinced me. :)

  16. Happy B'day,Kayln and let me congratulate you on your Cauliflower Curry...Indian Style..:).Way to go,Kayln!

  17. What a sweet brother, you have.

    Happy Birthday, Kalyn!

  18. It looks authentic except for the pastes. I normally add a bit of ginger and garlic, red chilli powder, turneric and garam masala. Your version looks delicious! I'm so glad you like Indian food :)

  19. belated happy birthday Kalyn...

    Sorry i missed it!

    Lovely recipe by the way.

  20. Hi Kalyn, I cooked something very similar back in October, and this curried cauliflower was absolutely delicious! Have a look:

  21. I love cauliflower, curry AND Mark Bittman! This looks phenomenal. I can't wait to try it!

  22. Thanks Katherine! Ditto here.

  23. Thanks Priya. Wish I could go to India and eat it there!

  24. Hah! You made cauliflower one of my favorite ways! I usually use lemon instead of lime but I love the color and mild flavor of the curried cauliflower. Easy, fun and a great flavor twist!

    Thanks for spreading the curried cualiflower love Kalyn.

  25. C.J. you are so observant. Actually it was my birthday when I posted this in 2005, but it's not today! And I can't figure out how all those people knew it was my birthday pre-Facebook! Love the cauliflower-curry combination!

  26. I have fallen in love with cauliflower all over again and these spices make me certain that I would adore this recipe.

  27. Kaylin, this is such a great recipe! I have long wanted to add cauliflower to our family dinner repertoire but never know what to do with it. We all love Indian food and this is such a stunning, flavorful way to eat more of this fabulous, healthy vegetable. I love how you are redoing your old recipes!

  28. you know I love this and why. Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables in Indian recipes.

  29. Thanks Dara. It was really good with the lime.

    Jamie, it has been fun to try the recipes again, and of course I love having the photos improved!

    Kelsum, so glad you like it!

  30. Thats a beautiful dish you have made there!
    The most popular version of street food cauliflower is something called Gobi Manchurian(Gobi means Cauliflower in Hindi and manchurian is to denote its supposed Chinese origins - which I can assure you there are none!)Its cauliflower cut into florets and then dipped in a soy, cornflour and tomato sauce based batter and deep fried into fritters and then dunked into a soy and tomato sauce concoction.

    Your version is more homestyle cooking and I love that you have used cumin seeds. The other homestyle classic is Aloo Gobi which is cauliflower and potatoes stir fried with ginger and some spices - lovely.

  31. Miri, I love cumin seeds (and ground cumin too!) Love hearing about the other dishes; wish I could taste them all.

  32. This looks great, Kalyn. I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy cauliflower, a veggie I overlook too often.

  33. I started to read the comments and suddenly thought 'how could I have missed your birthday'? Then I saw the date. I bought an Indian cook book in the second hand store recently and the recipes look much easier than I expected.

    I like this cauliflower recipe.

  34. Barbara, I am trying to venture more into Indian cooking too, because I love the flavors. This was certainly easy enough, but some of the dishes are kind of overwhelming for me. (And I am still puzzled as to how those people knew it was my birthday in 2005; must have said something about it the day before I guess!)

  35. Just wanted to say this is one of my all-time favorite recipes! I LOVE cauliflower, curry and cilantro so this was a win, win, win for me! Thanks!


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