Grilled Cauliflower with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

grilled cauliflower with spiced yogurt sauce
Photo: Yuki Sugiura
Prep Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
4 to 6 Serves

The secret to this grilled cauliflower's gorgeous color? The deep reddish-brown char comes from brushing the whole head with oil that's been seasoned with garam masala, paprika, and garlic, then grilling it on all sides. This step also seals in plenty of smoky flavor. And the secret to a creamy, fork-tender interior is precooking the vegetable; a seven-minute steam before it hits the grill is all it needs. Served with a simple yogurt sauce and cucumber-tomato salad, it's a carve-at- the-table centerpiece everybody will want a piece of.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), stem trimmed

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated (about ¼ teaspoon)

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

  • 2 Persian cucumbers (each about 3 ounces), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons

  • 1 large heirloom tomato (12 ounces), chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  • Vegetable oil, for grill

  • Store-bought chutney, for serving


  1. Bring about 1 inch salted water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Place cauliflower in basket, stem-side down. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and steam until a sharp knife easily slides into stem, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons olive oil, garam masala, paprika, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive-oil mixture into yogurt, along with 1 tablespoon lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine cucumbers, tomato, chives, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high; scrub grates, then lightly brush with vegetable oil. Brush cauliflower all over with 1 tablespoon olive-oil mixture; season with salt and pepper. Grill top and sides of cauliflower, turning every few minutes and covering grill in between, until florets are charred in places, about 20 minutes. Flip cauliflower stem-side down; brush with remaining oil mixture and grill, covered, until tender but not falling apart, 5 to 8 minutes more. Cut cauliflower into quarters and serve with cucumber salad, yogurt mixture, and chutney.

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