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Vegetarian Butter Cauliflower recipe served over basmati rice with yogurt and naan

Butter Cauliflower

This Butter Cauliflower Recipe is a vegetarian riff on the classic Indian dish, Butter Chicken. In this version, tender cauliflower florets are simmered in a spiced cream sauce and served over rice with yogurt. 
Course Dinner, Vegetarian
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 325kcal


  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric divided
  • 3 tsp. garam masala divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt divided
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger sub ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream sub full-fat canned coconut milk
  • Basmati rice for serving
  • Fresh cilantro and whole-milk Greek yogurt for garnish


  • Combine lemon juice, corn starch, cumin, and 1/2 tsp each of turmeric, garam masala, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook cauliflower, tossing occasionally, until browned in places and beginning to soften, 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and transfer cauliflower to bowl with corn starch mixture and toss to coat. Return seasoned cauliflower to skillet and cook another 7 to 8 minutes, until charred in spots and crisp-tender. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl.
  • Add remaining 1 Tbsp oil and butter to skillet. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add remaining 1/2 tsp turmeric, 2 1/2 tsp garam masala, and 1 tsp salt, along with paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne; cook 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and broth; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir in cream, and return cauliflower to skillet. Simmer mixture uncovered until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice with a dollop of yogurt.


Nutrition information does not include rice. 
Serve with chickpeas for added protein. 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 890mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g