Tandoori Gobi Tikka or Tandoori Cauliflower Tikka is a spicy Indian baked/grilled dish with cauliflower flowerettes marinated and roasted in a mixture of yogurt and some aromatic, exotic Indian tandoori spices. It is the perfect vegetarian appetizer you can serve at any party or even as an evening snack along with chai or coffee.
The word “tandoori” or “tikkas” is normally associated with non-vegetarian Indian dishes like tandoori chicken tikka, fish tikka or flatbreads like naan/ kulcha etc. made in a “tandoor” or clay oven. Vegetarians have very little choice as far as spicy tandoori dishes are concerned. Tandoori Gobi tikkas made in an oven are my treat to my vegetarian family.
Most homes do not have a tandoor at home. So, we have to make do with an oven to grill our meats or vegetables. If you do not have an oven, you can still make these spicy gobi tikkas by grilling on a hot iron griddle or flat tava or even frying them!!!
Making these yummy delights is so easy; not much toiling in the kitchen is involved! Just marinate the washed and cleaned cauliflower flowerettes in a spicy yogurt marinade (for a faster version, you can parboil them and then marinate) and bake them in a hot oven. All the work is done by the oven!! Of course, you still need to mix the gobi well with the tandoori marinade using clean hands (nature’s best tool!!) to ensure the marinade reaches every nook and cranny of the gobi.
Spread them on a foil-lined pan (for easier clean up) and bake in a hot oven (turning them over in between and drizzling with oil) till well cooked, but still has a crunch (every oven is different, so check the time needed in your oven), brown and ready to be devoured scrumptious bites of tandoori gobi delight are ready!! You can even use the grill mode for the last few minutes of baking to get a crispy tandoori gobi with an even better roasted flavor.
Serve these spicy, tandoori gobi bites with green chutney, chili mayonnaise (mix regular or eggless mayonnaise with some of your favorite chili sauce) or any dip like tomato ketchup or chutney that you like!!
If you do not like gobi or cauliflower, use paneer (Indian cottage cheese) instead or even the humble potato or aloo. Gobi of course is one of the best choices to make in a tandoor as it can still maintain a little bit of crunch even after cooking (mushy, squishy cooked cauliflower is not what I even want to eat or envision!!).
Do try my other baked vegetable dish “Baked Spicy French Fries” for another tandoori kind of experience and with plenty of cauliflower available during these winters, Moroccan spiced Cauliflower and Almond Soup will help you beat the chill!!!
- 2 cups of cauliflower florettes
- ½ cup thick yogurt
- 3 tablespoons besan/chickpea flour
- 2 to 3 tablespoons rice flour
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder (for a lovely color)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
- Salt to taste
- Oil for basting
- Lemon wedges
- Cilantro and onion rings
- Green chutney
- Tomato Sauce
- Chili Mayonnaise
- Cut cauliflower into even sized flowerettes (for even baking), wash well and keep aside. For a faster version, parboil the cauliflower; place the flowerettes in a big pan of boiling water for about 3 to 5 minutes and then completely drain the water well.
- Prepare the marination.
- In a small saucepan, roast the besan/chickpea flour on medium low flame for about 1 to 2 minutes; take care not to burn.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the marination ingredients; yogurt, besan, rice flour, chili powder, garam masala powder, chaat masala powder, turmeric powder, kasoori methi, ginger and garlic along with salt to taste. Mix well.
- Taste and see if you need additional salt or chaat masala (you can even add lemon juice at this stage) for a balanced flavor.
- Add the cauliflower flowerets to the yogurt-spice mixture. Gently stir well till each flowerette is coated well. If you feel cauliflower is too dry, add some additional yogurt or water and if it is too wet, feel free to add more besan or rice flour.
- Once the marination has well coated the cauliflower flowerettes, cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours or even overnight (for best results).
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees centigrade or 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly grease a large baking tray (to hold the foil in place) and line with aluminum foil (for easier clean up!!) and grease the foil well.
- Spread the marinated cauliflower flowerets in a single layer over the foil evenly.
- Brush the tops of the flowerets with oil (optional), but it gives a good color and crunch.
- Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes (different for each oven, so check intermittently) till the cauliflower is cooked and starts to brown around the edges, turning once in between.
- Once they are cooked and well browned (taste one and see if it has cooked well, but make sure not to over cook), remove from oven and transfer to a serving tray.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with wedges of lime, onion rings and your favorite dip!!
- I love to serve them with green coriander chutney and chili mayonnaise(mayonnaise mixed with some red chili sauce like Sriracha sauce).
- Enjoy them with family and friends for an evening snack or as an appetizer or starter at any party!!
- For additional flavor, you can sprinkle some additional chaat masala powder on top of the tandoori gobi.
- If you are serving them to kids, reduce the amount of chili powder.
- Instead of chaat masala powder, you can use only lemon juice instead.
- Play around with spices you have in your pantry to relish different flavors in your tikka!!
- For a quicker version, parboil the cauliflower in plenty of water for a few minutes, drain and then marinate and bake for a crunchy texture.