Indian-Spiced Cauliflower “Rice”

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

Is anyone else still in vacation-mode? Christmas break is officially over tomorrow and I don’t think I’m ready. If I keep this up, pretty soon my butt is going to permanently morph into the shape of the corner of the couch that I tend to favor when we sit around to play Mario Kart and watch movies all day. It’s hard work, sitting.

And who am I kidding. I’m not even the one playing Mario Kart. You have to like, move your controller to play. That’s almost like exercise. I’m the one Pinteresting in the corner.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

We had a rocking family dance party the other night. We turned off all the lights in the house, turned up N’Sync and The Spice Girls, and got down, while all the guys in the family shrugged their shoulders and shuffled their feet. It was so fun.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

I miss dancing. I used to go to dances all the time in college, and I would bring my older sister Nikki because she missed it too. Nikki, graduated, married with children, at a school dance. She bolted for the exit whenever a slow song came on, but sometimes she wasn’t fast enough and would get asked to dance by some poor unsuspecting kid. I can just hear the post-dance guy grunt session.

“So, did you get any numbers tonight?”
“No, but I hit on some married chick.”
“I bet that wasn’t awkward or anything.”

But back to our dance party. I actually had a side ache afterward. No joke. I’m seriously pathetic, you guys. I guess now is a bad time to admit that I made a decadent 3-layer cake today.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

But I also made this! Look, it’s healthy, it’s got vegetables! It IS vegetables. My sister Laura introduced me to cauliflower rice around this time last year when she went paleo. It is not rice, and it doesn’t taste like it, not in the slightest. The reason it’s called cauliflower rice is because it kind of looks like rice (normally it is white, the turmeric turns it yellow in this recipe), and it can be substituted for rice in many dishes, particularly dishes that are served “over rice.” I just want to make it clear so that you don’t all hate me when you realize that this is essentially chopped up sauteed cauliflower.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

It’s really quite good. It’s definitely a good option when you feel like taking all the carbs in the room and punching them in the face. I put together an Indian version to go with the curry we had the other night, but you can flavor this however you like. The lovely Gina over at Skinnytaste posted a Cilantro Lime version a while back. Plain old salt and pepper is good too. There are some tutorial shots below.

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

Indian-Spiced Cauliflower “Rice”

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, to garnish


  1. Rinse your cauliflower. Slice it in half down the middle, then slice each half again along the stem. Hold the quarter of a cauliflower upright and slice off the stem; this should separate the florets. Chop them roughly into 1 or 2 inch pieces. (See photos below.)
  2. Place half or 1/3 of the cauliflower (depending on how big it is) into a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse in one-second intervals until the cauliflower pieces are about the size of grains of rice, more or less. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When it is hot, add all the cauliflower, and stir occasionally for 5-8 minutes, or until tender.
  4. While it cooks, season with cumin, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. None of these measurements or even the spices themselves are hard and fast--go with what sounds good to you.
  5. Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro to taste.
  6. Serve with your favorite curry, grilled chicken, lamb, beef, pork, etc.


This is my basic recipe for cauliflower rice; if you are serving it with something that doesn't go with these spices, just add salt and pepper.

Source: Fast Paleo

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"He’s cute, isn’t he?

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"Chop him in half, then chop each half in half. Try not to make one half twice the size of the other half like I did here.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"Hold each quarter upright and slice off the stem. This separates the florets.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"Roughly chop the florets into 1 or 2 inch pieces.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"Then pulse it in the food processor. It should look something like this.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"Then saute until tender, seasoning it however you like.

UPDATE: Here’s another cauliflower rice recipe I made: Asian Cauliflower Rice. So good!

Asian Cauliflower Rice from The Food Charlatan






    • says

      Hey Erin! Thank you! You really ought to try it out, even if you don’t use these spices, just salt and pepper it and eat it with whatever. So good! And easy. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who throws home dance parties!!

    • says

      Agreed Natalie, not as good, but definitely a good option when you are trying to cut calories. And yeah, we ate this with chicken tikka but I can’t wait to try out some of my other favorite curries with it!

  1. Jenny says

    this looks so great! I can’t wait to try this. I often make a similar flavoured quinoa salad, and add some feta, green onions, peppers, cucumber- basically whatever is kickin’ around in my fridge. This looks like a great change. Don’tcha just love cauliflower?? I also steam a head and mash it up to add to homemade mac and cheese for a little less guilt, a little more nutrition for the little one. Thanks for adding to the world of good food online :) ps. your kids are too cute!

  2. says

    Jenny you’re a genius! I love the idea of doing it with quinoa. And the mac n cheese! one time I added blended spinach to mac n cheese. It tasted fine but it was a sickly shade of green…oops. I should try the cauliflower :) Thanks for your comment Jenny, it was good to hear from you!

  3. Kerry says

    Just made this tonight for dinner, with black eye peas and fire roasted tomatoes over top.

    Absolutely delish!

    Thank you !!!!

  4. says

    I usually don’t comment on blogs but I just tried the ‘rice’ and it was amazing! I urge anyone who is thinking about making it to just do it. I will be making more of it soon. :) I also included a link to this page on my blog – which is just a collection of my fav recipes that I have found online.
    Steph recently posted…Homemade Cheese and Chicken RavioliMy Profile


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