Cauliflower rice is cauliflower that is chopped up really tiny and then sauteed on the stove. It’s a great replacement for rice if you are going low carb! This recipe uses Indian spices to give it even more flavor, and goes perfectly with your curry. 

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.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower "Rice"

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.

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Indian-Spiced Cauliflower “Rice”

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Cauliflower rice is cauliflower that is chopped up really tiny and then sautéed on the stove. It's a great replacement for rice if you are going low carb! This recipe uses Indian spices to give it even more flavor, and goes perfectly with your curry. 


  • 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


  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro to taste.
  • 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.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Calories: 94
Keyword: cauliflower, Indian Spiced, rice
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!


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

Asian Cauliflower Rice from The Food Charlatan


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  1. This looks so good. Planning on making chicken tikka masala soon and I think this would be great with it. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Going to cook this Indian-Spiced Cauliflower “Rice” this coming weekend paired with grilled pork. Thanks for the idea!

  3. We have made this wonderful dish a number of times now, and although I seldom comment on recipes, I felt it was time. Hubby and I made Keema Beef Curry last night and wanted something lighter with it than regular rice. He had unearthed a couple of bags of Green Giant RIced Veggies-Cauliflower while digging in the freezer recently and thought they would be quicker than going the fresh cauliflower route. It was a 10 oz bag, frozen, that we steamed in the MW first and then dumped in a pan along with the spices and sauteed for a few minutes. It was so good, and quite a time saver! Next time I would do as some others suggested, as I had thought about it after the meal, and caramelize a chopped onion and add the spices to “bloom” as one commenter said, before adding the cauliflower. It paired so well with the curry, so much so that I stapled the 2 recipes together. Thanks for a tasty recipe that should go with all our favourite curry recipes.

    1. I’m loving all these details B! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I’m obsessed with frozen cauliflower rice lately, I’m going to try your method! The onions sound good too.

  4. This recipe is a great alternative for those not using grains. The flavor is amazing and it pairs well with chicken shawarma. (I bought mine from Trader Joe’s). I didn’t use the oil – just fried in a pan with a little spray oil and water.

    1. Hey Angel, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I always turn to this recipe (with or without the Indian spices) as a rice substitute when I need to cut out some carbs in my life! Thanks for commenting!

  5. I have made this recipe three times now and it has been a big hit. We use it with Chicken Tikka Masala and my husband likes it better than plain rice. The seasonings are perfect although I don’t add cilantro at the end. I have printed this and put it in my “Favorites” cookbook!

    1. I’m so glad the recipe is a hit Cathy! It’s so nice having a low carb alternative to rice, right?

  6. This was the perfect Keto touch to the Chicken Tikka Masala we just got at our local fav Indian restaurant. The guy at the counter was practically distraught that I didn’t want any jasmine rice or Naan. “It’s free!”, he said. My (non-Keto) husband consented to taking home some Naan. I didn’t have any Naan but was so thankful for this “rice” recipe! It was da bomb!

    1. Haha! I would have loved to see the look on the guys face if you were to tell him you were eating cauliflower instead of jasmine rice. Ha! So glad you found a recipe for your Keto diet!

  7. I made this last night – it was quick and easy and very, very tasty. I used Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt and found that it needed probably another 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt.

    After trying the recipe as written, I thought that adding a caramelized, finely diced onion would add a nice hint of sweetness, so I added one while my partner (wife) was finishing another component of our dinner. It was a great addition.

    If making this again, I’d start by cooking the onion, then bloom the spices in the fat as others have suggested, and only then add the cauliflower.

  8. This is great! Just made this and had it with Indian style BBQ lamb. Agree with other comments about cinnamon/cloves/cardamom adding a hint of sweetness. Great dish!

    1. Hey Clint! I’m glad you like the cauliflower rice. Sounds delicious with Indian BBQ Lamb!! I bet that was an amazing meal!

  9. I really like the addition or use of cardamon, cloves and cinnamon in this dish. Most indian style cauliflower rice recipes are purely savory but these spices add an additional nuanced layer of flavor.

  10. Nice recipe. I made this using cauliflower that was already riced; I’ve been wanting to try riced cauliflower for a while. I made this recipe using canola oil and Trader Joe’s seasoned buffalo ghee. I sauteed the spiced in the oil and butter first, then added the cauliflower. Delicious!

    1. They have seasoned buffalo ghee?? That sounds amazing! I’ll have to look for it! Thanks for the review Barb!

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