Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites
New year and new beginnings? Nah , more like everyday is a clean slate to make something out of yourself. It’s what I keep telling myself . There is joy in small things. It’s the small things that build it up for the grand finale – life . Calvin and Hobbes sum it up the best in a beautiful snippet on watching the stars and losing yourself in it its infinity.. Sometimes it’s good to be lost.
So all the while, NC gets about a few inches of snow and ice and we get snowed in at home – School is far far away in another land. Tee hee.. The joy of skipping school – even my high schooler fell prey to its charm and exhibited an uncharacteristic elation.
So while mom and kids lazed around and spent quality time and lost themselves in snowmen and hot cocoa, DH was stranded trying to make his way back amongst the sea of travelers and some 8500 canceled flights. Over night layover and a really bizarre circumnavigation apart, a welcome face pops in after nearly couple of days of journey. Home sweet home !
Welcome home – with a hot cup of tea and wonderful tandoori bites…
When fresh veggies were not exactly ruling the roost in this part of the country, I usually have a stock of fresh frozen (if I can manage the non GMO kind, then definitely ) of vegetables in my freezer. Cauliflower florets – a favorite here. I used this to make the tandoori bites. It was a full head of fairly medium – big sized cauliflower that I had cut in florets and frozen. I would say about a pound of it.
Baked Cauliflower Tandoori Bites:
Prep time : 5-10 min Marination time : 5 hours to over night
Baking time : 15 -20 min
- Cauliflower florets – A head of cauliflower cut into bite sized florets or frozen 16 oz. bag
For the Marinade:
- Thick plain yogurt : 1/4 cup
- Plain chili powder / Kashmiri powder : 1 tbsp. ( use your judgment for the heat)
- Chaat masala : 1 Tbsp..
- Salt : 1 tsp.
- Tandoori Masala : 1 Tbsp.
- Garam Masala : 1 Tbsp.
- Mint -Coriander Green chutney : 2 Tbsp.
- Ginger- garlic paste : 1 tsp.
- Defrost the cauliflower florets or if using fresh ones, either nuke it in the microwave for a couple of minutes or quick blanch it. Let it come to room temperature.
- Whisk all the ingredients listed under marinade. Taste test if desired so.
- Pour the marinade on the cauliflower pieces and mix it to ensure all of it is coated thoroughly. Keep it covered in the refrigerator for minimum of 4-5 hours , but can be left overnight for best results as well.
- Pre heat oven to 400 F.
- Layer a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray oil if desired so on them so the pieces do not stick.
- Spread the cauliflower florets so they are in single layer on the sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 min or so. Keep an eye after about 12 minutes of baking. A lot depends on the tenderness of the cauliflower and your oven.
HUGE TIP : In the 8- 10 min interval, flip the cauliflower florets and rotate the pans to ensure even baking. If not you run the risk of burning the smaller sized ones.
- You should get crisp but tender cauliflower florets bursting with flavor.
- Serve with a wedge of lime and some mint – coriander green chutney as dip. You can also use a cool yogurt dip.
Bite sized, perfectly spiced and zero oil… Isn’t this just awesome?