This Air Fryer Whole Roasted Cauliflower is the ultimate centre piece that’s super delicious, healthy, and simple to make. A flavourful Indian-inspired vegetarian main, crispy and impressive – perfect for Diwali, Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving gatherings with friends and family!
About this Whole Cauliflower roasted in air fryer
I absolutely love roasting cauliflower in the air fryer – it’s simple, easy yet super delicious! The whole cauliflower turns into something truly wow-worthy, going from blah to flavourful and crispy. The best part is how versatile it is – you can smother it with your favourite marinade and air fry it to perfection, creating your very own show-stopper centrepiece.
To add a burst of flavours, I served this Indian roasted whole cauliflower with my homemade garlic yogurt sauce and topped it off with a garnish of fresh coriander, mint, and juicy pomegranate seeds. It’s the perfect dish to impress friends and family with minimal effort, making any meal extra special!
And you can also repurpose the leftovers into an interesting meal too. Simply cut the cauliflower florets and reheat on a pan or the air fryer. Then tuck them in a wrap along with lettuce, guacamole, Shirazi salad and yogurt dipping sauce. Delicious isn’t it.
Why you’ll love this recipe?
This Whole Roasted Cauliflower ticks all the boxes, making it a perfect choice for any occasion!
- Show-stopper centrepiece: Its stunning presentation and delicious flavours make it a visually impressive centrepiece that will leave your guests in awe.
- Budget-friendly: With just a few simple and affordable ingredients, easily available at local grocery stores or super market, you can create this impressive dish on a budget.
- Simple to make: This recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare. The step-by-step instructions guide you through the process, ensuring a hassle-free cooking experience, even for beginners.
- Dietary needs: It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and keto-friendly, making it suitable for those following specific diets. Moreover, you can easily make it vegan by using Vegan yogurt instead.
Here’s what you’ll need for this Air Fryer Whole Cauliflower recipe:
- Cauliflower: I’m using a medium-sized cauliflower – it’s the main ingredient that turns all crispy and delicious in the air fryer.
- Ginger-Garlic: I’m adding minced ginger and garlic – they bring a really nice flavour. If you don’t have fresh ginger and garlic, you can use store bought ginger garlic paste.
- Yogurt: I’m using Greek yogurt to make the marinade creamy and tangy. If you’re dairy-free, you can try coconut yogurt for a similar effect.
- Oil: A bit of oil helps the cauliflower get that crispy texture we love. You can use any cooking oil you have – like olive oil, avocado oil, or even melted butter.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice gives a zesty kick. If you don’t have a lemon, you can use lime instead.
- Spices: I’m using a mix of spices – turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder (for a touch of heat), cumin, coriander, garam masala (for that special Indian taste), black pepper and kasuri methi( dried methi leaves). Don’t have kasuri methi, leave it out. Feel free to adjust the spices based on what you have in your pantry.
Steam Cauliflower before Roasting Whole Cauliflower
Start by removing the leaves and trimming the stalk of the cauliflower to ensure it sits flat.
To steam the cauliflower, first fill a deep lidded pan with hot water from the kettle about 3-4 cm, add salt, and place a trivet inside. Carefully place the cauliflower on the trivet, cover the pan, and steam for 5 minutes. Afterward, remove the cauliflower from the pan and allow it steam-dry for 8-10 minutes, then gently pat dry any excess water using kitchen paper.
How to make Indian Whole roasted cauliflower in air fryer: Step by Step?
Create the Flavourful Marinade: Whisk together yogurt, aromatic spices, salt, and pepper to prepare the marinade.
Coat the Cauliflower with Marinade: Thoroughly brush the marinade all over the cauliflower, ensuring it’s well-coated, including near the stalk and core. If you have time, allow it to rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Air Fry to Perfection: Transfer the marinated cauliflower to the air fryer basket. Air fry for 10-12 minutes or until achieving a golden and perfectly roasted texture. Check for tenderness by inserting a knife into the thickest part.
Serve: Present your mouthwatering Indian Whole Roasted Cauliflower as a delightful vegetarian main with your favourite sauces like tahini, salsa verde, greek yogurt sauce and yogurt mint sauce.
Tips to Make the Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower:
- Choose the Right Size Cauliflower: Opt for a small to medium-sized cauliflower that fits comfortably in your air fryer.
- Steam with Care: Add 3-4 cm of hot water to the pan for steaming the cauliflower. Avoid adding too much water to prevent overcooking.
- Steam for Optimal Results: Steaming has three key benefits – it speeds up the cooking process, ensures any critters or insects inside are taken care of, and transforms the tough and crunchy interior into tender and easily carve-able goodness.
- Use a Suitable Pan: Select a 6-8 quarts pan with a lid that can accommodate the cauliflower head.
- Air Fry for Golden Perfection: After coating the cauliflower with marinade, air fry at high heat until it turns beautifully golden brown and have crispy exterior and delicious flavour.
Enjoy this Air fryer Indian Whole Roasted Cauliflower in various ways:
- Serve this roasted cauliflower with a tikka masala sauce.
- Carve the cauliflower into thick steaks and serve them with your favourite condiments like sour cream and chives dip, tamarind sauce, Indian mint sauce or any of the poppadom dips for a delightful starter.
- Festive Centerpiece: Replace turkey or chicken with this tandoori whole roasted cauliflower, and serve it alongside mashed potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable tray bake.
- Cut the air-fried cauliflower into florets and add them, along with lettuce, salsa verde, and boom boom sauce, to wraps, bowls, or salad bowls.
- Serve cauliflower steaks, cut from the whole cauliflower, alongside proteins for a tasty side dish.
In the fridge: Once the roasted cauliflower has completely cooled down, cover it and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing is not recommended, as it can lead to a mushy texture and alter the cauliflower’s delicious roasted flavour. Enjoy it fresh within the recommended storage period for the best taste and texture!
Make-ahead air fryer whole roasted cauliflower
The festival season can get hectic, but worry not! Prepare this Indian roasted cauliflower in advance to save time and reduce stress. Here’s how:
- Prep Ahead: Par boil the cauliflower and marinate it. Store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- On the Day: Just one hour before serving, pop the cauliflower in the air fryer or oven. Cook it to perfection until it turns a beautiful golden hue.
- Serve: Hot and flavourful, present the roasted cauliflower alongside your other festive mains and sides.
How to check if the whole cauliflower is cooked?
To check if the whole cauliflower is cooked, insert a sharp knife or fork into the thickest part of the cauliflower. If it goes in easily and the cauliflower feels tender, it’s likely cooked.
Should I steam the cauliflower for roasting whole cauliflower?
Yes, steaming the cauliflower before roasting ensures even cooking, tenderness inside, and shorter air fryer time. Steaming softens it, aiding marinade penetration for enhanced flavour.
More Air fryer Cauliflower Recipes
Roasted Whole Cauliflower recipe below
- 1 small to medium head cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 tsp Pomegranate seeds
- 1 tsp Fresh Coriander
- 1 tsp Mint leaves
- Lemon Wedges
- Remove the leaves and trim the stalk of the cauliflower to make sure it sits flat.
Steam the cauliflower:
- Fill a deep lidded pan with water, about 3-4 cm deep.Add salt and bring the water to a boil.
- Place a trivet inside the pan and carefully place the cauliflower on it. Cover the pan and steam for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cauliflower from the pan and let it steam-dry for 8-10 minutes.Gently pat dry any excess water using kitchen paper.
Make Marinade and Coat the cauliflower
- In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, spices, oil, and kasuri methi.
- Brush the cauliflower with the prepared marinade until it's evenly coated.
- Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C).Place the marinated cauliflower in the air fryer basket.Air fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and has a nice golden color on the outside.
Garnish and Serve:
- To serve, place roasted whole cauliflower on a plate.Drizzle yogurt garlic sauce and garnish with pomegranate seeds, coriander, mint and lemon wedges.