Bite-size florets coated with spices (Pul-biber) & served with a yogurt dip

I love cauliflower, and there was a Mediterranean restaurant around the corner from my Corporate Castle in LA, that did a Fried Cauliflower dish, served with tahini, in a pitta wrap.  It was delicious.

I decided to guess at the ingredients, and make it healthier by baking instead of frying, and replacing the tahini with a yogurt dip, to make it my own, and of course, a healthy spoon or two of Pul Biber!

Spices from Turkish Market

Here’s my recipe for Spicy Cauliflower Florets served with a yogurt dip.


Ingredients Spice Coating Ingredients
  • 2 Medium sized heads of cauliflower
  • 150ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  • A couple of heaped t-spoons of Red Aleppo Pepper Spice (Pul-Biber)
  • 1/4 t-spoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1/4 t-spoon Curry Powder or Coleman’s English Mustard Powder
  • 1/2 t-spoon of Smoked Paprika
  • Sprinkle of Poppy seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Couple of drops of Truffle Oil

Depending on you spice-tolerance, you can adjust these spice quantities as desired, or replace them with your favourites.

Cutting a cauliflowerStep by Step Instructions:

Heat oven to 375-400

1. Cut the Cauliflower into floret-size pieces.  Cut the florets off the stalk with a sharp knife, rather than pulling it apart manually. TIP – small ping-pong ball size:

  • Make them too small and they’ll disintegrate in the oven.
  • Make them too big and it’ll take ages to bake.

Spices in a metal bowl with olive oil

2. Pour spices in a bowl, and add 1/2 of the oil

Coating cauliflower in spices and oil3.  In small batches, toss the cauliflower in your bowl and coat it with the oil and spice mix. Once they’re coated, move them to another bowl. Continue coating the rest of the cauliflower in small batches.Add the remainder of the oil as needed.

Cauliflower ready to bake covered in spices4. When all of the cauliflower is coated. Place it on a baking tray, and sprinkle it with the lemon juice.

(I just dip my [clean] fingers in the lemon juice and drip and flip it onto the cauliflower — save a little bit for your yogurt dip.)

If you prefer, you can add the lemon juice to the oil & spice mix — but I prefer the more sporadic lemon taste I get from the flicking, rather than a uniform lemon taste on it all.

5.  Stove IconBake the Cauliflower in oven for 45 minutes to an hour (at 200/220)

  • Shake the baking tray up a bit every 15 minutes or so.
  • After 45 minutes, check for done-ness, and continue cooking until tender.

Spicy Cauliflower coated in spices with yogurt dip6. Serve with a yogurt dip (great to balance out the fiery nature of the cauliflower):

  • 8 oz of Turkish or Greek Yogurt
  • 1 spring onion, chopped really fine
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Little bit of the lemon juice left over from the cauliflower
  • Couple of pieces of chopped roasted red pepper (if you have it)

Chop onions and roasted red peppers.  Mix all ingredients into the Yogurt.  Pour into a small dish, and serve with the cauliflower


We just finished eating 2 cauliflowers!  Yum!  Vegetables never tasted so good!