Whole Roasted Cauliflower & Vegan Makhani Sauce is an impressive main dish for the holidays―it looks like a bubbly volcano on your table! Smelling it bake in the oven will make your mouth water. The Makhani sauce is creamy, buttery, and decadent. Serve with rice, naan bread, or ancient grains. The leftovers are great in wraps and bowls.
Course Dinner, Holiday, Main Course, Meal Prep, Party Food
1cauliflower headleaves and tough stem removed and washed
3 - 4 quartswater to blanch
Vegan Makhani Sauce
3/4red onion chopped
1inchfresh ginger chopped2 - 3 teaspoons jarred ginger or paste, or ~1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
5-6clovescloves of garlic chopped~2 TBSP jarred
¼teaspooncrushed red pepper flakesmore or less to taste, may want to omit for kids or heat-spice sensitive eaters
14.5ozcan diced tomatoes 1 can, do not drain
3/4cupdiced tomatoes with green chilihalf of 14.5 oz can, do not drain, may want to omit for kids or heat-spice sensitive eaters and just use plain diced tomatoes
3/4cupcoconut milk from the canhalf of a 13.5 oz can
1/3cupcashews (raw, roasted and/or salted will all work)soaked overnight, or boiled and soaked in the hot water for ~15 minutes, if you are not using a high speed blender and to help make the sauce extra creamy.
3/4teaspoonsaltuse 1/2 teaspoon of salt to start if your cashews and/or canned tomatoes are salted
1 - 2teaspoonsmaple syrup
2TBSPswater optional, to thin the sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro or basiloptional
Add water, salt, and turmeric to a large pot and bring to a boil. Use enough water to immerse the cauliflower. The cauliflower will float, and a little bit of it will peek above the water.
Add the cauliflower to the boiling, salted, turmeric water. Cover with lid and cook for 3 minutes; flip the cauliflower head and cook for 3 minutes. You can flip the cauliflower head with a large metal spatula.
Then drain the blanched cauliflower by carefully pouring the contents of the large pot into a colander.
Vegan Makhani Sauce
In a pan, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until golden, 6-7 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the spices (garam masala, cumin, coriander, and turmeric) and mix.
Add tomatoes, tomatoes with green chilies, syrup, salt, fenugreek seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix and simmer covered for 8-10 minutes, reducing heat to medium-low.
Cool slightly, then blend with coconut milk, cashews, and water until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, spices.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Set aside a third (about 1 & 1/3 - 1 & 1/2 cups) of the sauce for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce onto the middle of the casserole dish, spread the sauce out with a spatula, and place the cauliflower on top.
Slowly pour the sauce on top of the cauliflower, covering the entire head of the cauliflower. Some sauce will fall down the sides. Use a spatula to spread sauce on any parts of the cauliflower that are not covered in sauce.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Then remove from the oven, pour the remaining reserved sauce on top of the cauliflower, rotate the dish, and return it to the oven for 15 minutes.
The sauce in the casserole dish will be bubbly and very hot. The sauced, roasted cauliflower will look deeper in color and drier than when originally sauced.
I like to blanch the cauliflower and make the sauce beforehand, storing them separately. Then I am ready to roast as instructed.When the sauce sits overnight or longer, the flavors marry and create an even tastier sauce.
I also recommend doubling the sauce. You can freeze it and make another head of cauliflower later, or eat it with veggies, grains, or rice. It's an I could drink it, and maybe I havesauce.When doubling the sauce, blend in batches. Also, you may want to cook the sauce in two pans. Alternatively, you could prep enough for doubling the sauce and make two batches back-to-back.If you double the sauce, you will also enjoy the satisfying feeling of using the entire cans of coconut milk and diced tomatoes with green chilies. You won't need to figure out what to do with the leftover ingredients or freeze them and find them months later—instead, you'll have more lovely sauce.www.planttestkitchen.com