Here is a recipe for you which is not only brimming with flavors but is simple to make – Tandoori Gobi, Gobi Tikka or Cauliflower Tikka. Though the preparation of this Tandoori Gobi recipe may not match the technique of a traditional tandoor, the result is similar – cauliflower (or gobi/gobhi) marinated in tandoori spices and oven-grilled/oven-baked to perfection. A scrumptious appetizer recipe!
About Tandoori Gobi
Tandoori recipes are not just a favorite in Punjabi or North Indian families, but is a celebrated one at my home too. This Tandoori Gobi recipe also referred to as Gobi Tikka or Cauliflower Tikka is an excellent choice for a snack or starter.
I don’t have a tandoor at home. Thus, used an oven to prepare this Tandoori Gobi. And trust me, the result is very close to the original, if not similar.
Once the initial step of marinating the gobi in the spiced curd base is completed, you can grill/bake it in an oven to replicate a tandoori mouth feel. A variant is this yummy Paneer Tikka that you can try as well.
This Cauliflower Tikka recipe might look elaborate, but once you begin with the procedure, you’ll realize it’s an easy-peasy one.
To achieve a dish fully laden with flavors distributed evenly, marinate the gobhi for at least an hour or two. You can refrigerate it if you want to marinate for longer.
I also use cashewnut curd (yogurt) as a base for the marinade of this Tandoori Gobi, which makes it vegan too. However, don’t fret as you can very well use the regular thick curd (or hung curd or greek yogurt) for marinating the cauliflower. This is a fool-proof recipe for which you’re going to thank me later!
The best part about this Tandoori Gobi recipe is that no one really comes to know that it is actually made with a plant-based curd and not the usual dairy one. Such are the flavors and textures of this dish.
This Cauliflower Tikka is quite fiery. So, if you are preparing it for kids or people who have a low tolerance to spice levels, cut down on the quantity of red chili powder and garam masala powder. Both the measurements have been included in the recipe details below.
This spicy Tandoori Gobi a.k.a Gobi Tikka, Gobhi Tikka or Tandoori Cauliflower is one of those vegetarian recipes that is an instant hit with one and all.
Best enjoyed as a starter in parties, celebrations, special occasions or just a regular day. This Cauliflower Tikka also acts as a great filling for wraps and rolls, which qualify well as ‘dabba’ (tiffin) food.
How to make Tandoori Gobi
1. We need to use thick curd (yogurt) or you have to use Hung Curd or greek yogurt. If using hung curd or greek yogurt, jump to step 5.
To make homemade hung curd, take 3 to 3.5 cups of Curd (yogurt) in a cheese cloth/muslin cloth, tie and hang it and let the whey drain out. This may take several hours.
For a plant based yogurt, the first step would be to drain the water. You can use a fine mesh strainer like I have done and drain the water.
Simply transfer 2.25 to 2.5 cups yogurt to the strainer kept above a bowl. Cover with lid and set aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
After the yogurt has been drained of the water, measure and you will need about ½ to ¾ cup of plant based cashew yogurt or hung curd or greek yogurt.
2. Chop 1 small to medium sized cauliflower into medium florets and rinse well in water. Make sure they are of uniform size so that they cook evenly.
3. Meanwhile boil some water with ½ teaspoon of salt in a pan or pot. Add the florets and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat.
Switch off heat and then continue to keep them in the hot water for 7 to 8 minutes more.
4. Next, drain the water from the cauliflower florets and set aside.
Make Gobi Tikka Marinade
5. Roast 2 tablespoons besan (gram flour) in a frying pan. You could use chickpea flour instead of gram flour.
6. Roast stirring often, till it becomes golden brown and starts giving a nutty aroma.
7. To make the marinade, take the hung curd or strained and thick plant based yogurt in a bowl. Add all the below listed dry spice powders and herbs to it.
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- ½ or 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ or 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi), crushed
- black salt as required, can use regular salt or pink salt
8. Mix well and add 1 tablespoon oil along with the roasted besan.
9. Stir the roasted gram flour and oil well so that no lumps are formed.
10. Add the cauliflower florets in the marinade and gently coat them with it.
11. To marinate, cover with lid and keep the bowl aside for 1 hour or more in the fridge.
You can also keep overnight in the fridge. After 1 hour, gently mix the whole mixture again.
Make Tandoori Gobi
12. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C/395 F for 15 minutes. On a grilling rack, place the marinated gobi florets.
Keep a tray or plate (lined with aluminum foil or parchment) below for easy clean up later.
13. Place the tray in the preheated oven. If you have a small oven, grill or bake in batches. You could keep the tray in the center rack or in the second top rack above.
Grill or bake at 200 degrees C/395 F in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till the cauliflower florets are cooked tender and the edges start to brown.
After 10 or 15 minutes, remove the tray and turn over the florets. This is done for even grilling and cooking.
You can also char them a little if you want. But don’t overcook as they become dry. The cauliflower florets should be tender, juicy and well-cooked.
15: Serve Tandoori Gobi or Gobi Tikka hot with some Mint Chutney, onion slices and lemon wedges. Sprinkle some chaat masala and black salt on top.
This tender, spiced and grilled Tandoori Gobi pairs excellently with breads, buns, naan or tandoori roti as well. You can also have them plain or as a side dish.
- For best results, marinate the cauliflower in the curd or yogurt marinade for at least 2 hours or more. Make sure to keep it in the refrigerator if marinating for longer. The more you marinate the better the tikka.
- The spice level of this recipe is high. If you want to cut down on the spiciness, reduce the quantity of red chili powder and garam masala powder in the recipe.
- Chopping the cauliflower florets in one size helps in even grilling or baking.
- While I have used cashew yogurt here, I have also made this recipe with dairy yogurt and it works well. In fact a plant based yogurt like almond yogurt also works.
- The grilling time may alter from oven to oven. Make sure to keep the tray in the middle rack and use both the top and bottom heating elements.
- While turning the cauliflower florets midway in the oven, be careful as both the tray and the cauliflower florets will be hot. Wearing a mitten while handling the tray is advisable.
You can marinate the gobhi at least for 2 hours. For best results, you can marinate it overnight in a refrigerator. The longer you marinate, the better the flavours and texture.
Boiling or blanching the cauliflower florets softens them a bit and helps in getting rid of any worms or insects if any.
Yes, you can either deep-fry or shallow-fry too. In this case, you will have to add more gram flour to coat the gobi well.
If you don’t have an oven, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons gram flour in the marinade and then pan-fry the marinated gobi in some oil. It is better not to use a microwave as you won’t get the grilled flavors in it.
Yes. You can use potato, sweet potato, yam, mushroom, paneer or cottage cheese, etc. instead of potato.
You can add other vegetables, mushrooms, paneer or cottage cheese, tofu, etc. in it and cook to get delicious snacks or appetizers.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Tandoori Gobi | Gobi Tikka | Tandoori Cauliflower
- 1 cauliflower (gobi/gobhi), small to medium-sized
For the marinade
- ½ to ¾ cup Hung Curd or Greek Yogurt or 2.25 to 2.5 cups Cashew Yogurt
- ½ tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste or about 1 inch ginger and 2 to 3 medium to large garlic cloves, crushed or ground in a mortar-pestle
- ½ or 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
- ½ or 1 teaspoon Garam Masala or tandoori masala
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- 2 tablespoon gram flour – roasted (besan), swap with chickpea flour instead
- 1 or 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- black salt or pink salt or regular salt as required
- If using plant based yogurt like cashew yogurt, drain its water first. Place the yogurt in a fine meshed sieve, which is placed on top of a bowl. Cover and set aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- With using a fine mesh sieve, this whole process takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You don't want too thick a yogurt. So 45 minutes is fine.
- If you prefer, you can use Greek yogurt or hung curd straightaway. To follow the method of making your own hung curd, check this DIY recipe: Hung Curd.
- Meanwhile, rinse and chop the cauliflower/gobi into a medium-sized florets.
- Try to keep them in one size as its helps in uniform grilling or baking.
- Boil some water with about ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the florets and simmer them for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat.
- Turn off the heat and let the florets be in the hot water for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Drain the water and keep the partly cooked florets aside.
Making gobi tikka marinade
- In a bowl, take the strained yogurt or the hung curd or greek yogurt.
- Add all of the ground spices, seasonings and herbs, listed under the marinade.
- Mix all the ingredients listed under the heading "For The Marinade" including roasted gram flour, oil and salt.
- Check the seasonings and add more salt or the spices if required. Add the cauliflower florets and mix thoroughly.
- Place in the fridge and marinate for an hour or two. You can also marinate for a longer period of time.
Making tandoori gobi
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/395 F for 15 minutes. On a grill rack, place the cauliflower florets. Place the grill rack on a top of a baking tray lined with foil or parchment for easy cleanup.
- You can also brush the florets with oil if required.
- Grill or bake the cauliflower florets at 200 degrees C/395 F for 20 to 25 minutes or till they become tender and the edges start to brown. While grilling, after 10 or 15 minutes, remove the tray and turn over the florets.
- Once grilled, remove from the tray and arrange on serving platter or plate.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle some chaat masala.
- Serve Tandoori Gobi with mint chutney along with sliced onion and lemon wedges.
- You can also sprinkle some lemon juice on the Gobi Tikka if you like.
- Enjoy Tandoori Gobi or Gobi Tikka with bread, buns, roti or naan.
- Adjust the spices and seasonings according to your preferences. Opt to add less red chilli powder and garam masala powder if you want.
- Partly cooking the cauliflower helps it bake or grill perfectly in less time.
- To make roasted besan, roast the gram flour in a small frying pan on low heat, stirring often, until its color changes and it smells nutty.
- For the marination, you can use preferred plant based yogurt or dairy yogurt. If using dairy yogurt, use a thick yogurt, Greek yogurt or hung curd.
- This recipe can be halved or doubled easily.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Tandoori Gobi recipe from the blog archives, first published in Feburary 2013 has been republished and updated on December 2022.