Gobi Tikka is an easy, delicious recipe to whip up. It’s a blast of flavor and has a wonderful texture and the classic yellow we often associate with Indian delights. It’s one of many “pure vegetarian” Indian appetizers or mains that’s easy vegan and works well with a tiffin lunch or dinner on-the-go. It tastes fantastic with rice and also works well wrapped in or scooped up and enjoyed with Indian flatbread: chapati or naan.
I’ve had this at restaurants all across India and regularly in my tiffin lunches at the school in Amravati. It’s an easy, popular find outside of India and simple to make at home. Last winter, my mother and I went to an excellent Indian restaurant in suburban South Jersey and we had a fantastic, zingy Gobi Tikka as a starter. As soon as I got home, I wrote down this recipe, which I have since tweaked and tested several times. The tamarind and the ginger push it from interesting to exciting. The other spices contribute to the exotic, eastern flavor.
If you’re like me and sometimes oven-shy or impatiently hungry, you can just stir-fry sauté your Gobi Tikka in a large pot in about 8 to 10 minutes on medium high heat, stirring regularly. No baking required! That’s a curry quickie with a happy ending, but baking is the way to get the true roasted and crispy taste.
Need more green power and want to go fusion East-West style? Use half cauliflower and half broccoli florets. This will be sure to make the Indian friends jealous– Broccoli is a rare find in South Asia, especially outside of the big cities.
Marinated cauliflower (gobi) ready to go in the oven.
Gobi Tikka – Spicy Indian Cauliflower
serves 3-4 / time 45 min
- 4 cups / 400g cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 in / 4 cm fresh ginger peeled, finely chopped (about 1 Tbs)
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbsn tamarind paste + 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp turmeric ground
- 1/2 tsp cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds ground
- 1/4 tsp paprika ground
- 1/2 tsp amchoor (mango) powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar or agave
- fresh chopped parsley or coriander leaves to garnish
- Preheat oven at 425 F / 220 C / gas level 7.
- Mix tamarind paste, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Remove any seeds / pits.
- Combine all ingredients including tamarind water in large bowl or baking dish. Mix well.
- Pour everything into baking or casserole dish / tray, mix, make sure all cauliflower pieces are coated with marinade.
- Bake 20 min, turn and mix all ingredients. Bake another 15-20 min until cauliflower is roasted and edges are browned and crispy.
- Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander leaves, sprinkle with paprika.
- Serve with Basmati rice or chapati.
Add 1/4 cup coconut milk to marinade for a slightly creamier flavor. This takes the place of yogurt which is often in many tandoori / baked tikka dishes. Store-bought Indian Tikka spice powder may be used in place of cumin, coriander, paprika. Garlic can be replaced with 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing) powder. If you want a fruitier flavor, substitute 2 Tbs raisins or chopped dates for the sugar / agave.