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Cauliflower in Cinnamon Tomato Sauce

Cauliflower in Cinnamon Tomato Sauce

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Jane Bruce

Cinnamon Cauliflower

This vegetarian dish incorporates cinnamon into a savory meal, combining it with curry powder and tomatoes to make a unique sauce for cauliflower. Serve it over rice for a heartier meal or as a side for just about any protein.

Click here to see 9 Cinnamon Recipes


  • 1 head cauliflower, stemmed and broken into florets
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into large pieces
  • One 28-ounce can crushed whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup shredded Gruyère cheese (optional)


Hi loves! I’m making this on insta live today (2 pm PST) if for some reason you read this prior, and I wanted to post the full recipe here as well. This was a member favorite from SK Cooking Club, and given the current circumstances, I figured it belonged here as well. I know everyone is trying to limit grocery runs, but I think we can make this work. Some members did half cauli, half chicken. Another mentioned she did sweet potatoes and broccoli into the sauce. If you don’t have tomato paste, you can use a can of crushed tomatoes or even tomato sauce and it’ll work. I know there are more details to true, authentic tikka masala but now does not feel like the time for details? Let me know if you have questions!

I hope you are well. Feeding ourselves and our people is one of the most anchoring acts we have right now. I wish you wellness!


Tikka is a takeout favorite but can often be so heavy. Since we have some dairy-free folks we swapped out the yogurt and cream with full fat coconut milk. We have tested this with both chicken and cauli, so you can adapt it to your family’s preference.

To swap chicken for cauli, repeat the same method of seasoning the chicken as you would the cauliflower with a third of the spice blend. Cut 1 ½ lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs into 1” cubes, toss in the spice blend, and brown in batches, over medium heat, until golden on all sides. Remove from the pan, set aside, and continue with your sauce. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add in the browned chicken and allow to simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes until cooked through.

2 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. allspice or cinnamon
½ tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
¾ cup low-sodium vegetable stock

1 14 oz. can full fat coconut milk
zest and juice of 1 small lemon

Generous handful well chopped cilantro
2 cup cooked basmati, brown, or cauli rice, for serving
¼ cup salted, toasted cashews
naan, optional
yogurt, optional

In a small bowl, mix together curry, cumin, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon/allspice, red pepper flakes, and salt.

On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange cauli florets so there is space between them, drizzle with a tablespoon of avocado oil and toss with about a third of the spice mix. Transfer to the oven and roast for 30 minutes until just browned and tender.

Meanwhile, make your sauce. In a large Dutch oven, heat the remaining oil over medium. When the oil is shimmering, add in the onion and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Add in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Once the veg are golden and tender, add in the remaining spice blend, stir, and let the spices toast for an additional 2 minutes. Add in the tomato paste, stirring to combine. Slowly pour in coconut milk, broth, and bring the sauce to a low boil.

Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, and allow to simmer and thicken for 5 minutes, until the sauce is creamy and coats the back of a spoon. Using an immersion blender or blender, puree the sauce until smooth. You can leave it chunky, but we all liked it smooth.

Transfer the sauce back to the pot, add in the cauli, lemon juice, and zest, and stir gently to combine.

To serve, fill bowls with a generous scoop of rice, the cauli mixture, cilantro, toasted cashews, and a squeeze of lemon.

1. Gnocchi with Oil & Parmesan

The simplest—but one of the tastiest—cauliflower gnocchi recipes I make requires simply smothering it with olive oil and a small mountain of parmesan cheese after it’s cooked. If I’m really feeling fancy I’ll use the truffle oil that I got at Home Goods and grate some fresh parm on there. It really elevates an otherwise simple meal.

Courtesy of Courtney Campbell.

How to Make this Tofu and Cauliflower in Vegan Kolhapuri sauce

Transfer back to the skillet over medium heat. Use 1/4 cup water to rinse out the blender and add to the skillet. and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add the tofu and cauliflower and and mix. Cover and cook for 2 to 4 mins for the flavors to meld. Take off heat but let sit covered for a few mins.

Yes use more veggies or 1 cup cooked chickpeas or chickpea tofu instead of tofu

1. For the mince, heat a large saucepan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the mince and fry for about 5 minutes, until browned. Add the salt, tomato sauce, cumin, paprika, oregano, cinnamon and 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, covered, until the water is mostly evaporated but the mince is still moist.

2. For the fresh tomato salsa, combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. Heat your oven to 220C fan-forced (240C conventional) or as hot as it can go, preferably with the grill on, too. Break the cauliflower into large florets and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and arrange the separated florets on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is well browned (even slightly blackened in parts) and tender. Remove the cauliflower from the baking sheet and place in a baking dish.

4. Turn your oven to its grill setting and top the cauliflower with half the mince (freeze the rest) and the cheese. Grill for 5 minutes, until the cheese is browned, then scatter with the salsa and jalapenos. Serve topped with scoops of guacamole and sour cream, and the lime wedges.

How to Make Butter Chicken Vegetarian:

Cauliflower is one of the best plant-based subs for chicken in this recipe. However, in order to achieve the meatiest texture, the cauliflower requires a couple extra steps.

  • First, sear the cauliflower florets in a skillet until slightly softened.
  • Next, toss them in a corn starch, lemon juice, and spice mixture. Since classic Butter Chicken is marinaded in yogurt and spices, this step mimics the same acid + spice infusion. The corn starch will also help create a crust on the cauli, helping it retain its texture after being simmered in the sauce.

As far as spices, the classic lineup includes garam masala, ginger, cumin, fenugreek, and chiles. Some versions may also call for coriander, cardamom, turmeric, and paprika.

In addition, Butter Chicken always calls for butter, tomatoes, and cream, which compose the base of the sauce. In this version, I try to keep the spices relatively streamlined (turmeric, cumin, paprika, ginger, etc.), however garam masala is a must!

Incase you’re not familiar, garam masala is a super fragrant spice blend that includes many of the above mentioned ingredinets. The main difference between garam masala and curry powder is that it does not include turmeric. For this reason, garam masala tends to taste a bit sweeter, more floral, and less earthy.

Cinnamon in tomato sauce? Go ahead, try it

Q Have you ever had pasta with Greek tomato sauce? It sounds weird, but we swear we tasted cinnamon. Anyway, we had it in Greece and can't find a recipe for it.

A It's not so weird when you consider that cinnamon, allspice and even nutmeg are all fair game for tomatoes. This is one fruit that takes to warm spices. Think about old-time, all-American stewed tomatoes.

Here is one recipe we've been enjoying for a while. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it comes close to what you tasted.

Lots of possibilities in tahina

Q I bought a large container of tahina to make some improvised shawarma sandwiches. Now I have all this tahina left. Do you have suggestions for other things one can do with tahina?

A Oh, you have a raft of possibilities in that container. Tahina, which is ground sesame seeds, will keep months in the refrigerator. You can tell if it is stale by a sniff or a small taste. Ideally, you'll taste nuts and a slight sweetness with a rich, creamy consistency. There should be no unappealing bitterness. Always stir the sesame oil that collects on top of the tahina into the ground seeds underneath.

For ideas, all you have to do is go to tahina's (also called tahini and tehina) home territory, which is the eastern Mediterranean. First, there is hummus dip or spread, which is chickpeas, lemon, garlic and tahina pureed together to taste. Baba ghanoush is an eggplant dip for vegetables and bread that you make by roasting whole eggplant until its flesh is as soft as cream. Purée the flesh with the same kind of seasonings as the hummus.

Tahina salad dressing is simply tahina with water to thin it, lemon juice, a little garlic or minced onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread that mixture on fish, lamb or chicken before grilling and you have a great marinade. Blend tahina with garlic and hot chile and season roasting ribs.

Take the tahina salad dressing and blend it into yogurt for a fresh sauce for vegetables (especially cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, cooked dried beans or potatoes) or any cooked seafood. Slow-grilled eggplant makes a fine room-temperature meatless main dish when topped with tahina, lemon, red onion, fresh coriander, ground cumin and grape tomatoes. You get the idea.

How To Make Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower?

I baked the cauliflower florets using a slight variation one of my popular Cauliflower Nuggets recipe, you are also free to saute your florets instead. While the florets were baking,

I made the sauce using a food processor. I then cooked the sauce for 5 minutes then smothered the baked nuggets in the sauce. At this point, I served mine but you can put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower tasted so good! Jerk Cauliflower takes me back to Jamaica, where life is laid back and as we say, “Jamaica No Problem.”

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

When you'd love an ooey-gooey bowl of pasta with cheese but can't go there because of wheat allergies or carb restrictions, try this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. It has all the necessary components to fool the most discriminating palate. Besides, this is a great way to introduce veggies into a child's diet.

Before frying fish, Bishara gently rubs their skin and inner cavities with salt, then rinses. This trick seasons and cleans the fish, readying them for dredging. Get the recipe for Galilee-Style Whole Fried Fish » Ted Cavanaugh

Allspice is used commonly in Palestinian stews, like this Comforting Spinach and Chickpeas dish. Get the recipe for Get the recipe for Palestinian Spinach and Chickpea Stew (Sabanekh bil hummus) » Thomas Payne

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