Lunch Box Series : LBS#55 ~ Cauliflower Rice!

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I know I made a big mistake when I eyed that not so big lovely cauliflower that was calling out to me! Of course ever since buying it, it has been calling me still. First I made a dry subji, then a pakora, then a mixed curry with cauliflower. Finally I kept some to attempt at a new idea that was playing on mind. But just couldn’t get myself do it. And of course things happened to my convenience that I never attempted that.

Would you believe this is the third week since buying the vegetable. Yet when I opened the packet it was still so fresh. I was setting new standards on vegetable storage and gave a new meaning for procrastination. With all the zeal one can have, I looked at that medium sized cauliflower on the top rack and made the shop keeper get it down to me. As if I would be cooking it all on the very day! December is the time we get loads and loads of these lovely dainty flowers on charts and Athamma, as usual was telling me that we aren’t making best use of the seasonal vegetables.

Inclination is not just enough for getting something done. You need to have lot more of something else, this is the lesson learnt from this incident. I had two different occasions where I could’ve tried out that new idea that has been running around mind with cauliflower. Yet did nothing possible to make them. Anyway finally I decided that I will make that Cauliflower Pulao or Rice or whatever you may call this dish, that I remember from years back. I remember seeing a recipe on a paper clipping featuring Malika Badrinath. In that toned paper, which Amma had recently borrowed, I saw this recipe again.

True to nature, I didn’t follow the recipe. It called for some Amti Masala or Curry Masala. Seriously I just googled to know what goes in an Amti Masala. But I can see that its going to be long studying of a new mix. That is scheduled for another day. For now I will go ahead explaining how I finally made this Cauliflower Rice.

The day never starts differently at home. Today was extra hectic as I was trying to shoot two recipes before getting to work. Let me talk about this one today.

Cauliflower Rice

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Rice Soaking Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 20- 30 mins
Pan Cooking

Ingredients Needed:

Rice – 1 cup
Cauliflower – 2 cups or medium sized flower, cut into florets.
Onions – 2 medium, juliennes.
Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Green chilies 4 (or as per taste)
Asafetida – a pinch
Cashew nuts – 5 -6 whole
Curry leaves – 4 -5
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder a pinch
Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Chili powder – 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
Garam Masala – 3/4 tsp
Curds/ Yogurt – 1/4 cup
Oil – 2 tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Water – 2 & 1/2 cups

Method to prepare:

  • Wash and soak Rice for 15 mins.
  • Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets. Add salt and boiling water to the cauliflower and keep it covered for 10 mins.
  • Heat the pan with oil. pop the mustards, then add the curry leaves, Hing, Cashew nuts and onions. Sauté till onions are turning brown.
  • Drain the cauliflower from water and add the florets to the pan. Stir well, add salt and turmeric. Cover with a lid and simmer to low flame and cook for 5 -7 mins, stirring in intervals.
  • By now the cauliflower will get soft. Drain the rice from water and add to the pan. Combine everything and again cook for 5 mins with lid covered.
  • Meanwhile boil water and then pour over the rice. Increase to high flame, add the cumin, coriander, chili powder and Garam Masala. Beat the curds smooth add to this. Adjust salt and spice if required.
  • Cover with lid, simmer and cook till done. It takes about 10 mins to reach the correct consistency. Switch off the flame, when you find that the rice is nicely cooked.
  • Add the ghee and combine everything. Cover again and let it rest for 5 mins.


Drain the cauliflower completely before using, same with rice.

The rice that I have requires extra half cup of water to get cooked to the right consistency. So use your judgment. For Basmati, the ratio is always 1:1 water. The recipe called for more chilies, but I used only 4, plus red chili powder. The rice had the right spice level. Since I don’t know if amti masala or curry masala comes with chili powder in it. I just assumed I will have to add chili powder to make it more spicy.
Cauliflower has that funny smell and taste that needs to be masked by spice, so make this rice a bit more spicy to enjoy the overall effect.

This was the first time I have actually cooked a mixed Rice/ Pulao without adding Ginger garlic paste or added curry leaves. I must say the taste was very good.

This is coming straight from the kitchen today, as it was my lunchbox today. Hope you enjoyed, we for sure enjoyed and will be making it often!

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Lunch Box Series : LBS#55 ~ Cauliflower Rice!
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  1. How funny! I'm having a cauliflower overlaod in my fridge too. On the other side of the planet! This looks like a great recipe!

  2. That is very, very pretty and probably smelled supurb. Just the thing to make the person in the next cubicle eatting a sandwich very jealous 🙂

  3. Totally new combo, just today I prepared a very simple dry sabzi with cauliflower I really need to think the innovative way like you !

  4. Hi Srivalli,

    I made this cauliflower rice today and we all simply loved it. I used less spices according to our taste and made some keera raita. Thanks for a new and wonderful dish.


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