Cumin cauliflower rice

Contributed by Linda Shiue, MD

Cumin cauliflower rice

When I gave a culinary medicine workshop to a group of medical students visiting from around the country, my goal was to improve their knowledge of cooking and nutrition, which they could then share with their patients. It turned out that they were quite a knowledgeable group, well-versed in both motivational interviewing and knife skills. I taught them how to make grain bowls using different grains, with cauliflower rice being the bonus grain-free option. They asked me to share the recipe, so here it is!

For people who are reducing their carbohydrate intake (for example, following a ketogenic or Paleo diet) or trying to increase their intake of vegetables, cauliflower rice is a great option. You can eat it any way you eat rice — plain, spiced, for a grain salad or grain bowl, or as a base for fried “rice.” In this case, I’m adding cumin seeds and a garnish of cilantro.

Most recipes call for ricing the cauliflower using a food processor. After watching an episode of “The Chef Show,” in which Chef Roy Choi made fried rice using cauliflower and he riced with a box grater, I recently switched my technique. Besides eliminating the need for a food processor, using a box grater produces a more consistent texture.

Servings: 4


  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), or 1/2 head each of 2 different colors of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)


  1. Wash and dry a whole cauliflower. Cut it in half so that it’s easier to hold, then grate, using the large holes of a box grater.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat coconut oil. Add onion and cumin seed and sauté approximately 10 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the prepared cauliflower to the cooked onions in the frying pan. Cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is just slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 130
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 210 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 13 g
  • Dietary fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 4 g