Cauliflower in spicy tomato sauce (again)

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Cauliflower in spicy tomato sauce (again)

My oven and cooktop gave up after many decades. One thing led to another and I will not have a place to cook for 2-3 months. I've been looking over past favorites and remembered how good this cauliflower recipe is first posted in October of 2008. The best tomatoes are now. Give this a try.

There's a first time for everything. I have been posting a recipe about every week for 5 1/2 years, first via an e-mail distribution list and this site in the past year. Up until now, I personally cooked everything I posted under the theory "If I can make this, anyone can."

Well, my wife recently found a great cauliflower recipe in our local newspaper food section and made it herself. It was so good I really couldn't wait to share it with you until I cooked it. This year I discovered, in addition to normal colored cauliflower, golden yellow cauliflower and purple cauliflower. She made this recipe using the golden species which was beautiful dressed in red.

Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 whole dried red chilis or the equivalent in crushed red chili flakes, maybe 1/2 teaspoon (I think the flakes have more surface area and provide more “heat” than the whole chilis, plus you eat the flakes while the whole chilies end up on the side of the plate)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled (if I had actually cooked this dish, I would’ve used the bowl of a teaspoon to scrape off the peel — don’t know how she did it), and julienned (thin lengthwise strips)
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into medium florets (maybe 2 to 4 small florets still connected)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped (the recipe says peeled which is a whole other drill and I usually don’t)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Combine the oil, chilis, and cumin seeds over medium heat. Cook for about a minute. 
  2. Add the ginger, stir, and cook for about another 30 seconds. 
  3. Add the cauliflower, stir, and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until the cauliflower just begins to brown. 
  4. Add the salt and pepper. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. 
  5. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes until the cauliflower browns some more and starts to get tender. Uncover and cook a little more reducing the heat if it is getting too brown. 
  6. Stir in the tomatoes and vinegar, cover, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes adding a little water if needed so there’s a little sauce. You can always evaporate away some of the liquid until you get the desired consistency. 
  7. Taste for seasoning then stir in the cilantro. 

You won’t even believe how good this is.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 116
  • Fat: 7 gm
  • Saturated fat: 1 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 11 gm
  • Fiber: 5 gm
  • Sodium: 631 mg