Gobhi or Cauliflower is perhaps one of the oldest vegetables around but came to the Indian subcontinent quite late. It was introduced here by the British in the 1800s and then like many other foods, mingled with local spices and in the hands of royal chefs, many gourmet dishes were created with it.

Musallam is a non veg gourmet dish of stuffed, whole roasted chicken, which is mentioned in the Akbarnama (biography of Emperor Akbar written by his courtier Abul Fazal). It is also described as a majestic dish in the book of Moghul Cuisine “Dastarkhawan e Awadh” .

Converting the recipe to vegetarian version, using whole head of cauliflower, is a beautiful experience and actually creates something grand out of the humble cauliflower by roasting and serving it whole. My kids are not a big fan of cauliflower but this recipe for Gobhi Musallam totally fascinated them. The cauliflower is lightly charred outside, very soft inside and smells divine of spices like cardamom and cinnamon. Cashews and yogurt add to the rich taste and creamy texture of the dish.

I love this dish for several reasons. Most important of all, itโ€™s a very easy dish to put together – simply parboil the cauliflower, cook a curry like sauce, pour it over the cauliflower head and roast in the oven. The dinner gets ready with unbelievable ease. What comes out of the oven is seriously impressive, a dish that would wow even your omnivore guests. Slicing Gobhi. Musallam on a festive occasion is actually a more memorable experience than any hohum chicken or turkey roast.

If there is one dish that I would strongly recommend these holidays as a star centre piece for your festive table, it has to be this Gobhi Musallam. Looking forward to your feedback on the very exotic recipe!


1 whole cauliflower, leaves and stem removed
1 onions peeled and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 green chillies
1/2 cup cashew nuts or almonds
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
seeds from 6 green cardamoms, crushed
4 tbsp thick yoghurt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee (clarified butter)
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

This Is What You Do:

Preheat oven at 175 degrees C.

Remove the leaves and stem from cauliflower head so that the florets don’t separate but stay joined at the bottom.

Fill a deep pan with water, then add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.

Bring to a boil and gently submerge the cauliflower in the turmeric water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-6 minutes.

Strain the cauliflower and set aside while you prepare the curry.

In the same pan, heat the oil or ghee on medium heat, add onions and sautรฉ till caramelised. Remove the pan from heat. Scoop out the onions from the oil.

Add the fried onions, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, yogurt, tomatoes and nuts to a food processor. Blend to make a smooth paste.

Add the paste back to the oil in the pan. Sautรฉ on medium heat, stirring occasionally, till the sauce thickens slightly and the oil separates from curry.

Place the cauliflower head in a deep round casserole dish. Pour the sauce over it. Cover with foil sheet and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake uncovered another 10 minutes or place it under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, till the roast is slightly charred on the outside. Don’t let it get burnt.

Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with cumin spiced yogurt, fresh salad and flat bread of your choice.

Serves 4

21 Replies to “Gobhi Musallam, Roasted Whole Cauliflower”

    1. I understand, nothing tastes worse than over or undercooked vegetables. Wish you all the success and loads of taste this time, Seema! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Isn’t it just! It always steals the show, leaving behind some of the best meaty dishes. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  1. I always wanted to try this recipe. You picture and detiled recipe is really making me go buy some cauliflower ๐Ÿ˜š

  2. I have tried this once but somehow I was not happy with outcome…wanted to do it again but somehow neglected..Now, you have tempted me again. This recipe sounds easy …Will surely give this a try. Thanks for the share!!

    1. Getting the timing right is definitely important for this recipe, just like any other roast. Hope it works this time, dear Padma. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. True! It has all the oomph of a good roast and then some more because it’s a vegetable people don’t expect to be glamorous. ๐Ÿ˜„ Thank you, Freda! Do glad you like it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Thank you so much, Mayuri! ๐Ÿ˜Š Famous chefs usually create a fuss about certain dishes to sell their tv shows, we simple home cooks thrive on the practicality of a recipe. If given a choice,I would always choose a recipe from a home cook. ๐Ÿ˜

  3. Gobhi musallam !!!! I love it the dish as well as the picture that you have taken. I cannot take the picture without it looking a mess. The aroma when the cauliflower is roasting in the oven is mmmmmmmmmmm….
    Arre yaar mera khana ho gaya hai. You are making me so hungry again.

    1. Haha! Thank you so much, dear Archana! Honestly, I was not very happy with the picture. It looked better in reality. I still find it hard to take good pictures of all brown and white foods. Your encouragement has made me feel better.
      Mwah! ๐Ÿ˜š

  4. Iโ€™ve heard a lot about Gobhi Mussallam, but I never realized that it is this easy to make. That makes for a great center piece and conversation starter at any party. Thank you for the recipe, I would love to make it some time soon.

  5. I have always wanted to make this some day, but every time I get gobi, I end up making fritters or sabzi with it. Your easy recipe is tempting me to go for it this time ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome share!

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