Tandoori Cauliflower is a wonderful gluten-free and low-carb appetizer. Tossed with a spiced yogurt marinade and roasted in the oven or air fryer, this Tandoori Gobi Tikka is so flavorful, golden, and crispy. The whole family will love this easy and healthy cauliflower recipe!  

Tandoori Cauliflower served on a platter with chutney
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This is an excellent North Indian appetizer that is healthy and so quick with the air fryer or oven.  

When meat-eaters enjoy Tandoori Chicken, vegetarians can enjoy this meatless crispy Tandoori Gobi or Tandoori Mushroom.   It is typically enjoyed with green chutney.  Use soy yogurt to make this recipe vegan.

I made this once when some friends came over; it was a super hit.  One of my friends was so excited with the taste and convenience of the air fryer that he ordered it the next day.

Move over buffalo cauliflower….this Tandoori Cauliflower is a great addition to the Super Bowl party!

Tandoori Cauliflower Tikka Skewers served on a platter with chutney
Tandoori Cauliflower Skewers

Watch How to Make Tandoori Cauliflower

What is Tandoori Cauliflower?

Tandoori Caulifower is basically Indian-style roasted cauliflower wings in tandoori spices. It is also called Tandoori Gobi or Gobi Tikka.

If you are looking for a tandoori appetizer, typically chicken tikka or paneer tikka come to mind. This Cauliflower Tikka is the healthier, low-carb version.

This Indian spiced recipe might seem exotic with the list of ingredients, but it is fairly easy to make. Marinate the cauliflower and then bake it.

Pair with a simple raita and salad to get a restaurant-style appetizer/snack, or enjoy it as a low-carb side dish.

If you love cauliflower, you will also love my cauliflower pakora and air fryer aloo gobi recipe. And if you’re a fan of tandoori dishes, you’ll love tandoori paneerchicken tikka kebab, and tandoori aloo tikka.  

Ingredients

Cauliflower – A medium to large head of cauliflower, cut into about 1 and 1/2 inch florets.

Yogurt – I use Greek yogurt or thick full-fat plain yogurt.

Gram flour – This helps the marinade stick better to the cauliflower wings. This is an optional ingredient, so feel free to skip it if you don’t have it.

Lime juice – Adds a tanginess to the final dish

Spices – I like to use a number of aromatic Indian spices such as turmeric, cumin, garam masala, chaat masala, and red chili powder.

Ginger & Garlic – Freshly grated or use ginger garlic paste

Dried fenugreek leaves: Also known as Kasoori methi, gives the dish a delicious aroma. If you don’t have it, it is okay to skip it.

Garnish: lime wedges, chaat masala, and onion rounds

Tandoori Cauliflower ingredients

How to Make?

I looked at many existing recipes when preparing for this one.  However, I found that most recipes boil the cauliflower before air frying.  But that is too much work.  I like 1-step processes.  so I tried to directly air fry or roast in the oven.  The results were great.  It is less work and the same taste.

Cut the Cauliflower

Rinse the cauliflower under tap water and wipe it dry. Cut and discard the stem. Then cut the cauliflower into 1-inch pieces.

Here is my post about how to steam cauliflower, where I also detail how to easily cut a cauliflower.

For this tandoori cauliflower wings recipe, you want to make sure to keep chopping the florets along with the stems. This helps for the cauliflower pieces to not get mushy and hold their shape as they are cooked.

How to cut cauliflower step 3 cut core at an angle for each quarter

Prepare the Marinade & Add Cauliflower

Mix all the ingredients to make the marinade in a bowl.

Indian Tandoori marinade with yogurt and spices

This marinade is super flavorful, and adding Kashmiri red chili powder gives the cauliflower starter a wonderful color.

Now add the florets to the marinade and gently coat them. You can coat it with a spoon or use your hands.

Marinated Cauliflower in a bowl

Air Fryer Method

Transfer the cauliflower florets to the air fryer basket. Arrange them in a single layer. Cook in multiple batches if needed.

Brush or spray with oil and bake at 360°F (or 180℃) for 18 mins.

Tandoori Gobi ready to be grilled in the air fryer

Shake in between at 10 minutes. (Note: Check after 16 minutes and adjust cooking time as needed)

Air fryer tandoori cauliflower

Crispy Cauliflower Tikka Bites from your air fryer are ready to be devoured.

Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the juice of a lemon and enjoy with fresh mint cilantro chutney or yogurt dipping sauce.

Tandoori Gobi on a platter with green chutney

Oven Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C.

Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread them in a single layer. Brush or spray with oil.

Roast the tandoori gobi for 18-20 minutes. Now set the oven to “broil” and cook for 3 more minutes.

Take out and serve!

Note: This recipe was created in 2017 and updated with new pictures in 2022. Below is an image from 2017.

Air Fryer Tandoori Gobi or Cauliflower Tikka Bites is a great snack or appetizer.  Especially for game day or if you are entertaining guests

Tandoori Cauliflower Tikka Skewers

You can also thread the marinated cauliflower into skewers and cook it on the air fryer, oven, or grill.

I used bamboo skewers. To avoid burning the skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before putting them together. If you have a batch of stainless steel or metal skewers on hand, you can use them without soaking them.

indian spiced Cauliflower tikka in skewers

I have shown below how I cooked the skewers in the air fryer.

Cauliflower Tikka Skewers in air fryer

Perfectly cooked and so delicious!

Tandoori Cauliflower Tikka served on a platter

Check 25 Indian Recipes you can make in the air fryer!

Pro-Tips

  • I used gram flour, also called besan, in this recipe. If you don’t have access to it, try with all-purpose flour or rice flour.  I tried them, and they were great and crispier.  It is just a tad bit healthier (and more authentic) with gram flour.
  • If you don’t have all the spices mentioned, vary with the spices you have at hand.  Also, adjust the spice level to your taste.
  • Another great thing about this Tandoori Gobi is that you can prep the marinade with the cauliflower florets and refrigerate the day before.  Perfect for entertaining!
  • Tandoori Broccoli – This could be a great appetizer to make with broccoli too. Marinate the same way. You will need to adjust the cooking time for broccoli, as it cooks quicker than cauliflower. I typically air fry broccoli for about 6-8 minutes at 350F.

What to serve with Tandoori Cauliflower

  • Serve tandoori gobi with mint cilantro chutney as an appetizer. If you like a milder dip, try my yogurt dipping sauce.  
  • Add the roasted cauliflower to a Buddha bow, such as this sorghum grain bowl or roasted sweet potato quinoa buddha bowl.
  • Add the cauliflower tikka bites to the wraps. Check out my paneer Frankie recipe for how to make the most delicious wraps or Kathi rolls.
  • This roasted tandoori cauliflower is great to add to salads too.
  • You can also serve them as a veggie side with meat or Indian curries.

How to Store?

This is a great dish to meal prep. You can prep the marinade, chop the cauliflower and refrigerate it. Mix them and roast them for a weeknight dinner.

Cooked Tandoori cauliflower stays fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the preheated oven or air fryer for about 5 minutes.

Do you wash cauliflower before roasting?

I always like to wash cauliflower and dry it before using it. The drying helps so that the marinade does not get runny and the roasted cauliflower is crispy.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe!

Download free copy of air fryer cooking time chart
4.83 from 46 votes

Tandoori Cauliflower (Gobi Tikka)

Tandoori Cauliflower is a wonderful gluten-free and low-carb appetizer. Tossed with a spiced yogurt marinade and roasted in the oven or air fryer, this Tandoori Gobi Tikka is so flavorful, golden and crispy. The whole family will love this easy and healthy cauliflower recipe!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 head Cauliflower (Gobi)
  • Oil , for brushing
  • Lime wedges,  to garnish
  • Cilantro leaves , chopped, to garnish

For the marinade

Instructions 

  • Rinse the cauliflower under tap water and wipe it dry. Cut and discard the stem. Then cut the cauliflower into 1 inch pieces.
  • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade to get a smooth paste like consistency.  
  • Add the cauliflower florets and mix well so they get coated with the marinade. 
  • (optional) If you like, you can thread the cauliflowers into skewers.

Air Fryer Method

  • Transfer the cauliflower florets to the air fryer basket. Arrange them in a single layer. Cook in multiple batches if needed.
    Brush with oil and bake at 360°F (or 180℃) for 18 mins. Shake in between at 10 minutes. (Note: Check after 16 minutes and adjust cooking time as needed)

Oven Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C. Place the cauliflower florets in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread them in a single layer. Brush or spray with oil.
    Roast the tandoori gobi for 18-20 minutes. Now set the oven to “broil” and cook for 3 more minutes.

Serve

  • When done, remove the roasted tandoori cauliflower to a serving platter. Garnish with lime wedges and onion rings. Enjoy with chutney as an appetizer or as a side dish. 

Video

Notes

  • This is medium spicy.  To reduce the spice level, skip red chili powder and/or reduce quantity of garam masala.
  • If you don’t have gram flour, you can substitute with all-purpose flour or rice flour.
  • Skip the oil if you want to make this oil free. Tandoori Gobi will still taste great. 

Nutrition

Calories: 77kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 644mgPotassium: 521mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 157IUVitamin C: 70mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Low Carb, Nut-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.83 from 46 votes (34 ratings without comment)

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35 Comments

  1. Amazing recipe, Meeta! I am loving the air fryer recipes you have! The air fryer aloo gobi recipe blew my mind! I have a newfound appreciation for the air fryer in Indian cooking!

  2. Hello Meeta, tried this recipe today with broccoli and it was Delicious!
    I did not add ajwain, jeera and had no chaat masala. I added Amchur and kala namak instead.
    I had to put it on for almost 30 mins at 360 then 370.
    I have one question- when i followed the temp settings per the recipe, it was done but not crisp. Some pieces were soft but cooked.
    What should the final texture be like ?

    1. Hi Soosh – I wonder there is a difference with the air fryer used. I would say the veggies should be crisp on outside, but tender inside. Please do adjust the cooking time as needed to get the texture you prefer. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  3. Delicious! I didn’t have a few ingredients (chaat masala, fenugreek, carom, and ginger garlic paste). I had a tandoori masala spice blend that I used instead of the chaat masala and I substituted some jarred chopped garlic plus some jarred minced ginger for the ginger garlic paste. Despite the missing ingredients and substitutions, it was really tasty. The squeeze of lemon at the end was a great touch. I also really enjoyed it with a little Ranch dressing dip. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Lisa – Thanks for sharing the changes you made. So glad to hear you enjoyed the cauliflower with ranch dip.

  4. I still have to try this but recipe seems great.
    Please let me know how would it taste if I would eat it after 5-6 hours as I want to pack and take it to office.

  5. Hello mam
    Nice recipe
    I tried this , everything was fine other than the pieces were sticking to the utensil
    Any trick
    With oil it’s healthy ness will be lost

    1. Hi Vineeta – Glad you liked the cauliflower. You can try to just brush the bottom of the air fryer basket with oil, so you are not adding too much oil, but making sure it does not stick to the pan.

      1. Hey Mama – yes, using parchment paper is a great option too. I have also been using the Philips air fryer grill pan which is great for such recipes.

  6. Two questions:

    1. How do you convert this recipe for use in a conventional or toaster oven

    2. Do you have a recipe or help modify this to use broccoli instead of cauliflower please ?

    Thx much

    SS

  7. This was SO GOOD!! I didn’t have chaat, fenugreek or carom, but with everything else, it was so delicious. I think my cauliflower was on the small side so I added some potato pieces too to use up the rest of the marinade. I cooked it all in 2 batches and gobbled it all up with a variation on your mint cilantro chutney. (I didn’t have any mint, so it was really just a cilantro chutney and is delish!)

    1. Hey Craige – So glad to hear you enjoyed the Cauliflower Tikka Bites. Thanks so much for the shoutout on instagram too!