Pan Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

This might sound like a strange, unusual combination, but trust me on this one when I say this recipe is really good, though of a different kind. It is a homey, no fancy quick dish and I promise I did not make this up, but my dida (grandma) did. So it is a hand me down recipe from a trusted source.

Many years back probably when the Indian Chinese cuisine had just started gaining momentum in India, dida decided to experiment with soy sauce which became available on the shelves of even small grocery stores. However Indian soy sauce is denser and darker than we get on the shelves here in US. The flavors are a bit different too, strong and deep.

May be you are still not convinced. But the best way to find out, if you would like (or not like it) is to give it a try. I love this recipe. It could also be the thing of acquired taste, for the hubby prefers Aloo Gobi to this. Which is okay. I would say, it is a wise idea to have multiple recipes in the repertoire, just in case you get bored with one.

Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable and I can safely say that it is probably pretty much well loved one in our family. Cauliflower absorbs and retains a lot flavor, and is a really good candidate for a marination and then a roast kind of recipe.

The blend of yogurt and soy sauce might raise some eyebrows here, but the soy sauce actually lends a very very subtle flavor and is what makes this dish different from the usual yogurt, ginger, garlic combination so popular in Indian cuisine. Vinegar keeps the cauliflower from breaking down and getting mushy and the florets remain almost crunchy with a nice wholesome bite.

Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

Pan Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

Ingredients: (serves 4-6 as side)

  1. 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into medium florets
  2. 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
  3. 5 big cloves of garlic, minced
  4. 1.5 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  5. 5 fresh green chili peppers, thinly sliced (adjust amount to taste, or remove membrane and seeds for less spicy)
  6. salt
  7. 1/2 cup thick drained yogurt or Greek yogurt
  8. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  9. 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  10. 1.5 tablespoon lite soy sauce/or tamari sauce (use gluten free for a wheat free version)
  11. a sprinkle of red crushed pepper (Optional)
  12. scant 1/4 cup oil


Wash and drain the cauliflower florets. In a big bowl combine yogurt, grated onion, minced ginger and garlic, chili peppers, salt, turmeric, vinegar, salt, soy sauce and red crushed pepper. Stir well with a spatula so it is well combined.

Add the cauliflower florets in the the bowl and toss really well for the marinade to coat the cauliflower florets. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok/skillet till it shimmers. Add the marinated cauliflowers and everything else in the bowl in the hot oil. Cook at high heat covered for about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook  at medium heat till the oil starts to separate from the spice mix. If the spice mix sticks to bottom, add a splash of warm water and scrape out the pan. The cauliflower florets should be cooked through, but still hold the crunch. Some of the onions might crisp. There should be no sauce left. Whatever spice mix is there in the pan, should kind of coat the florets.

Serve warm as a side.

Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

Sending this recipe to Lisa’s Celebration of Indian Food!

Related Posts:

Gobi Tamatar/Cauliflower with Tomatoes

Cauliflower with Nuts and Cranberries

Cauliflower Stir Fry with Ginger and Soy Sauce

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47 comments to Pan Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce

  • I love panfriend cauliflower and those flavors. A scrumptious side dish.



  • That looks really yummy . lovely pics

  • That is an unusual combination …. but the cauliflowers look so good in your photos that I feel that I must try it out.

  • Love it. Pan fried cauliflower has so much more flavor than steamed. Great job!

  • little strange combo but your cauliflower is looking so crispy, crunchy an dinviting pics. always loved it as pan fried.

  • that platter so tempting, love the color and texture and everything and the recipe is absolutely awesome 🙂

  • Deepa

    Cauliflowers look so vibrant and delicious. Great clicks.
    Hamaree Rasoi

  • Oh yum! Must say I was not expecting the soy but I love it (obviously) =D!

  • poornima krishnan

    Whenever I make a mushroom capsicum combo with soy sauce I have it with yogurt and actually the combination tastes really good. So I am sure this will work. Cant wait to try it out.

  • Unexpected combination and looks so good! Definitely trying this out, thanks to you and your dida for the recipe 🙂

  • I have no objection with the ingredients, when you say it, I blindly believe. It looks so tempting, Soma..have to try it

  • Tried it out today afternoon. The dish tasted good, had a slight sour taste because of the yoghurt and vinegar but I didnt get the beautiful color that you captured in your pictures. Maybe because I didnt use the chilli flakes

    Thanks for trying it!:) I did fry it quite a lot, as you can make out from the slightly charred look. Could that be the difference? Hope you liked it!

  • This sounds somewhat like ‘doi cobi’ something Ma makes but her’s is lil but more gravy. I like your version with that heat and soy sauce 🙂

  • I love adding soya to cauliflower because the florets absorb the the sauce so well. But haven’t tred yogurt + soya together, Must try!

  • I like cauliflower very much too, and I think its best with some Indian spices. The yogurt and soy sauce, the Indian-Chinese mixture – sounds like a really delicious combination.
    On a separate note, so nice to have you back!

  • Wonderful – not strange at all. Fried cauliflower is one of my favorites. Reminds of so many of my fav dishes growing up.

  • This looks wonderful…great spices in this. Thanks for sharing!

  • I usually mess up with cauliflower but this recipe is so simple will give it a try! looks fantastic!!

  • Sounds great and very different! I look forward to trying!

  • Oh my! Now this is the way to eat cauliflower! Wonderful!

  • I’ve actually had fried cauliflower before that tasted like popcorn chicken. It was sooooo good. Thanks for the recipe. I will try this one. Congrats on the Top 9 too! 🙂

  • Soma- so good to have you back. I’m on a veg binge so I’ll have a plate of this please- minus the soy! Haven’t tried it and I’m not adventurous!!

  • Hmm, sounds very nice. I’d probably make it a little less spicy but that is just me. Presentation is gorgeous! What a clever grandmother you have.

  • gina

    Lovely! going to try this tonight.

  • This recipe looks great! My husband is from South India, so Pan Fried Cauliflower and yogurt does not sound odd – it sounds delish! Your pictures look great – can’t wait to try this one. 🙂

  • Yum! I don’t think putting soy sauce is strange at all. I do it too. : ) Great recipe. I could dive into that platter… I love cauliflower. : )

  • congrats on the top 9 delicious looking cauliflower wonderfully done

  • Before I could raise my eyebrows, you clarified all doubts on the unique combination. All’s left is now to make it & taste it, after all it looks so good!!

  • Vaishnavi

    I tried it yesterday night… and that was really awesome…. Thanks for the receipe.

  • Tracy

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I just made it this evening and it came out well. I didn’t have any vinegar, so I omitted to no ill effect. (Granted, I don’t mind my cauliflower a little mushy, which it was.) I also used homemade dahi, which didn’t thicken up ask quickly as I would have liked, so I used a little cornstarch/milk as a thickening agent and it worked well. Thanks again!

  • Hannah

    This recipe turned out fantastically! I didn’t have any ginger, but to no dismay it still was wonderful. I was hesitant about the yogurt; however, I will not be hesitant in the future. Also, my turmeric root is very potent, so I had to use a little less and the color is not as vibrant, but the taste is still great! Also, nice and spicy – just how I like it. Thanks for this lovely recipe!

  • Disha

    Just want to say thank you for a great recipe! Gave it a try and it came out great. It went well with a plain potato curry since it’s packed full of flavours and really rich. Definitely a keeper and will be making it again 🙂

  • Lakshmi

    This dish came out very good. Im a little sceptical abt cauliflower but your site makes me try more recipes out of it. Thanks for this recipe..its a keeper

  • I just tried this yesterday and it was delicious! The soy seemed very strong in the marinade, but once it cooked it became a nice accent note. I’ll be doing this again!

  • Praveen

    Tried out this recipe yesterday and it turned out great.Thanks Soma for posting this unique flavor.

  • Shipra

    Wow nice combinations….i’ll give it a try…. 🙂

  • ushnish ghosh

    Dear Soma
    This is some dish I tell you . The hung yogurt sounds fantastic among the Szechuan spicing..a must try ..
    bhalo theko

  • bob

    I had a head in the fridge… did a quick search and found this recipe… didn’t have yogurt but I did have a unopened container of sour cream with dill dip and a bottle of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire…

    WoW… we loved the flavor… ate the whole head… very strange combo of ingredients that turned out to be very tasty.

  • soma

    A big thank you to all of you those who dared to cooked this (and most of you liked it!)… !!!

  • Reena

    Soma, this is TP’s daughter! I love your website and especially love this recipe – great pictures!

    Reena!! 🙂 Thank you so much! He left a message yesterday telling me that you tried something. I am yet to call him.

  • […] now I can say, this recipe for Pan Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce is […]

  • sarah

    I am not a big cauliflower fan. I like it ok, but am more of a broccoli person. But this pic looked so good I had to try it. My local store does not carry chili peppers (or much of anything lol!)so I had to sub a jalapeno, and I forgot the vinegar, but it was still delicious! I had it with lentils and will defiantly be having it again!

  • Michelle

    I’ve been following this recipe for some time now! I was looking online for a yogurt/tamari sauce and found myself here. I am actually making it right now, and figured it was time to say hey…. I love this combo and mixing it up a bit. I don’t always use cauliflower, and find that a mix of brocolli, carrots, mushrooms, some dry fry tofu, whatever you’ve got, is pretty dang tasty. I added some crushed peanuts this time around and have a good feeling about it. Thanks for a solid recipe!

  • So amazing! What a nice combination … Looks like will be a yummy recipe to enjoy. I am a fan of special type of food and me searching from internet and other sources. Hire

  • […] may sound like a bit of a strange combination but it works really well together. Try it, you won’t be […]

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