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Cauliflower Steaks with Pistachio and Coriander Gremolata

Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins
2 to 4

Chef notes

Meaty cauliflower stands in for thick-cut steaks in this Indian-inspired vegan recipe. It’s filling enough to serve as a main dish or as a hearty side for dinner served over rice. Each piece of cauliflower is cooked with a flavorful mixture of seeds and spices before being topped with two kinds of sauce. And while cauliflower isn’t a traditional ingredient used in Indian cuisine, it’s the perfect blank slate for other traditional flavors. 

Start by prepping the cauliflower steaks. Trim the very bottom of the head of cauliflower, leaving the core intact. The core will hold the florets together when they are sliced into planks. The surfaces of the steaks are coated in some olive oil and a fragrant mixture of muddled spices — we use a combination of coriander, dried chiles and black peppercorns. Grinding the spices in a mortar and pestle helps the spices release their natural oils, making the whole dish more fragrant and flavorful. Make sure to rub those spices into all of the nooks and crannies of the steaks before searing the steaks in a hot pan. We use the leaves from the cauliflower heads too. Not only does this avoid any food waste but the leaves are also incredibly nutritious. 

While the cauliflower cooks, work on the sauces. The first is a lemony gremolata, made with nutty pistachios and coriander seeds. The second is koshumbri, a traditional Indian condiment. It’s made with fresh tomatoes, chiles, coconut and lemon juice. It’s slightly spicy, but it also adds a nice cooling element. Serve the cauliflower steaks with a generous drizzle of the sauces and plate them with creamy yogurt rice. 

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For the Spice-Rubbed Cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 dried red chilis
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small head cauliflower, washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
For the Pistachio Coriander Gremolata
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped (stems and all!)
  • 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • Pinch kosher salt
For the Tomato Koshumbri
  • 1 roma tomato, diced with the juices
  • 1 Indian green chili, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • 1/4 wedge fresh lemon
  • Pinch kosher salt
Fulfilled by


For the Cauliflower:


Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the coriander seeds, dried red chilis, peppercorns, and salt. Set aside. 


Prep the cauliflower: Remove the leaves of the cauliflower, but do not discard! Trim about 1/4-inch of the end of the stem. Set the cauliflower upright on your cutting board and, using a large chef’s knife, cut the first steak by cutting into the head about 1 inch. The end pieces may slightly fall apart, which is fine. You should get 2 to 3 fully intact ‘steaks.’ Set those steaks flat on the cutting board. 


Drizzle the cauliflower steaks evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Using your hands, rub the spices all over the steaks, making sure to get into the nooks and crannies of the florets. Rub any remaining spice mixture onto the cauliflower leaves. 


Set a large non-stick pan over medium-high flame. Add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil. Once hot, add in the sliced onions and minced garlic. Reduce flame to medium and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until onions become translucent, have sweat out their moisture and the garlic is golden. Carefully place each steak into the pan, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each side for 10 to 15 minutes, until charred and fork tender. While the steaks cook, add in the cauliflower leaves, allowing them to cook alongside the onions. Add in any small florets from the cutting board as well. 

For the Gremolata and Koshumbri:

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the gremolata and set aside so all the flavors can seep in together. In another small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the koshumbri, except for the salt. Adding the salt early will let out all the moisture from the tomatoes and coconut, making the koshumbri too watery. Set aside. 

To Serve:

On a large serving platter, lay down the charred cauliflower leaves and onion mixture first. Then carefully add the cauliflower steaks on top next to each other. Using a spoon, drizzle some of the koshumbri across the cauliflower steaks and sprinkle a tiny pinch of kosher salt across the koshumbri. Finally top it off with the pistachio gremolata.