Don’t call it ‘Cauliflower Rice’, treat it as an ingredient in its own right.

I have not always been a real fan of cauliflower unless it was coated in an unctuous cheese sauce. I always explained this saying that I could not taste the cauliflower (which begs the question of of why not coat something else in that cheese sauce).

Because of this I avoided the rice and pasta ‘alternatives’ for a long time. I have spoken before about my conversion to courgetti but also made the point it should not be treated as an alternative to pasta, but an alternative (not ‘slater native’ that first appeared here using predictive text) dish possibly inspired by more traditional ones.

Last Friday I won the SW group raffle for the third week in a row. Some muttered ‘its a fix’ as I also sell the raffle tickets. Machiavellian raffle plots aside the prize this week was for a ‘Cauliflower Rice Pilaf’. The main discussion about the prize was not in fact the use of cauliflower but the inclusion of Sumac as a flavouring for the dish. I have set it a few times but usually when coating meat before air frying.

Sumac debates also aside, like ‘Rafflegate’, I did promise to share how the dish went. Well tea tonight was based around the Pilaf. I chose also to make tandoori chicken to go with it. The product was a really tasty dish that we will be eating again. I am hoping that some of the remaining ‘cauliflower rice intolerant’ members of the group will now give it a go. I can promise no wind or bloating arises from its consumption.

The recipe comes from the SW site and there is a YouTube video showing how to make the core dish (but not the tandoori chicken). It also shows how easy it is to make cauliflower rice and how much cheaper it is than the ready made shop bought versions. This also applies to broccoli rice and courgetti/cournoodles.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

My final version varies a little from the video version so read on if you want to check out my version and also how I made the tandoori chicken.


  • 1 cauliflower , roughly chopped or broken up
  • Low calorie spray oil
  • 6 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 a cucumber deseeded and chopped
  • 200g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime (not the half in the original recipe)

For the Tandoori Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, grooves sliced across the surface
  • 300ml plain 0% fat yoghurt
  • 2 Level tbsp tandoori masala mix


  1. Mix together your yoghurt and tandoori masala mix until a smooth paste.
  2. Add the chicken breasts to the mix and thoroughly coat them all over, making sure to get the mix into all the cut grooves and any other ‘nooks and crannies’.
  3. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge to marinade for as long as you can. It works well after a short marinade as well so do not panic if you left it to the last minute.
  4. When you are getting ready to eat take the chicken breasts out of the bowl and lay on a baking tray and put them into the middle of a hot oven. Make sure the marinade is spread evenly on them. (180 degrees, Gas Mark 8)
  5. Cook the chicken breasts for about half an hour, or until they look lightly browned/blackened on some of the surfaces.
  6. When the chicken is starting to brown starting cooking the Pilaf.
  7. Add two tbsp of water to the cauliflower mix and zap in the microwave for five minutes (remember to cover the bowl with clingfilm).
  8. Spray a large frying pan or wok with a good coating of oil spray and heat.
  9. Add the cauliflower, sumac and spring onions (I also added the tomatoes at this point as I prefer them cooked). Stir fry for five or six minutes.
  10. Add the cucumber, tomatoes if you want them raw in the mix, coriander and lime juice and stir in well.

  1. Serve on a plate or bowl with a tandoori chicken breast on top.


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