30 March 2011

Cauliflower Potato Cold Salad with Middle-Eastern Flavours

Summer is upon us. As usual, the desire to heat piping hot food has evaporated in the heat. Cold salads, smoothies, seasonal fruits and lots of yogurt are all that I'm craving for.

While I love to make (and eat) Tandoori Cauliflower where partly blanched florets are marinated in a onion-tomato-ginger-garlic-spices paste and baked off in oven for 20 minutes, even that is no incentive to turn on the oven in this kind of weather. So the plan took a turn from Tandoori to cold Middle Eastern Salad.

The bottle of Tahini and the spices like sumac, za'taar, dried mint were calling out to me and the idea of tossing just tender cauliflower and potatoes in a Middle Eastern dressing and spices was too appealing.
It's another quick recipe that doesn't need you slaving near the stove for anywhere more than 5-10 minutes.

Although I am a vegetarian, I think the same recipe can be followed using cooked or grilled chicken breasts to make a meal by itself, or combine the chicken with vegetables.

Cauliflower Potato Salad
Time taken- Under 20 minutes
Serves 3-4
Salad or Main Course

4 cups of medium sized cauliflower florets
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 tsp salt

1/4 cup Tahini
1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Za'taar
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1/2-1 tsp red chilli flakes or powder
Upto 1 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar (optional)

For garnish
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Few mint leaves
Pinch of sumac (optional)
Pinch of Za'taar or dried mint


  1. In a large pan, bring two cups of water to boil with 1 tsp salt. Add the washed cauliflower florets and cubed potatoes to this. Cover and cook till just tender, around 7 minutes or so. Drain immediately until dry and keep chilled until dressing is ready.
  2. Mix all ingredients for dressing in a medium sized bowl. Reserve a few spoons of dressing to pour over the top in the end.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the fridge and toss well with tips of fingers in the dressing until coated well.
  4. Arrange on a platter. Top with pomegranate, mint leaves, sprinkle dried mint, sumac and za'taar over this.
  5. Refrigerate until serving time.
If you notice somewhat better pictures in this post, it is thanks to my new Canon EOS550D and the 50mm/1.8 lens. Any links for SLR newbies are welcome. This is my FIRST food shot with the new camera and it is therefore special to me :)


The Mistress of Spices said...

This is a lovely idea for a cauliflower salad. I love the Middle Eastern touch! Will definitely have to try it. Your photos are gorgeous too, good job with your new camera/lens!

Lisa said...

I think this is a superb and nutritious idea without slaving it out in this heat. Thanks! I am going to try it and I know its going to taste as fantastic as it looks!!!

Karishma said...

Just loved this pic, Nandita, not just of the actual dish but the way you laid out the table with the vibrant red bottle in the background...nice touch...you're surely going to do justice to the camera :-)...I've never tried the middle eastern spices so bookmarking this!

Aarthi said...

what a superb idea. I am gonna try this soon for my lunch :)

Chelsey said...

I've been searching around for a new potato salad to bring to a family reunion coming up - I think this one will be a big hit at our family recipe contests.
Thanks for sharing!!

Take care,
-- Chelsey

Shaye said...

I am a vegetarian from near Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. I was looking for spring onion recipes, and came across your blog. I am go glad I did! Your recipes are wonderful! My family will be eating a lot more Indian food--as soon as I track down some of your unfamiliar ingredients. Thanks!

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