This recipe takes inspiration from Josh Katz of Berber & Q’s signature Cauliflower Shawarma, borrowing the technique of blanching the cauliflower first, before marinating and roasting, but here the marinade is a mix of yoghurt and spices. The cauliflower is dressed with our neat, undiluted Black Tahini, which is as smooth as our regular Tahini but has a stronger, more aromatic flavour being made from sesame seeds that are not dehulled, then finished with jewel-like pomegranate seeds for a dish that will be the centrepiece of any meal. Serve with a warm chickpea salad, grilled meats or stuffed into a hot pitta with homemade pickles.
1 large or 2 medium cauliflowers, stalks removed, discard dry or rough leaves then rinse and keep remaining leaves to eat separately
250g natural yoghurt
¼tsp salt, plus more for blanching the cauliflower
½ lemon, juiced
¼tsp ground ginger
¼tsp ground black pepper
¼tsp ground white pepper
½tsp ground cumin
¼tsp ground cumin
Pinch of chilli flakes
2-3tbsp Black Tahini
Place a large pot of salted water on a high heat, cover and bring to the boil. Carefully lower the cauliflower into the water then wait for the water to return to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes, turning the heat down if the water is splashing over the edge of the pot.
Remove the cauliflower and test to see if it is done by inserting a small sharp knife into the middle. It should get to the centre of the cauliflower with a small amount of resistance. If it still feels hard, place it back in the water and cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from the pot, and place on a tray with a wire rack on top, to allow the cauliflower to drain. Drain and cool for 20 mins.
To make the marinade mix 140g yoghurt with the salt, lemon juice and the dried spices in a bowl.
Once cooled, cut the cauliflower in half vertically. Take a decent spoonful of marinade and place on the cut sides of the cauliflower, using gravity and your spoon to force the marinade inside. Turn over and coat the outside so that all pieces have been coated. Place in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least a couple of hours.
Whilst the cauliflower is marinating, prepare the pomegranate by removing the seeds. There are various ways of doing this and it is probably easier to understand by watching a video available online.
When ready to cook the cauliflower, heat an oven to 250C/Fan 230C/Gas Mark 9 and give it some time to let the heat build up. Place the cauliflower on a baking tray lined with baking paper (this will help with the washing up later), place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. The cauliflower should begin to colour and darken and perhaps burn at the edges (the marinade stops it getting too burnt), but every oven behaves differently, so it may take a little more, or less time.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and whilst hot, drizzle with the yoghurt, followed by the Black Tahini and lastly the pomegranate seeds.