16 May 2022

Atul Kochhar’s chermoula cauliflower recipe

Atul Kochhar’s chermoula cauliflower recipe

“Fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice and warming spices are the ingredients you’d expect to find in a traditional chermoula sauce, popular in Morocco and throughout North Africa,” says Atul Kochhar. “In this recipe, however, I’ve created a honey-sweetened version and omitted chilli powder – I like to let the magic of garlic, lemon and honey to come through.”

Chermoula is typically served with meat or seafood, but Kochhar says it’s perfect for a whole roasted cauliflower.

Chermoula cauliflower recipe

(Serves 4 as a sharing dish)

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and left whole
Sea salt

For the chermoula sauce:
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4tbsp olive oil
4tbsp runny honey
1tbsp ground toasted cumin seeds
1tbsp smoked paprika
½tsp ground black pepper
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
4tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
30–40g fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Slivered almonds, toasted, to garnish
Lettuce leaves on the side, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 and line a roasting pan with baking paper, making sure the baking comes up the side of the pan.

2. To make the chermoula sauce, combine the garlic, olive oil, honey, ground cumin seeds, paprika, black pepper, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, then add about three-quarters of the coriander leaves.

3. Place the cauliflower upside-down in the bowl and spoon over the chermoula sauce. Use your hands to rub the sauce all over the cauliflower, top and bottom, making sure it goes between the florets. Push any leftover sauce into the gap between the central core and florets on the bottom – you don’t want to lose any of that flavour.

4. Transfer the cauliflower, right-side up, to the roasting pan. Pour over any sauce remaining in the bowl and cover with foil, pressing the foil around the cauliflower. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

5. Uncover the pan and continue roasting for a further 25 minutes, or until it the cauliflower is tender and slightly charred. You should be able to slide a knife into the core easily. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander leaves, add the rest of the garnishes and serve.

Curry Everyday by Atul Kochhar is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £26. Photography by Mike Cooper. Available now.

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