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Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice


Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice

A clever and nutritious vegetarian recipe that flips the classic fried rice formula on its head by using aromatic Middle Eastern flavors.

Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice //

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Fried rice is a dish that, in my mind, is usually bound to Asian flavors. In the past, I’ve regularly made variations of fried rice, but now I do it even more frequently as my toddler boy loves it too. Fried rice is a great weeknight, family-friendly dish, not only because it’s quick and easy to make but also because it makes great use of leftovers: just chop up leftover veggies and meat (or tofu), drizzle in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil, crack an egg in to bind it all together, and you’ve got a delightful meal you can eat with a spoon. Who doesn’t like that?

It’s probably because I could make fried rice with my eyes closed that one of the recipes in the new and gorgeous The Love & Lemons Cookbook jumped out at me. Jeanine, the recipe creator in the Love & Lemons duo, flips the classic formula on its head and makes fried rice with ingredients and flavors you would usually associate with Middle Eastern cuisine: chick peas, raisins, turmeric, cardamom, and yogurt, to name a few. The use of coconut oil and milk make the dish extra aromatic, while the addition of cashew nuts boosts the protein content. But the recipe’s truly genius idea—one I will probably reuse in all my future fried rice renditions, whatever the variation—is to use a 2-to-1 chopped cauliflower-to-rice ratio. Using cauliflower as a substitute for rice is a popular trick, and this recipe makes an especially clever use of it: combining cauliflower and rice provides the best of both worlds texture-wise.

Fried rice is best made with leftover rice—that is, rice that has been cooked and cooled. I like to use brown basmati rice because it’s much more nutritious, fiber-rich, and flavorful. To save time, I make a large batch and freeze it in portions so I always have the option of making last-minute fried rice for dinner. This recipe can be a meal on its own, but I like to boost its protein content: diced tofu, leftover roasted chicken, sautéed shrimp, or a hard- or soft-boiled egg are all tasty toppings. You could even turn this dish into a sandwich: spread some yogurt inside the pocket of a pita bread, add a generous serving of fried rice, top with any protein and some leafy greens (if desired), and enjoy!

Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice //

Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice

A clever and nutritious vegetarian recipe that flips the classic fried rice formula on its head by using aromatic Middle Eastern flavors.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Marie Asselin (


  • For the cauliflower fried rice
  • cups 375 ml cooked brown basmati rice (or regular basmati rice)
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml coconut oil (or peanut, or canola oil)
  • 1 small onion diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 cups 750 ml cauliflower, florets and stalk, chopped into small pieces (about ½ head)
  • 1/3 cup 75 ml unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup 125 ml cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp 5 ml curry powder
  • ½ tsp 2 ml turmeric
  • ¼ tsp 1 ml red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • ¾ cup 175 ml canned full-fat or light coconut milk (make sure to vigorously shake the can before opening it and measuring out the milk)
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice (from about ½ lime)
  • ¼ cup 60 ml golden raisins
  • ¼ cup 60 ml fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the cardamom yogurt sauce
  • ½ cup 125 ml Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice (from about ½ lime)
  • ¼ tsp 1 ml ground cardamom
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • To make the cardamom yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lime juice, cardamom, a generous pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
  • To make the cauliflower fried rice: In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cauliflower, a pinch of kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the cauliflower is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cashews and chickpeas and cook until both are lightly browned, 5 minutes more.
  • Add the curry powder, turmeric, red pepper flakes (if using), and green onions. Stir and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat and add ½ cup [125 ml] of the coconut milk. Add the lime juice, golden raisins, and another pinch of kosher salt. Add the cooked rice and stir to incorporate, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining ¼ cup [60 ml] coconut milk and stir in the coriander. Season to taste.
  • SERVING: Serve in individual bowls, topped with the cardamom yogurt sauce.
  • STORAGE: Store leftover cauliflower fried rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Recipe Credit: Adapted from Jeanine Donofrio, The Love & Lemons Cookbook.

Did you make this?

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Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


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  1. That question is quite hard to narrow down to a single fruit or veggie, but I’d say tomatoes are pretty pretty much the baddasses at the top of my list. I’m mean, you turn them into a magnificent sauce for a pizza pie or fresh pastas, they are excellent in cake too (yep, my mom’s quite good to make tasty fruit/veggie cake). In their natural presentation, you can find them sweet or acidic, crisp or tender, round or long, plus they come in a variety of colors and shape. Oh, and dehydrated ones are so. damn. good. Ahhh, tomatoes. One true love!

  2. It’s tough to choose only one, but i would go with tomato. And my favourite way of eating it with stir fried with eggs, Taiwanese style. So tasty!

  3. What a gorgeous recipe – and stunning photos!

    Favorite veg or fruit. Hard questions are hard. You know, I have to just go ahead and admit it: I love asparagus, and in it’s simplest form – drizzled with a bit of olive oil, topped with some kosher salt + cracked black pepper, then roasted or grilled. To me, it’s just perfect like that.