The Dish | Fried Cauliflower with Cilantro Sauce

​Hanukkah will start on December 19 and in our house it is never too early to think of recipes. The obvious ones that come to mind are brisket and latkes (click HERE or see below) — and anything else fried — to commemorate the Festival of Lights. Along those lines but a little more unusual, here is a Sephardic (from the Iberian Peninsula) recipe to add to your meal.



  • 2 lbs of cauliflower, cored and cut into 1″ florets
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • 5 eggs

Cilantro Sauce:

  • 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (full fat or low fat)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • Make the sauce:
    • Combine the cilantro, jalapeno, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt in food processor.
    • Season with pepper and process until combined and the mixture resembles a wet pesto, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
    • Add the yogurt and mayonnaise and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Prep the cauliflower:
    • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, make an ice bath by adding equal parts water and ice to a separate large bowl.
    • Add the cauliflower to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 5 minute. Drain and immediately transfer to ice bath; drain again and dry thoroughly. Don’t skimp on the drying, or the cauliflower won’t crisp properly when you fry it.
  • Heat 1/2″ vegetable oil in large saucepan set over medium heat until shimmering. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Stir together the flour, turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper in a shallow baking dish.
  • Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.
  • Working in batches, dip the cauliflower in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, then again in the flour.
  • Fry, flipping once, until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain, and sprinkle lightly with a little more salt.
  • Serve hot with the cilantro sauce.

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