Indian Cauliflower Rice

March 24, 2020 (Updated: March 27, 2020) By Aneesha |

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This curry flavored Indian Cauliflower Rice is packed with warm spices including mustard seeds, turmeric, red chili and coriander. It’s a quick and easy low-carb, keto and vegan side dish that’s ready in under 10 minutes! Serve it alongside lentils, curries or even grilled meat!

Indian spiced cauliflower rice

An Easy, Low-Carb Indian Spiced Side Dish

My hubby and I are no strangers to the sweeping cauliflower rice food trend. Although I love a starchy side of homemade rice, swapping it out for cauliflower rice is a wonderful, low-carb option for those days when we feel like eating a bit healthier.

When I do have the time, I make fresh cauliflower rice at home in my food processor. But on weeknights, that just seems like an ‘extra’ chore on my list.

That’s when I discovered the beauty and convenience of frozen cauliflower rice! Although ricing your own cauliflower is cheaper, I love that pre-riced or frozen cauliflower rice is easily accessible from my local Trader Joe’s.

Now, it’s become a staple pantry ingredient my hubby and I enjoy on many occasions (even on date nights!) as I always keep a few bags handy in my freezer. This Easy, Low-Carb, Keto and Vegan Indian spiced cauliflower rice side dish is a recipe we make over and over again – no food processor required!

The Benefits of Cauliflower

I love cauliflower for many reasons. Not only is it a staple ingredient in many of my Indian dishes such as Aloo Gobi, Vegetable Korma and Quinoa Biryani, but it also comes with a number of added health benefits.

  • It’s a Cruciferous vegetable! Cruciferous veggies, part of the cabbage family, are rich in Vitamins C, E, K, fiber and folate. They are a good source of phytonutrients, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Low in calories and carbs! One cup of cauliflower rice has 25 calories and 5 grams of carbs, whereas one cup of brown rice has 216 calories and 46 grams of carbs.
cauliflower recipe in gray bowl on white plate

What Kind Of Cauliflower Rice Should I Use?

There are multiple options when it comes to cauliflower rice. As mentioned above, I love the shortcut of frozen cauliflower rice, but feel free to use:

  • Fresh: Make your own by grating a whole head of cauliflower cut into large chunks on the medium-sized holes of a box grater (the side typically used to grate cheese) or using the grater attachment of your food processor. You will need 1/2 head of cauliflower for this recipe.
  • Pre-Chopped Vegetable Section: Purchase a 12-oz container of “riced” cauliflower in the produce department. Trader Joe’s, Green Giant and a few smaller grocers sell never frozen cauliflower rice you can find in their produce section.
  • Frozen: Purchase a 12-oz bag of frozen cauliflower rice in the freezer section of your local grocery store. I love and buy Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365, Bird’s Eye, Green Giant and Cascadian Farms brands.

Ingredients for this Curried Cauliflower Rice

This Indian inspired curry cauliflower rice recipe is made with olive oil, mustard seeds, cauliflower rice, salt, turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder (or cayenne – if you like it spicy!), ground coriander, lime and fresh cilantro.

A Note on Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds come in three different colors commonly found in the US – black, brown and white. Black mustard seeds are the seeds I grew up with and are the most common type found in Indian cooking.

In Indian dishes, we keep them whole for spice and texture. The seeds are sautéed in oil until they pop to release their aroma and flavor, and are cooked along with the remaining ingredients.

They add a nutty-tangy flavor and are used extensively in southern-Indian cuisine. You can find black mustard seeds at Indian specialty stores or online.

easy side dish of cauliflower in gray bowl on black plate

How To Make Indian Cauli Rice

This Indian-style cauliflower rice is made in a few easy steps on your stovetop in under 10 minutes!

mustard seeds in skillet, sauteing cauliflower rice, spices in cauliflower rice, prepared cauliflower rice
  1. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and mustard seeds. (Pic 1)
  2. When mustard seeds begin to pop, add the cauliflower rice. No need to thaw if using frozen. (Pics 2). Saute 2-3 minutes, or until the moisture from the cauliflower rice dries out.
  3. Add salt and spices and saute for another 3-4 minutes, until it reaches your desired doneness (see notes about texture). (Pic 3)
  4. Remove from heat. Lightly squeeze lime and garnish with fresh cilantro. (Pic 4)

Uses For Cauliflower Rice

Although I love this curry cauliflower rice recipe, if you’re looking for more ways to introduce the low-carb (and keto) cauliflower rice into your cooking regimen (and eat more veggies!), you can:

  • Substitute white or brown rice with an equal amount of cauliflower rice in soups and stir-frys!
  • Add a handful of cauliflower rice to your burgers, Keema curry or pasta sauces. It practically disappears in the mix and you cannot taste it.
  • Make a cauliflower crust pizza to satisfy those carb cravings!

Serving Suggestions

This spiced cauliflower rice is flavored with warm Indian spices, so any Indian themed entree, such as dal, curry, grilled chicken, meat or fish is a wonderful accompaniment.

For a vegetarian option, try serving this with Chana Masala, Rajma, Dal Makhani, Dal Tadka or Chana Dal instead.

Hubs and I often like to use it as our low-carb rice side dish for lamb, fish, chicken, goat or a mix of chicken, Paneer and veggie curries, too! Most Indian curries go really well with this cauli rice recipe.

curry cauliflower rice in gray bowl on black plate

Variations for Cauliflower Rice Recipes

There are many ways to evolve this curry cauliflower rice into your own. To make a number of different cauliflower rice recipes, simply:

  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut at the very end for a coconut flavor.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon to give a touch of sweetness, and pair it with Mediterranean entrees.
  • Transform it into a rice pilaf with a handful of raisins and toasted cashews.
  • Keep it vegan and up the protein by adding some oven-roasted chickpeas.

Recipe Tips:

  • Grate your own cauliflower with a box grater or food processor! You will only need 1/2 head of cauliflower for this recipe, but feel free to grate the entire head and freeze the remainder in an airtight container for up to 1 month. If desired, squeeze out excess water from freshly riced cauliflower with a clean, kitchen towel.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase pre-chopped or frozen cauliflower rice. If using frozen cauliflower rice, there is no need to thaw!
  • The cauliflower will release moisture while you saute it on the stovetop. Allow it to cook until all the moisture is gone, then cook to your desired tenderness. I reached mine after 3-4 minutes of sauteing once the moisture evaporated.
  • End texture: This recipe results in a slight el-dente texture of Cauli Rice, which mimics the texture of steamed rice. You can adjust that based on how cooked, or ‘soft’ you like it.

More Cauliflower Recipes From My Kitchen

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Indian spiced cauliflower rice

Indian Cauliflower Rice

This curry flavored Indian Cauliflower Rice is packed with warm spices. It's a low-carb, keto and vegan side dish that's ready in under 10 minutes!
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Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 56kcal
Author: Aneesha

Ingredients

For Finishing

  • Squeeze of lime
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Equipment

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begins to splutter, add the cauliflower rice. If using frozen, no need to thaw, just add to the pan.
  • Saute 2-3 minutes till the moisture from the cauli rice dries out. Add salt and spices and saute for another 3-4 minutes, until it reaches your desired doneness.
  • Turn off the heat. Lightly squeeze lime and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Transfer to a serving bowl to stop the cooking. Enjoy as a low-carb/keto side.

Notes

Recipe Tips:

  • Grate your own cauliflower with a box grater or food processor! You will only need 1/2 head of cauliflower for this recipe, but feel free to grate the entire head and freeze the remainder in an airtight container for up to 1 month. If desired, squeeze out excess water from freshly riced cauliflower with a clean, kitchen towel.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase pre-chopped or frozen cauliflower rice. If using frozen cauliflower rice, there is no need to thaw!
  • The cauliflower will release moisture while you saute it on the stovetop. Allow it to cook until all the moisture is gone, then cook to your desired tenderness. I reached mine after 3-4 minutes of sautéing once the moisture evaporated.
  • End texture: This recipe results in a slight el-dente texture of Cauli Rice, which mimics the texture of steamed rice. You can adjust that based on how cooked, or ‘soft’ you like it.
 
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: curry cauliflower rice, Indian cauliflower rice, Indian spiced cauli rice, indian style cauliflower rice
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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