• Fried cauliflower with tarator (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

Cauliflower is so hot right now. This recipe has you dipping and drizzling it with tarator - it's like the Lebanese version of mayo.






Skill level

Average: 4 (23 votes)

"Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable - it can morph into so many dishes, but no transformation is more sensational than the method used by our friend Lebanese home cook Jinan Afiouny Ammourh whose family own a hugely popular emporium and nut roasting business (Nut Roasters). Frying cauliflower brings out the natural sweetness and nuttiness of this humble vegetable and gives a slight golden crunch as well. Jinan loves to serve it as part of a mezze - when the hot cauliflower is sprinkled with ground cumin, it adds an exotic aroma and extra hint of flavour. Jinan’s tarator is one of the first recipes she learnt from her mother Hala - also a renowned cook." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth 


  • ½ cauliflower, broken into large florets
  • 1 litre sunflower oil, for frying
  • ground cumin, for sprinkling
  • flat-leaf parsley, finely sliced


  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt, to taste
  • 125 g (½ cup) tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the tarator, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle into a fine paste. Whisk in the tahini and 60 ml (¼ cup) water – the tarator will become very thick. Whisk in the lemon juice. You may need to add a little more water – it should be the consistency of pouring cream. Season to taste.

Cook the cauliflower in medium saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well. In the same pan, heat the oil to 180°C. Fry the cauliflower until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with cumin and parsley.

Serve with the tarator.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Belinda So.

Brand-new series Food Safari Earth airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS then on SBS On Demand. For recipes and more visit the program site right here.