In the scenic coastal city of Mangalore in south India, bezule is a popular street snack that's usually made with chicken. Here's a food with immense visual and palate appeal: it's an appetizing, bright red with a spicy, lemony flavor to match. My vegan Cauliflower Bezule is just as enticing, and it is versatile too: eat it for a snack or as a side dish for dal and rice. You won't go wrong.
Rasika, an immensely popular Indian restaurant here in D.C., offers a cauliflower bezule on its menu, but it's not something I can eat because it contains egg and is therefore not vegan. Also, the Rasika version -- like all bezules vegetarian and otherwise -- is deep fried, which, in my kitchen, is okay for a rainy day, but not every day. So when I made this recipe, I baked the cauliflower instead of deep frying it: an easy choice because cauliflower roasts up beautifully. Also, the cauliflower florets, after frying (or roasting, in my case) are stir-fried once more with curry leaves, so that helps further with making this dish fresh and flavorful. The deep frying is completely dispensable.
For this bezule, make sure your cauliflower florets are chunky enough that they'll hold up to the roasting and the sauteeing. Making the cauliflower pieces too small will end up in mushy cauliflower and you definitely don't want that. Besides the cauliflower, the ingredient dish is impeccably simple: cornstarch, ginger, garlic, paprika, and a few curry leaves.
Thanks for all of your lovely messages and well wishes and hugs for our new kid, Leo. He sends a friendly "woof" and a wag of his jaunty tail back at you. By now he has made himself completely comfortable in his new home. He is picking up on potty training rather well, already reducing the need to crate him when he's in the house. On Sunday and Monday, the first two days after he came home, he was terrified about the stairs in the house and to the backyard, having never encountered steps before, but with Lily encouraging him, he's already mastered those and runs up and down and around the house and backyard all day, his tail up high and wagging. His latest project is to try and climb into our bed which is rather high -- something we aren't encouraging him to do because he isn't potty trained yet. But I have a feeling we are in a losing battle. 🙂
More yummy vegan cauliflower recipes
- Creamy Cauliflower Curry
- Sheet Pan Curry Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas
- Cauliflower Rice Biryani
- Cauliflower Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 heaping tsp paprika You can use less but the paprika gives the bezule an authentic red color, that's usually achieved with food coloring.
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon flaxmeal
- 1 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ inch piece ginger, chopped
- Oil to spray baking sheet
- 2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 green chili pepper, like jalapeno, minced optional
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Place the flaxmeal, cornstarch, paprika, ginger and garlic along with the water and salt to taste in a blender and blend into a very smooth paste.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a very large bowl and pour the cornstarch mixture over the florets. Using your hands or a spoon, toss the cauliflower in the mixture until thoroughly coated. Let it stand 20 minutes for the flavors to penetrate the cauliflower.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with oil. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake the cauliflower for 20 to 25 minutes or until the florets are tender enough but have a slight bite. You don't want the florets to be too soft.
- In a large wok, heat the coconut oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the curry leaves and green chili pepper, if using. Saute for a minute.
- Add the roasted cauliflower florets and toss in the mustard oil. Squeeze on the lemon juice and mix. Turn off the heat.
- I love to serve this with some sliced raw onion on the side.
Hello! I was making this today, because I love indian and cauliflower, but when I blended the ingredients for the paste together, I didnt get the paste, I got a liquid (thin as water)... I've double checked that i used the ingredients right, but maybe I missed something?..
What is the flax meal for? I know it is used to substitute for egg in some recipes. I don't have it. Would there be a big difference in the bezule if I don't add the flax meal?
Hey there, yes, it is to bind the spices, much like egg would. But with the cornstarch you should be fine-- you might need a little more moisture in the form of water.
YUM! Thank you so much for this inspiring recipe Vaishali! I of course put my own Vegan Jain twist on it. LOVE IT!
just made these for our sunday tea, the kids wolfed them down,gone in seconds.so tasty!
Mark so happy to hear! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
I made the cauliflower bezule this morning because it was so quick and easy & delicious. Believe it or not I had it with some dosas. I buy prepaid dosa batter at an Indian grocery because I don't have the confidence to make my own batter. I liked the combination. It woke up my taste buds and was filling. It will give me energy for most of the morning.
Ruth, so great you tried it, and dosas would go very well with it, I should think. I hope you will try making dosa batter someday --the hardest part is actually the making of the dosa and spreading it just so on the griddle, so if you've got that down, you already have a head start. Making dosa batter is supremely easy, and I have some very healthy recipes on the blog, including a brown rice dosa.
Wow what an easy recipe to make with my fave veggie 🙂 I don't deep fry and always prefer the baked version of any recipe while making at home. I'm definitely making this dish today or tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!
PS Give a kissy from me to little Leo <3
Hey Namrata, hope you try! Leo says woof. 🙂