Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Alan Rosenthal’s Baked Cauliflower Pilaf with Cucumber & Mint Raita

“There are always a few one-pot recipes that I’m particularly proud of. This is one of them! It’s so simple, extremely delicious, and a great crowd- pleaser too.” – Alan Rosenthal


Serves 4

1 large whole cauliflower, trimmed of all green leaves

2 red onions, finely sliced

300g (101⁄2oz/11⁄2 cups) basmati rice

500ml (17fl oz/2 cups) hot vegetable stock

25g (1oz) unsalted butter or ghee

50g (2oz/scant 1⁄2 cup) sultanas (golden raisins)

25g (1oz/1⁄4 cup) flaked almonds

4 tbsp store-bought crispy fried onions

For the marinade

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger

1 tbsp finely grated garlic

juice of 1⁄2 lemon

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garam masala

1⁄4 tsp chilli powder

1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tbsp chopped mint

2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra to garnish

Sea salt

For the cucumber raita

200g (7oz/generous 3⁄4 cup) plain yogurt

1/3 large cucumber, grated

2 tbsp chopped mint


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.

  2. First, trim the stem of the cauliflower to allow it to stand steady when you come to place it in your deep pot.

  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients, along with 11⁄2 tsp salt.

  4. Rub some of the marinade into the gaps on the underside of the cauliflower, then place the cauliflower in your deep pot, right way up, and rub all but 1 tbsp of the marinade over the surface. Add the onions to the remaining marinade and give them a good toss around, then arrange them in the pot around the cauliflower. Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, make the cucumber raita by mixing together the yogurt, cucumber and mint in a bowl with a pinch or two of salt.

  6. Rinse the rice in cold water, then drain. Using a large spoon, remove the cauliflower from the pot and transfer temporarily to a plate (don’t worry if it falls apart a little). Add the rice to the pot, followed by the stock, butter or ghee, sultanas (golden raisins) and 1⁄2 tsp salt. Mix well to combine with the onions.

  7. Return the cauliflower to the pot, placing it gently in the centre. Pop the lid back on and return to the oven for another 25 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with the almonds, then bake for a final 5 minutes, uncovered, to allow the almonds to turn a little golden.

  8. Scatter with more fresh coriander (cilantro) and the crispy onions, and serve with the raita on the side.

Foolproof Veggie One Pot by Alan Rosenthal (Quadrille, £14), Photographs by Rita Platts