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Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Cauliflower rice pilaf

Once you have some brown rice cooked, this hearty cauliflower rice pilaf with aromatic curry seasonings comes together quickly. For an easy meal, serve cauliflower rice with Lentils with Greens and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and a simple salad.

If you’re looking to lighten up your pilafs, you might also like our cauliflower rice recipes in which this nutritious veggie becomes the rice.

Cauliflower rice recipes

Cauliflower rice pilaf

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Once you have some brown rice cooked, this cauliflower rice pilaf with aromatic curry seasonings comes together quickly.
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Course: Grain main dish
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small head cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice see note
  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants
  • 1 teaspoon good-quality curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or more, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • A pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes optional
  • Sesame seeds or chopped toasted cashews for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute.
  • Add the cauliflower and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender-crisp, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the ginger, cooked rice, raisins, and spices. Stir together and cook, covered, over very low heat for 10 minutes. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add a small amount of additional water.
  • Stir in the scallions and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Add pinch of red pepper flakes for heat if you'd like.
  • Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or so, then garnish with sesame seeds and cashews and serve from the pan, or transfer to a serving platter or container.

Note: Start with 1 cup uncooked brown rice; cook in 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. If you’d like a more tender grain, add 1/2 cup more liquid and cook until absorbed.

This is great made with quinoa instead of rice. Use 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa to yield 3 cups cooked.

Cauliflower rice pilaf recipe


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  • Reply
    February 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    About how much is a small head of cauliflower? Also I live in the middle of nowhere here in Kentucky, I can get curry, but I have no idea if it is good curry or not. How does one tell before you buy it?

    • Reply
      February 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      Jim, just get the best quality curry available to you, but if your only option is the store brand, no worries, it will still be good. A small cauliflower will yield about 4 to 5 heaping cups chopped. So if all you can get is a large head, just use about half of it. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I just made this for our lunch today and it was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe!
    I ha pretty much everything at home except the cauliflower, but I had broccoli. I used broccoli instead and it was really good.
    I love your website very much. Thanks for the excellent work!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Rodrigo, so glad you enjoyed this. I can see how this would be just as good with broccoli — after all, broccoli and cauliflower are cousins! And thanks for your kind thoughts.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you! Yes it helps a lot. 🙂

    I also love your site. I’m new to all this and have found a few things that I just have to try on your site.

  • Reply
    December 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I made this dish as a side at our Christmas dinner. We have several vegetarians in the family. The depths of flavors was amazing. I used a sweet curry and CranRaisins. Using vegetable stock in the rice water and adding more stock to come up to my desired moisture level also added flavor. This dish was a huge hit with carnivores and vegetarians alike!

    • Reply
      December 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Terry. I’m glad you and yours enjoyed this. I love your tweaks; they sound perfect!

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