Middle Eastern Fried Cauliflower



Middle Eastern Fried Cauliflower

Mike Nadelman
Deep-fried cauliflower is a Middle Eastern specialty, so why not make it even more Middle Eastern and use a batter made with dukkah, the complex Middle Eastern condiment made with a mixture of nuts, seeds, spices, and, in this version, chickpea flour. The batter is thin (you have the option of adding a bit more chickpea flour) but the cauliflower gets just enough of a coating to come out of the oil with a perfect thin crispy shell. Serve it with garlic-laced yogurt or with tahini sauce.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Arabic, Egyptian, Keto, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 8 servings


  • ½ cup spicy Egyptian dukkah
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch rice flour or flour (more as desired)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup sparkling water
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons chickpea flour optional)
  • 1 cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 2 cups peanut oil


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dukkah, cornstarch (or chickpea flour), baking powder, and salt. Whisk in sparkling water. Depending on the consistency of your dukkah, the batter may seem thin, but try deep-frying a few pieces of cauliflower first to see if you want to thicken it with a little more cornstarch or flour.
  • Pour oil into a wok or wide saucepan to a depth of 3 inches and heat over medium-high heat to 360 to 375 degrees. Set up a sheet pan with a rack on it next to the pan. Cover rack with a few layers of paper towels. Have a spider or deep-fry skimmer handy for removing cauliflower from oil.
  • Place a few pieces of cauliflower in batter and, using tongs, turn them over several times to coat thoroughly. Transfer to hot oil and fry until golden brown, which should not take more than a couple of minutes. Flip over with spider to make sure the coating is evenly fried. It is important not to crowd the pan and to let the oil come back up to temperature between batches. After the first batch you can decide if you want to add a little more flour to the batter.
  • Using the spider, remove the cauliflower from oil, allowing excess oil to drip back into the pan, and drain on the towel-covered rack. Sprinkle with salt right away if desired. Allow to cool slightly and serve with tahini or yogurt



You can make your own "Dukkah / Duqqa" using the following ground ingredients plus optional chickpea flower: Hazelnuts, Sesame Seeds, Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Sumac, Salt, Kalonji/Nigella seeds, Aleppo Pepper, and Spearmint.
Optionally you can just roast the cauliflower as shown in the video for a lower fat and calorie version
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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