Cauliflower and chickpea ‘shish taouk’…so much fabulous flavour…


I’ve had this recipe ready to share for the past week, but I was so happy with it, I kept it to myself all week, almost to protect it in case none of you liked it!!! I do hope you like the look of it and maybe give it a go, the flavours and textures are so good, this is definitely food straight from my heart, food that feeds my soul, and makes me smile :))

I regularly make ‘shish taouk‘, Lebanese marinated chicken kebabs, for my menfolk and friends and family; I love the smell of the marinade, even more so as it cooks, and everyone I’ve ever made it for has loved it, but I’ve never had the chance to enjoy it too.

I’ve tried out marinating aubergines and mushrooms with the same mix but without major success, so having realised what great carriers of flavours the cauliflower and chickpeas have been recently, it struck me that I should try them out with the shish taouk marinade…and, oh yes, it works! It works REALLY well!!!!

This makes a wonderful main dish for us vegetarians, or could be used as a side dish; I ate it hot on the day it was cooked and cold the next, and then even more magic occurred when utilised the leftover chickpeas…read on for the details…

Here goes..

For the marinade:
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 3-5 lemons
1 heaped tablespoon paprika
1/2 tube/100g of tomato purée
2 heaped tablespoons sumac
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 heaped tablespoon mayo or plain yoghurt

To be marinated:
1 whole cauliflower, peeled and broken into florets of medium to large size
2 cans chickpeas, drained and washed

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, then add the chickpeas and cauliflower and mix as much as possible to spread the marinade all over the cauliflower, maybe cover the pot and give it all a good shake.

Put it in the fridge for 24 hours with a lid on and keep shaking it and stirring it up to spread the flavours around.

Heat the oven to 190C, cover the pot with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. When the cauliflower starts to soften, remove the foil and roast until the cauliflower slightly chargrills and the garlic is roasted and the chickpeas are browning. I reckon to do it justice you need to allow another 20-25 minutes once the foil comes off to allow for things to get properly roasted and lovely and crunchy.

You’ll know when it’s done when the cauliflower looks a bit chargrilled and the chickpeas have a crunch and the remaining marinade is bubbling away.









Yum yum yum!!!

And with the remaining chickpeas…you guessed it, I turned some of them into yet another homous recipe, mixing them with tahini sauce.




And with the final remainder of the chickpeas, I laid them out in a single layer on an oven tray and put them back into the oven until they roasted some more and turned them into snack chickpeas.




20140216-154105.jpgSo much flavour! So much fun :))

84 thoughts on “Cauliflower and chickpea ‘shish taouk’…so much fabulous flavour…

  1. Selma's Table

    Wow, wow, wow – that looks amazing, Elaine!! What a great idea to marinate them in the spices. I have a head of cauli that I was going to roast but now I want to make this instead – it will have to wait until I’m back home though. Can’t wait to try it!


  2. polianthus

    there I was about to make this, I have a cauliflower sitting in the fridge, I thought I hope this isnt one of the – marinate over night recipes – but of course it is. I thought no matter, I’ll do it anyway, but I havent got a whole head of garlic, boo hoo. And I was so interested in trying this out. Some other time…..


      1. polianthus

        yes I know you are right! I have some hing powder which would no doubt work nicely as it would in ayurvedic cuisine, now that you mention it. Cauliflower is so bland by itself that I figured the garlic would be necessary, but Ill give it a think!


      1. M. R.

        Couldn’t find any sumac. Bummer.
        Suggestion re alternative, perchance, Elaine? – I mean, once you’ve woken up and had your breakfast? [grin]


      2. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        Morning!!! Just up and on my second green tea 🙂 I googled it as someone else asked me that too…sumac is a dried berry and has a citrus flavour, so although there’s lemon juice in there too, the suggestion is to add some lemon zest…I’ll look again and see if I see any other ideas x


    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you 🙂 I was saving this for your guest blog but I couldn’t wait!!!
      I’m not sure about that one, za’atar is quite strong and would bring other flavours into the dish that I haven’t tried, I think it would change the flavour quite dramatically…


  3. disappearingwoman

    It certainly roasts up beautifully. I’ve never tried sumac. I had to look it up to see exactly what its flavoring was. I love cauliflower. but I usually eat it raw. I’ll have to try this once I return to real food. I’m getting a whole bank of future recipes from you! Thank you! 🙂


    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Sumac is a dried berry and has a citrus flavour, I’m not sure what a good substitute would be. One suggestion online is grated lemon zest, even though there is lemon juice in the recipe.


      1. apsara

        Elaine, I bought sumac from amazon and this was the first thing I tried with it! I followed it exactly throughout, except that I used a glass dish to bake and roast, so it took much longer than I expected. I’m skeptical about using aluminum for highly acidic foods because of its toxicity, and I did not have a big non-stick pan. Anyway, towards the end, I lost patience and just roasted it on stove top, with some additions like turmeric and cumin. It was awesome, we loved it with chapati. The kids loved it too! Great recipe 🙂
        In my opinion, a substitute for sumac in Indian cuisine would be dry mango powder.


      2. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        Hi, thank you for the feedback and for trying the dish. I’ll have to try it out your way now 🙂 does mango powder have a citrus flavour too then?


      1. Cheesy Biscuit

        It was so, so tasty and made a great meal with some left over salad. Mine ended up being slightly different than yours – firstly because I thought I had sumac in the spice drawer but couldn’t find it, and secondly I was going to make your recipe but with only one can of chickpeas. So I made up the same amount of marinade, then started peeling the leaves of my cauliflower. By the time I’d revealed the inside, I realised it was a very small cauli, probably half the size of a regular one. But I threw all the marinade in anyway. I guess it ended up a little saucier than yours, but it was so, so delicious!


      2. Cheesy Biscuit

        It really was, it ended up sort of disappearing (I think the chickpeas ate a lot of it) but it was so tasty, want to eat it again soon! Might try with added chorizo or chicken legs some time 🙂


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