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Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce
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5 from 3 votes

Cauliflower with Tahini and Lemon Sauce

Makali, which translates to "deep fried things" is a traditional mezze throughout the Middle East. I grew up with deep fried cauliflower, eggplant and squash garnished with parsley and lemon juice. My mother transitioned to broiling rather than deep-frying for health reasons, but the taste wasn't quite the same. Air fryers are so ubiquitous now that it just made sense to see what the fuss was all about and here we have it. This recipe tastes like deep fried without the guilt.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: air fryer, cauliflower, fried, fried cauliflower, healthy
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 200kcal
Cost: 10


  • Air Fryer (Optional)


  • 1 Cauliflower, whole - Organic preferred
  • 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoon Tahini
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoon water

To Garnish

  • Fresh herbs (Dill, parsley, chives)
  • Aleppo pepper flakes - Sub: Chili flakes


  • Prep cauliflower by removing leaves and breaking into large florets. Toss cauliflower in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet and air fry (using an air fryer) on 350F for 15-20 minutes (or until tender and browned). Note: You can also roast in a standard oven at 450F (recommended: use convection setting). Keep an eye on your cauliflower. Every oven is different you may need to make adjustments to temperature/time.
  • While cauliflower is air frying, prepare the tahini sauce. Whisk tahini, lemon juice, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil together. It will form a thick paste. Don't worry. Whisk in a few table spoons of cold water to help you get a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Plate. Add a few dollops of sauce to your serving plate and arrange your cooked cauliflower. Drizzle more sauce and garnish as you like.


This is a versatile recipe and can be made by roasting the cauliflower in a regular oven, or even going the traditional route by deep fat frying. 


Calories: 200kcal