Cauliflower Stir Fry

Cauliflower Stir Fry Recipe

By Swasthi on August 31, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Make this delicious Cauliflower Stir Fry under 25 minutes. This fusion style stir fried cauliflower is so simple that anyone can cook! It goes well with just anything. Serve along-side noodles, Basmati Rice dal, Turmeric Rice, quinoa or with cooked millets. This Cauliflower Stir Fry tastes so good that you can eat it as a snack too.

Cauliflower Stir Fry

This recipe requires basic pantry staples like oil, ground spices, fresh herbs and a basic homemade stir fry sauce (shared below). Indian chili powder, garlic powder, garam masala (or five spice) and fresh garlic impart wonderful flavors to the stir fried cauliflower.

To add another layer of flavors, I also use soya sauce, vinegar and little maple syrup, which is the stir fry sauce here. You are free to leave out this sauce if you want or incorporate more Indian flavors by using kasuri methi, amchur (dried mango powder) or chaat masala.

I have used only cauliflower here, feel free to add more veggies liked slice onions, bell peppers and carrots for varied flavors.

More Cauliflower Recipes
Cauliflower Pakora
Gobi Manchurian
Cauliflower Curry
Aloo Gobi
Cauliflower Masala
Cauliflower Kurma

How to Make Cauliflower Stir Fry (Stepwise Photos)

1. For this recipe you will need 5 cups of cleaned cauliflower florets (450g,1 lb). Make sure most of the florets are of the same size as you want them to be cooked evenly. If you are new to cleaning cauliflower, read my pro tips below.

cleaned cauliflower florets to be stir fried

2. Add the following spices to a small bowl and mix them.

  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or chili flakes (adjust to heat tolerance)
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon Garam masala or five spice as needed
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Also measure ¼ teaspoon salt and keep it aside (do not mix with the spices)
ground spices in a bowl

3. You may leave out this stir fry sauce but it adds another layer of flavors. Optionally make the stir fry sauce by mixing

  • ½ to ¾ tablespoon soya sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or ½ teaspoon sugar/jaggery
  • ¾ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
stir fry sauce for cauliflower

4. Chop 2 tablespoons of coriander leaves or any other fresh herbs. Slice ¾ to 1 tablespoon garlic cloves. Keep them thick. If you are using small cloves, just crush them and use.

chopped herbs and garlic

5. Pour 2 tablespoons oil to a heavy bottom pan or wok and heat it.
Add garlic cloves.

fry garlic in oil

6. Stir in the cauliflower and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on a medium high heat.

stir fry cauliflower in oil

7. Sprinkle the salt and mix well.

sprinkle salt

8. Cover and lower the heat. Let cook until the florets are slightly tender but not fully cooked. Mine takes about 4 to 5 mins. If the pan is too dry, you may splash a few tbsps of water in between and continue to cook. Open the lid and continue to stir fry until the cauliflower is fork tender but not too soft.

cover and cook cauliflower

9. Reduce the heat to low. Mix all the spices and sprinkle them all over. Mix well.

sprinkle spices on cauliflower stir fry

10. Optionally if you want to use the sauce, increase the heat to medium high or high and pour the sauce all over.

pour sauce

11. Stir fry on the highest heat till all of the sauce is absorbed by the cauliflower. Taste test and add more salt, spices or sauce to your liking. Adding too much of sauce or spices is going to make your cauliflower too salty, spicy and is going to overpower the flavors. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

garnish cauliflower stir fry with coriander leaves

Remove Cauliflower Stir Fry to serving plate and serve hot as a side with just anything. We serve with basmati rice & dal, rice-curry or quinoa and raita.

Cauliflower Stir Fry Recipe

Pro Tips

  • Remove the leaves from the cauliflower head and rinse under running tap water (upside down). Break up or cut the florets to almost the same size. Add them to a colander and rinse them again. Shake off to get rid of excess water.
  • To get rid of small creatures in the cauliflower, add them to a bowl of slightly hot water (not very hot) with little salt and vinegar. Leave them for 5 minutes. This step helps to get rid of any small bugs hidden in the florets. Salt & vinegar helps to get rid of any unwanted residue.
  • Add the spices only after the cauliflower is cooked to your liking, Adding early can burn the spices and requires splashing water at intervals to prevent that.
  • To make the Indian version (without sauce and vinegar), you can also add some chaat masala/ amchur (dried mango powder), kasuri methi and cumin powder.
  • You can add your favorite sauce. But if you add too much of liquid/sauce, you may end up with too much sauce.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

cauliflower stir fry recipe

Cauliflower Stir Fry Recipe

This delicious cauliflower stir fry is simple and quick to make. Serve it with rice, quinoa, millets & dal or curry.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Diet : Gluten Free, Vegan

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 5 cups (450g, 1 lb) cauliflower florets (cleaned)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves sliced thick
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or chili flakes
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon Garam masala or five spice as needed
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves /cilantro or any fresh herbs of choice

Optional (Stir fry sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or ½ teaspoon sugar/jaggery
  • ¾ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ to ¾ tablespoon soya sauce or tamari


How to make Cauliflower Stir Fry

  • Mix together chili powder, garam masala & garlic powder in a bowl. Keep aside. Optional – Mix together soya sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl to make the stir fry sauce. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or wok. Add the garlic cloves and cauliflower florets.
  • Stir fry on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle salt, mix and cover. Cook for 4 to 5 mins on a low heat, until slightly tender but not fully cooked. If your pan is too dry, splash little water as you cook.
  • Open the lid and stir fry until cauliflower is fork tender & not too soft.
  • Reduce the heat, sprinkle the spices all over the cauliflower & mix well.
  • optionally – Increase the heat to high and pour the stir fry sauce. Stir fry until all of the sauce is soaked up the cauliflower. Taste test and add more salt, spices or sauce to your taste.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs and serve Cauliflower Stir Fry as a side.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


Watch Cauliflower Stir Fry Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Stir Fry Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.04g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Sodium 419mg18%
Potassium 492mg14%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 119IU2%
Vitamin C 74mg90%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Cauliflower Stir Fry Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
I used cleaned and cut florets from the stores. So this took me only 15 minutes. Didn’t use the sauce and the spices were good enough to flavor the cauliflower. Thank you for another amazing recipe.

5 stars
This was lovely. Going to make it again

5 stars
I made this cauliflower stir fry last night. Delicious and easy. I used a teaspoon of tomato paste and left out the vinegar. Easy to make & was tasty.