Karnabahar Oturtma – Cauliflower Medley

Cauliflower is not everyone’s favorite vegetable, I know. Daughter of a close friend put it bluntly when she was only 2, by saying “Please mom, I can’t eat flowers or trees” when offered cauliflower for the first time. For some, it is the sight of this pretty vegetable, for others it is the smell that is off-putting. For me, cauliflower is one of those saponin-flavored beautiful winter vegetables. Au gratin and this medley recipe I’m giving here are the two most common ways of cooking cauliflower in Turkey.


100 g butter

1/2 kg minced beef

2 medium carrots, diced into cubes

1 table spoon of red pepper paste (substitute w/ tomato paste if not available)

1 medium size head of cauliflower, washed and broken into florets

2 tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups of boiling water

2 teaspoons of salt

Melt butter in a pot. Add minced meat and carrots, stir on medium heat until meat is brown. Add pepper paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Throw in the cauliflower florets and tomato, stir for a few minutes and add boiling water and salt. Cover the pot and bring the heat to the lowest setting. Cook until the carrots and cauliflower are al dente or more depending on your liking. Serve with bread and a dollop of yogurt.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello,
    I was just getting myself familiar with some of the food blogs out there and I came across yours. I love cauliflower but I think few people know how to properly bring out its flavors, your cauliflower dish looks delicous and I hope to try it someday. We make cauliflower with a tomatoe sauce and prune seeds to give it a sour taste, but your dish actually resembles a pickled cauliflower side dish we prepare. Its funny how countries can be so far apart but have similar approaches to food. Take care, and I love your blog especially the desserts section!

    • @afghancuisine Hello! Thanks for your comment. I checked your blog and was drooling over your manti (mantou) photos.
      About cauliflower, I agree, when done correctly it tastes superb. We pickle cauliflowers as well, and guess what, we pickle those together with carrots! I don’t think Afghani culture and us Turks are so far apart, Turks have a central Asian origin and we both are mostly Muslims.
      Let me know when you try this cauliflower recipe. Cheers.

  2. I appreciate your intriguing blog. great work. I hope you post more.

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