At last- Cauliflower with Lemon, Cumin and Sumac

So, I have mentioned before that I am obsessed with the lemony fried cauliflower that I used to order at the Lebanese restaurant down the street from my old apartment in Queens, NY.  I have finally succeeded in making something that satisfies my craving for that lost dish.  The secret is sumac which is an amazing tangy, red spice that is used in Middle Eastern cooking.  I recently rode my bike down to Sahadi’s to get sumac (and so many other delicious things).   Sahadi’s fills me with Brooklyn pride.  They also have an online store. If you don’t live somewhere with an AWESOME Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialty food market, they can hook you up.   This is easy to make  and delicious.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed of all leaves
  • A good amount of olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and sliced in half
  • 1 Tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the cauliflower in 1/2 inch slices from top to bottom.
  2. Heat the oil in one or two large skillets (you need enough space to cook the cauliflower in one layer).
  3. When the oil is very hot arrange the cauliflower slices in a single layer and press them down for maximum contact.
  4. After a few minutes flip the cauliflower over.  It should be golden and a little bit crisp.  Cook the second side until it is also golden.
  5. Turn the heat off and squeeze the lemon all over the slices. Sprinkle the lemon zest, cumin, sumac, salt and pepper all over the sizzling cauliflower and serve.  This is very, very good with a baked chickpea pancake with spicy lemon date spread and Moroccan carrot salad.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Elisabeth says:

    Delicious! This looks nice and easy, and I have ALL the ingredients except the cauliflower! I shall look for one today! Cauliflower is a bit of a treat here. It is not a familiar vegetable to the Japanese, and so they don’t grow it much. It can cost up to $4 for a small head. But I shall splurge for this dish! Thank you, Erin

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