Moroccan Cauliflower Over Chickpeas and Rice

This dish is highly adaptable and is more of a “method” in my book. If you prefer meat, you can easily add chicken, shrimp or pork (yes, moroccan pork isn't traditional, call it fusion!). However you prepare it, this is always a favorite dish!

Course entree, Main Course
Cuisine California, Moroccan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 cup white rice, basmati, jasmine or long grain
  • 1 cup water for rice
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, greek or other
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro leaves to taste



  1. Get your rice started. Add 1 cup white rice and 1 cup of water to a small pot with tight fitting lid. Add ½ tsp salt and stir. Set over high heat until it boils, then stir once, cover with lid and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Cook for 15-17 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the rice sit covered until everything else is ready.


  1. Dice the onion and put it in a large pot or pan with tall sides (you want as much flat surface as possible) with a tablespoon of olive oil. Start cooking over medium heat while you chop the cauliflower, stirring occasionally as necessary. Remove the leaves and stem from your head of cauliflower - most people remove far too much of the stem, use a knife to remove the leaves and just the bottom dry part of the root. Then, dice slice the florets apart and if they’re larger than about an inch square, cut them in half again. The center stems are all edible and taste just like the florets!

    (If you decide to add meat, slice it thinly and add it here. Cook until 80% done in the pan, then proceed).

    Add the cauliflower to the pan, turn it up to high and stir to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


  1. Gather your spices - add them directly to the pan: 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir to cook spices on the bottom of the pan to cook a bit. After 1 minute, add the tomatoes, olives, garbanzo beans including the liquid, and 1 cup of water (or stock). Use a zester over the pan to zest about half of the orange into the pan. Stir to combine and cover partway. Bring to a boil, stir, and cover again. Let cook for about 6-7 minutes. Add the gold raisins and stir, test the cauliflower doneness at this point. It should be tender but not falling apart.


  1. Gently fluff up the rice and mound in a bowl. Spoon cauliflower and plenty of sauce over too. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and cilantro leaves.

Recipe Notes

This dish is fantastic leftover in the fridge for 5 days. It freezes well too (don’t freeze the yogurt and stir in any extra cilantro to the sauce).
Rice can also be frozen in an airtight container.

Cauliflower → potatoes! Just cook longer
Garbanzo Beans → white beans, lentils
All of the spices → buy Garam Masala Spice Blend and use 2-3 Tablespoons
Cilantro → basil, parsley, chives, scallions
Olives → capers
Orange → lemon or lime
Or Add meat → sliced or diced chicken breast or boneless thighs, pork tenderloin diced, shrimp