Recipe: Cauliflower Tempura

By Tessa Dunthorne

2 years ago

Alex Drayton shares his delicious South Asian inspired recipe

Alex Drayton, chef at the National Gallery’s Ochre restaurant, serves up a dish that is as pleasing on the eye as it is on the palate. Here’s his cauliflower tempura recipe.

Recipe: Cauliflower Tempura

Alex is keen to change the perception of cauliflower, a common British vegetable that he feels has a reputation for being bland. ‘It’s grown in abundance across the UK, and is so versatile and able to take on a lot of flavour when marinated correctly,’ he says. ‘I wanted to prove this while taking inspiration from my love for Aloo Gobi, from South Asia, a region that excels in vegetarian and vegan food.’ You’ll find this dish on the Ochre menu.


Serves 2


  • 200g Tempura flour
  • 300ml Sparkling water
  • 50g Ice
  • 1g Turmeric
  • 1g Ground cumin
  • 3g Ras el Hanout


  • 300g Mayonnaise
  • 50g roasted garlic, minced
  • 1.5g turmeric
  • 7g lemon juice


  • 1 Cauliflower


  1. Cut the cauliflower into ten pieces, keeping the core and leaves, and steam in the oven at 100 ̊C for 4-5 minutes depending on size.
  2. Allow to cool. Add all the batter ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together making sure there are no lumps, salt well.
  3. Add all the mayonnaise ingredients in a mixing bowl, and combine well, salt well. In a mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower pieces
    with the tempura batter, coat well. Heat a deep fat fryer (or frying pan with 100ml of oil) to 180 ̊C, and add the batter-covered cauliflower pieces for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  4. Make sure to flip. Drain the oil and allow the cauliflower to dry on kitchen roll. Serve cauliflower and the mayonnaise together – enjoy.