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Shahi Cauliflower Pilaf ‘Rice’ (Paleo, Vegan, AIP)

I wanted to call this pilaf ‘Shahi Pilaf’ since Shahi in Urdu means ‘meant for royalty’.  Yes, eating this simple dish indeed makes you feel very special and very loved. Hey, now don’t we all deserve some love folks?

Sharing this delicious paleo pilaf (pulao) recipe at the weekly Paleo AIP recipe Roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix.

Cauliflower Pilaf ‘Rice’ (Paleo, Vegan, AIP)

Recipe Type: Main Course

Cuisine: Fusion, Indian

Author: Indira Shyju

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 2

Delicious cauliflower rice flavored with cinnamon and saffron mixed with cashew nuts!


  1. 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee (use coconut oil for AIP)

  2. 8-10 cashew nuts (omit for AIP)

  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds (omit for AIP)

  4. 1 bay leaf

  5. 1 one inch piece of cinnamon stick

  6. 1/2 head of cauliflower (or 2 cups cauliflower ‘rice’)

  7. 1/4 tsp sea salt

  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  9. 3-4 [url href=”” target=”_blank”]saffron strands[/url]

  10. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine about 2 tbsp

  11. handful of raisins (optional)


  1. Using a food processor, make cauliflower rice using fresh cauliflower florets. (I use this inexpensive [url href=”″ target=”_blank”]chopper[/url] which works really well for this). keep aside.

  2. Heat a medium size sauce pan and add the coconut oil (or ghee). When hot, turn heat to medium and add the cashew nuts (if adding). Saute these for a couple mins until the cashews turn golden brown. Add the cumin next (if adding) along with bay leaf and the cinnamon. Stir for 30 secs and then add the cauliflower rice. Add the salt and turmeric and stir to mix everything well. Cover the sauce pan with a tight fitting lid and cook on low heat for 3-4 mins until the cauliflower rice is well-cooked and soft. Turn heat off. Add the saffron strands and cilantro and mix well.


You can add raisins too and the combination of sweet and salty tastes great.


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