Curried Mishat (Curried Cauliflower Pancakes)

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Cauliflower is one of those underrated vegetables. It gets a bad reputation for being bland and boring, and broccoli’s nasty cousin. However, if you spice it right, it can be a delicious way to get in more than your fair share of dietary fiber, folate, and vitamin C. An additional side benefit is that it is low in fat and carbs, making it a nice diet food. Wikipedia tells me that there are a whole bunch of other side benefits, including phytochemicals and reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Have I convinced you yet to eat cauliflower?

In Middle Eastern cuisine, you often find cauliflower fried and added to rice pilafs, such as maqlooba. My sister’s friend Sandra told me about a Palestinian recipe for a cauliflower pancake. She mentioned a few of the ingredients to me, and I couldn’t wait to try it. As you know, I am always looking for healthy snacks for my kids, and I am constantly putting random items in their pancakes. I eat a lot of Indian food, and it is not uncommon to get a side dish of roasted or sautéed cauliflower, spiced with curry and mustard seed. So I decided to add some Eastern flavors to the Middle Eastern dish –  East meets Middle East…ha!

I tried locating the history behind mishat but I couldn’t find much. It looks like most traditional recipes use a pancake like batter in which they add a few parboiled cauliflower rosettes. I prefer to keep things as raw as possible, since cooking removes so many of the nutrients. In my recipe, I shred the cauliflower on a cheese grater which allows it to cook quickly, yet retaining a bit of a crunch when pan fried. The first time I made these, they didn’t have much texture. This time around, I added some panko crumbs which gave it the perfect amount of added crispiness.

They are best served hot. You can serve them as an appetizer, or on top of a nice salad. They are also good cold, at least my kids like them that way. I made a batch today, and although I planned on saving some for tomorrow’s lunch box, it looks like the kids already ate all of them!

Curried Mishat (Curried Cauliflower Pancakes)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 cups grated cauliflower (1 medium size head of cauliflower)
½ large yellow onion (approximately 1 cup chopped)
3 tbsp flour
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup panko crumbs (optional, for texture)
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil

  • In a large bowl, grate the cauliflower head. You should have just over 2 cups of grated cauliflower.

  • Add remaining ingredients to the bowl, and mix well. It should look like wet, clumpy pancake mix.


  • Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, drop about a tablespoon of the mixture into the oil.

  • After a few minutes, turn the pancake over. It should be golden brown on both sides.

  • Serve with a salad or your favorite dipping sauce.


  1. Love it, sounds wonderful. I am definitely making it, thank you for sharing. I agree with you, cauliflower is often perceived as the ugly duckling, but I think its fabulous, and you can do lots with it. I personally love it 🙂

  2. Hope you guys get a chance to make it! Sarah – the first time I made it, I made a cucumber mint yogurt dip to go with it. I think a sweet chutney would be great, especially if you added some chili powder to the mix!

  3. This looks delicious Brenda! I personally love cauliflower and we add curry powder to it almost every time we cook it! I would probably substitute ghee or coconut oil for frying instead of olive oil (I don’t like canola oil) just because vegetable oils aren’t very stable for frying (they burn and oxidize). But I love the addition of garam masala … Indian spice mixes are my favorite!

  4. this is popular in Palestine and Jordan..but we add lots of parsley and green onion as well as the baharat,,,mshat can also be made with koosa/ zuccinni, u must grate and drain them of their liquid and follow basic recipe

    • The parsley and green onion sounds delicious! I will definitely try that next time. These ended up tasting a bit more Far Eastern because of the curry, but I will definitely try it the traditional Palestinian way. Thanks for the tip 🙂

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