You Need To Make This Yummy Cauliflower Recipe With A South African Twist

by | Sep 20, 2023 | Recipes

Looking for a delicious cauliflower recipe with some South African flair? You’ve come to the right place because this recipe delivers all of that goodness in spades!

READ MORE: Try These Veggie Sosaties Even Meat Lovers Will Love

bookcover for cookbook Veggielicious

This recipe is from Mokgadi Itsweng’s debut cookbook, Veggielicious, and it’s a cookbook worth investing in. Filled with tons of recipes that will help you eat more veggies and enjoy plant-based meals, you’re guaranteed to find some new faves.

But now for the best part. Mokgadi uses indigenous ingredients that are often overlooked or forgotten (think: impepho in this recipe) and prioritises making affordable meals. We’re huge fans of hers and you will be too!

READ MORE: This Braai Dessert Is So Simple Even Kids Can Make It

The Secret SA Ingredient In This Cauliflower Recipe

It’s Impepho, of course! “Impepho or wild sage is an indigenous African herb that is widely used by traditional healers in spiritual prayer rituals. The herb is also used as an antifungal, antiseptic and anti-anxiety medicine,” explains Itsweng.

And seriously, Impepho adds so much flavour to any food it is smoked with. “I use a kettle braai for smoking, but you can follow the quick smoking hack that I have included in the recipe,” says Itsweng.

3 Essentials You’ll Use In This Recipe

Le Creuset Venus Basting Brush
Le Creuset Venus Basting Brush

Nothing beats a good basting brush, and this one will serve you well for years to come because it’s very high quality.

severin smoothie maker on white background
Severin Smoothie Mix & Go Blender

We love this all-in-one smoothie maker and blender that you can use to blend red peppers for this recipe.

Weber 37cm Smokey Joe Kettle Braai

This kettle braai might be small but it packs a punch. So take it along for picnics, braais or camping trips.

READ MORE: How To Braai Like A Pro

cauliflower recipe made and served on a black board with sauce

Impepho Smoked Cauliflower With Red Pepper Sauce

Mokgadi Itsweng
Impepho adds so much flavour to any food it is smoked with. And it will seriously up the ante on this cauliflower that will be the stand-out side at your next gathering.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African, Vegetarian
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Kettle braai
  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Blender


  • 1 whole Cauliflower head
  • Handful of dried impepho herb, for smoking the cauliflower
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 Red peppers, left whole
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of fresh parsley or thyme, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  • Bring a saucepan of water with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt to a boil, then add the cauliflower head. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  • Smoke the cauliflower by placing a hot charcoal disk inside a small foil container, then adding a handful of dried impepho herb. When the impepho starts smoking, place it inside a kettle braai with the cauliflower. Close the kettle braai lid and allow to smoke for at least 10-15 minutes. Remove from the kettle braai and set aside.
  • Quick hack: Use your oven as a smoker. Place the impepho on an oven tray, light it and when it starts to smoke place the tray on the bottom rack of the oven. Then place the cauliflower on the rack directly above the impepho. Close the oven and allow to smoke for 5-10 minutes.
  • Mix the garlic with the olive oil and brush over the whole cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until crisp on the outside.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauce by first roasting the peppers in the oven until the skins are blackened.
  • Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a bowl, cover with clingwrap and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, peel the skins off and blend the peppers, then set aside.
  • Heat the oil, then add the garlic and paprika, and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the blended peppers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously to ensure that the sauce doesn’t stick and burn.
  • Add the lemon juice and brown sugar, cook for a further 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, slice the cauliflower into steaks or leave whole, then place on a platter. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and top with chopped herbs.
Keyword braai, dinner, starter, vegetarian

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