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Fried cauliflower with parmesan wafers and tahini yoghurt

Lebanon's dish of fried cauliflower - zahra maqlia - gets a contemporary twist from chef Greg Malouf.

By Greg Malouf
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 6
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"Parmesan crisps add intrigue to this traditional dish," says Greg Malouf.


  • Sunflower or canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 large (about 1kg) cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
Parmesan wafers
  • 30 gm pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm parmesan, grated
  • ¼ tsp dry-roasted cumin seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle (see note)
Tahini yoghurt
  • 70 gm (¼ cup) hulled tahini
  • 340 gm Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed with a mortar and pestle with 1 tsp sea salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 1
    For wafers, preheat oven to 180°C. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Line a large oven tray with baking paper and sprinkle 2 tsp mixture at a time into 7cm rounds (using an egg ring or pastry cutter if available). Bake until light golden (8-10 minutes), cool briefly on tray (5 minutes), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12. Wafers will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • 2
    For tahini yoghurt, whisk tahini and yoghurt in a bowl until combined. Stir in garlic mixture and lemon juice, season with salt to taste and chill until needed.
  • 3
    Heat oil to 180°C and deep-fry cauliflower in batches until golden (3-5 minutes). Drain on paper towels and douse with lemon juice.
  • 4
    Spoon tahini yoghurt onto a plate, top with cauliflower, wafers and sesame seeds, season to taste and serve.


To dry-roast spices, cook in a dry pan, stirring over medium-high heat until fragrant. Cooking time varies.

  • undefined: Greg Malouf