Cauliflower Palya/Sabji that tastes like Aloo (Potato)

Cauliflower Palya/Sabji that tastes like Aloo (Potato)

One of my favorite foods prior to starting the keto diet was potatoes. Unfortunately with it’s high carbohydrate content, it is a no-no on the keto diet. Many of my favorite Indian foods use potatoes so I took inspiration from many of the cauliflower mash recipes to create and Indian keto version of the favorite aloo palya. I made some adjustments to make the texture more like aloo palya making sure not to make it too creamy like mashed cauliflower or potatoes. The combination of cauliflower with cream cheese, parmesan cheese and sour cream makes it difficult to tell the difference between this cauliflower palya recipe with our traditional aloo palya. The outcome is delicious and I hope you enjoy it too! 

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Cauliflower is the main ingredient and this recipe uses 1/2 a head of cauliflower chopped into florets. There are two methods to cook the cauliflower florets so that it can be mashed.

Cauliflower Sabji | Palya
Step-by-Step Instructions


I used a Pasta Boat with a steamer attachment to seperate the water from the cauliflower. Any microwave steamer will work. If you do not have a steamer device for the microwave, you can put in a 1/4 cup of water in a bowl and add the cauliflower and cover with a plate or plastic lid. Heat the cauliflower in the steamer for 10 minutes.

Pasta Boat with Steamer attachment on base

Steam in microwave
Bowl with 1/4 cup water and plate cover to steam cauliflower

If you did use a bowl with a plate to cover, make sure to drain all the water that is left.

Strain Cauliflower
Strainer for Cauliflower to remove excess water


Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until cauliflower is soft. You should be able to mash a floret with a fork. When done use a strainer to drain the water.


Transfer the cauliflower florets to a large bowl. Add the 2 oz of cream cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and start mixing with a large spoon. Once the ingredients are well incorporated, take a masher and mash the cauliflower. You do not want to over-mash as you do not want it too creamy like mashed potatoes, but more rough to have the same consistency of the traditional potato palya/sabji.

cauliflower palya mash

Cauliflower mashed carefully to resemble aloo sabji/pallya


Take a large pot on the stove and heat on medium. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and spread across the bottom and let it heat up. Add the mustard seeds first, then the onions, chilies, ginger, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Cook until onions start to become translucent but make sure they do not turn brown. Onions can be cut down if you really want to further lower the per serving carb count. Add the turmeric and salt. Mix until everything becomes yellow.


Now add the cauliflower mash and mix together well with the other ingredients in the pot. It should turn out with the cauliflower mash turning yellow in color spread out evenly.

Cauliflower palya close up
Potato Filling

Cauliflower Palya/Sabji – Taste and texture like Potato (aloo) palya/sabji

A keto version replacing the traditional aloo (potato) palya with cauliflower replicating the taste and texture of the aloo (potato) palya
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: keto, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 200.2kcal
Net Carbs: 5.8g


  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup red onions - chopped
  • 3 chili green chilies - chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger - chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro - chopped
  • 2 leaves curry leaves - chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt - adjust to taste


Prep Cauliflower

  • Chop cauliflower into florets and wash
    cauliflower florets

Option #1 Steam Cauliflower – Microwave Method

  • Alternatively cauliflower can be boiled to soften for mashing as described in Option #2 below.
  • Put cauliflower florets in a bowl with 1/4 cup of water and cover with a plate.
  • Steam the cauliflower in the microwave for 8 minutes and florets should be soft.
  • Then drain the water from the cauliflower and continue to "Mashing Cauliflower" section

Option #2 Boiling Cauliflower

  • Alternatively, cauliflower can be steamed in microwave using a steamer or pasta boat for 8 to 10 minutes described as Option #1 above.
  • Bring 3 to 4 cups of water to a boil (Microwave option is also available to steam cauliflower and described below.
  • Put cauliflower florets into boiling water and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until florets are soft.
  • When done, put cauliflower in a strainer and drain all water.
  • Quickly transfer cauliflower florets to a bowl while it is still hot.

Mashing the Cauliflower

  • Add cream cheese, sour cream and parmesan cheese to the bowl.
  • Start by mixing well to spread out the ingredients evenly.
  • Use a masher to mash the cauliflower.
  • Set aside mashed cauliflower

Cooking Cauliflower

  • Heat a pot on a stove on medium heat with 2 tbsp olive oil
  • When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds,
  • Then add onions, chilies, cilantro, curry leaves and ginger.
  • Cook until onions are translucent stirring intermittently (make sure it doesn't turn brown).
  • Then add the turmeric and salt
  • Mix well until whole mixture is yellow
  • Now add the cauliflower that was set aside.
  • Keep mixing to evenly distribute the mix and the whole palya/sabji is an even yellow color.
  • Enjoy!


Decrease the amount of onions if you want the bring the carbs down some more.
This recipe has 5.8 g net carbs (Total carbs 7.8 g – Fiber 2g)


Calories: 200.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.8g | Protein: 5.5g | Fat: 17.1g | Saturated Fat: 6.5g | Cholesterol: 28.6mg | Sodium: 759.5mg | Potassium: 297.8mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3.3g | Vitamin A: 371.8IU | Vitamin C: 56.1mg | Calcium: 126.2mg | Iron: 0.7mg | Net Carbs: 5.8g
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How did this cauliflower palya recipe turn out for you? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

Pair this with keto garlic naan, keto poori or keto dosa. Also used as filling in keto cocktail samosa and keto samosa in air fryer.

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