Chickpea Cauliflower Curry
Vegan, healthy 20 minutes curry with chickpeas simmered in coconut-curry broth and loaded with cauliflower.
Posted By Savita
I'm always trying new ways to bring easy and healthier weeknight meals on dinner table. A flavorful main course such as this chickpea cauliflower curry keeps dinner interesting and encourages everyone to eat at home.
Chickpea Cauliflower Curry is not just flavorful, vegan, healthy and all.... it is also my one-pan wonder. Really, start to finish, one pan and 20 minutes and this chickpea curry with veggies will fly from kitchen to dinner table.
Bonus(s)? Aroma in kitchen, wowed family and friends, and happy pocket with Indian-eatery style meal at home, to name a few.
We have one Chickpea curry in our weekday menu every-week. To keep it interesting, I make different variation of curry. A lot of which I have already shared on blog. This one is my special favorite these days. It is vegan and veggie loaded version of my recipe - Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice.
In Northern India, the only way we eat Cauliflower is dry curry, like hash browns, crisped up with Indian spices. And it is served on side with some lentils (or a curry with gravy) and rice. Today, I thought to make a two-in-one main dish.
Actually both of these, Cauliflower and chickpea, share similar qualities when it comes to absorbing any flavor you add to them. In my humble opinion, the tang and spice go BEST with flavor of both. So these were very natural companions.
When I planned coconut based vegan chickpea curry... I decided to give it extra flavor boost with tang of tomatoes. If I'm not making a vegan curry, I use yogurt which does the double work. I mean, has tang and creaminess too. However, I really love the pronounced flavor of coconut in this curry which gets excellent balance with tomato paste.
Now confession time. In Indian cuisine, we sort of chop-up veggies, for any curry, very small. So small that these disappear in the curry. It is funny that I never realized that until some of my non-Indian friends pointed out.
Feedback was like:-
For cauliflower curry, How you guys make cauliflower disappear in the curry?
For potato curry, What is this curry? Is it potato? It looks like mashed potatoes.
Well, if I take you to India, in my home town, and serve you curry with big pieces of cauliflower... someone will sure reprimand/ask me about my knife skills. haha. You know what, we even mash a portion of chickpeas when making chickpea curry because that mashed portion gives natural thickness to the curry. So obviously chickpeas not look so al-dente (if I may say).
So, yes I felt little uncomfortable when instead of chopping.. I cut the big florets of cauliflower for this recipe. What I was trying here to make cauliflower look like cauliflower. :) (for a change). But it actually was well received by Vishal. Not so veggie fan, my man, enjoyed the bigger chunks of cauliflower and I enjoyed the crunchy texture specially with tang of curry.
Based on this experience, I recommend trying florets of cauliflower for this recipe. Please don't overcook it.... just enough so that it has little bite.
This curry comes together very fast but I still like to do some prep-ahead sometimes. Like I separate the cauliflower florets and refrigerate/freeze them. Of curse pre-chopped or frozen cauliflower works perfectly fine too. 20-25 minutes before dinner time... on one side I leave rice on stove for boiling.
On other side, I saute cauliflower until it is crisp tender. (frozen cauliflower cooks faster than fresh). Then I saute aromatics, curry powder, spices, tomato paste, and add chickpea and cook until flavors marry and chickpea are tender to my liking. Then I add coconut milk and simmer the broth until it absorbs flavor of spices. I finish by adding cooked cauliflower and garnish with cilantro.
Curry is ready to serve! Just grab your favorite seat on dinner table and enjoy!
Just so you know, I have used very low-fat coconut milk for this curry because I wanted very low-cal lite broth. If you are serving it for a special dinner, feel free to add whole coconut milk which will make curry more creamy.
I'm happy to share that this curry is gluten free, vegan, low-fat, and loaded with cauliflower for hearty main course dinner. If you have not planned for dinner tonight?! I recommend grabbing a can of coconut milk and some cauliflower while heading home. Then just make some Chickpea Cauliflower Curry for dinner. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!
Chickpea Cauliflower Curry
- 1/2 lbs Cauliflower (half head of medium cauliflower, broken into florets)
- 2 Cup Chickpeas (16 ounce can, drained)
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste (3 cloves of garlic and 1 inch ginger, grated)
- 1.5 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Curry Powder (I use madras curry powder, Or mix own spices. look for recipe in notes.)
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder (or medium paprika)
- 1 Cup Coconut milk (low-fat or lite coconut milk)
- 1 Cup Vegetable Stock
- 2 tbsp Lime (juice, more per taste)
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt (adjust per taste)
- 1 Whole Red Chili (optional)
- 1/2 Red Onion (thin sliced)
- 1/3 Cup Cashew (10-12 pieces, toasted or fried)
- 3-4 tbsp Cilantro (for garnish)
Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
1. Cook Rice: Cook rice according to package directions.
2. Cook Cauliflower: While rice cooking, in a wide skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add cauliflower florets and cook on high heat until slightly caramelized from at-least two sides. (2-3 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked but not mushy. We are looking for slightly crunchy pieces.)
3. Saute Aromatics: Remove cauliflower in a plate. Return pan to heat, add remaining 1 tbsp of oil with sliced onion, whole chili (if using), garlic and ginger. Saute until onions are soft. (2-3 minutes).
4. Saute Chickpea with Spices: Add chickpeas with spices, chili powder, and tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. (fish out whole chili and discard)
5. Simmer Curry: Add vegetable stock, coconut milk with 1 tbsp lime juice, and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until curry thickens (3-4 minutes).
6. Add Cooked Cauliflower: Taste and adjust salt and lime juice. Add cauliflower in the pan with chickpeas.
7. Garnish Curry and Serve: Serve curry over rice garnished with toasted cashews and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Often when I don't have curry powder. I mix few basic Indian spices for instant fix. Curry powders are different in different parts of world, so this recipe below is not claim the only recipe for curry powder. It is my kitchen's curry powder used often for curry like this one. So here is the recipe:
Mix equal part (say 1/2 tsp) of cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder. Mix well, then use as per recipe suggestion.
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