This chickpea and cauliflower curry is a deliciously fragrant veg-packed vegan dish that’s quick & easy to make. Adjust the heat levels easily to suit your family’s taste.
Are there any foods you enjoy but rarely make, because no-one else can agree about them? That’s what it’s like with curry in our house. Kipper will only eat the tamest, mildest version, while DH wants it to blow his socks off, and I’m probably somewhere in the middle.
The spice is right
However, recently, DH was away for work, and I had my periodic hankering after a curry. Figuring I only had one other person to please, it seemed like a good time to make it! I could spice the dish lightly, and no-one would complain. Ideal.
Rice, rice, baby…
The only problem was that curry is typically served with rice, which is probably Kipper’s least favourite source of carbs. She pushes it round her plate, eats whatever dish came with it, and then has to be cajoled into having a forkful of rice so she’s eaten some of everything on her plate.
There must be something else that could be served with a curry, right?
Raise a toast!
There is! I mean, rice is typical, but a delicious chunky vegetable curry goes with just about anything. In Mumbai, the traditional dish of pav bhaji is a thick veggie curry served with a warm bread roll. Kipper loves bread! I had found the solution.
We ate our gloriously mild and delicious cauliflower curry atop slices of lightly toasted sourdough, and it was wonderful.
Shhh! Secret ingredients…
There are a couple of really great things about this deliciously simple curry.
- Because it’s made using a ready-made spice paste, you can easily adjust the spice/heat levels to your preference. I used a mild curry paste but if you like it hotter, simply choose something with a bit more va-va-voom.
- As well a having big chunks of cauliflower in it, the sauce is also packed with ‘hidden’ veg – carrot, celery and onion. I’m not usually an advocate of hiding vegetables, as I think Kipper has a right to know what’s in her dinner! But in this instance combining them into the sauce gives it a wonderful rich flavour and a thick satisfying texture. You can always confess what’s in there, or get your diners to try and guess the secret ingredients – a game we often enjoy at dinnertimes.
So however you choose to serve it (with bread, rice, or whatever) I hope your family all agrees that this vegan chickpea and cauliflower curry knocks your socks off – even if it’s completely mild!
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Easy vegan cauliflower & chickpea curry
- 2 medium onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 3-4 tbsp curry paste (I used mild but you can choose whatever level of heat you prefer)
- 4-6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 400 ml can coconut milk
- 200 ml vegetable stock (scant 1 cup)
- 1 medium/large cauliflower
- 400 g can chickpeas, drained
- 4 slices bread of your choice (optional)
- chopped coriander to garnish (optional)
- Peel the onions and carrots and wash and trim the celery. Cut into chunks and put into the food processor. Blend to a chunky paste.
- Peel the garlic and add to the food processor with the curry paste. Process for a few more moments until everything is well amalgamated into a coarse paste.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high flame. Add the vegetable paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the florets from the cauliflower. Soak in salted/acidified water for a few minutes then rinse and check thoroughly. Set aside.
- Add the coconut milk and stock to the pan and stir well to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a gentle simmer. Add the prepared cauliflower and the chickpeas to the sauce.
- Mix well, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Leave the curry to simmer gently for around 20 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender.
- When ready to serve, toast the bread lightly, then put each piece on a plate and spoon some of the curry over. Sprinkle with chopped coriander, if using, and serve hot.