African Curry with Chickpeas and Cauliflower (Cape Malay Curry) | @naturallyella

As a dish, ‘African curry’ is a pretty general description. In fact, there are a lot of different kinds of curry! From my research, this curry most resembles a Cape Malay Curry (and in particular, this recipe). The cinnamon adds warmth while the sauce is rich and creamy even without any addition of tomatoes or coconut.

This African curry recipe was posted on the side a few years ago. Since then, many of you have made it! You’ve also shared feedback about the sauce and flavor. As a result, I’ve updated this African curry to have more sauce, more balanced flavor, and a focus on cauliflower.

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African Veg Curry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder(see note)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (see note)
  • 3 to 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups brown rice, quinoa, or millet for serving
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and peppers, cooking until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Then add cauliflower and continue to cook until cauliflower starts to brown. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Next, combine dry spices in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Then add to the pot with cauliflower. Stir and let toast for a minute.
  3. Finally, add the chickpeas, raisins, and 3 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring and tasting occasionally. Sauce will thicken as it cooks. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth as needed. Add salt to taste. Serve over grains with a fresh herbs.
Tips and Tricks: There are endless varieties of curry powders. I like to keep a salt-free, mild curry powder in my house at all times (like this one).

Dried fruit- I always have raisins on hand. However, the original recipe calls for dried apricots and preserves. You could try those instead.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: chickpeas (dried or canned), turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander

Plan ahead: find this recipe in the Naturally Ella Real Plans upgrade

African Curry


Over the years, I’ve adjusted this African curry recipe to work on the sauce and spice profile. As a result, I rarely deviate from the recipe. However, a few ideas you could try:

Greens: Use spinach or kale for extra vegetables. These greens also add a touch of brightness to the dish. Add them in at the end and let them cook until tender.

Beans: There’s a trend. Nearly every curry I make has chickpeas in it. If you are tired of this combination, try it with lentils or fried tofu instead.

Decrease the amount: I love making big batches to eat throughout the week, but this recipe works well even when scaled down for two people.