For me, the key to eating a lot of vegetables is to spice them up. For example, I love cauliflower by itself. But adding a bit of spice can transform it! It becomes something completely different (and slightly magical). In fact, it takes a meal from “Oh, this vegan” to “Oh, this is delicious.” As a result, adding spice can be quite helpful for a vegetarian/vegan diet.
At first, the list of spices here might be a bit scary. But don’t worry! You can easily find what you need at your local health food store. Finally, if you do a quick search online, you will find other curry powders that have fewer spices. Play around a bit and try a few in order to find a combination you love!
The blend below makes more than what you need for this recipe. However, you can store the spice blend in a airtight container for later use.
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 whole cloves
- 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder (or yellow mustard seeds, ground)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 to 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- Brown Rice
- Greek Yogurt
- Combine cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and fennel seeds in a skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Once toasted, add the spices along with the cloves to a grinder or mortar/pestle. Grind until combined.
- Transfer ground spices to a bowl along with remaining spices. Stir until well combined, set aside.
- Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, about 3 to 4 cups total. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and add minced garlic. Saute for 1 minute and then add cauliflower, 3 tablespoons of the curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pinch red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined. Then add 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup vegetable broth and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 to 30 minutes. While cooking, add more vegetable broth as need to keep a desired consistency.
- Serve with brown rice and your favorite toppings.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric
Plan ahead: Find this recipe in the Naturally Ella Real Plans meal planning upgrade
Recently, my curries have become akin to pizza or tacos. While I have favorites, I’ll often check the refrigerator and use the vegetables I have on hand. Then, dinner goes from there. In general, the curry powder is what makes the difference. However, the toppings are a close second. Some additions/substitutions include:
Vegetables: I love cauliflower in curries. But other vegetables also work well including sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, peas, squash, greens or asparagus.
Chutney: I always have chutney my refrigerator. In particular, I usually have tomato, apple, or fig chutney. However, the type of chutney you make is really up to you. Around this time of year, I really love the apple version to pair with chickpea curry.
Grains: To serve the curry, I typically use brown rice. However, quinoa, cracked freekeh, or millet are also great bases for this chickpea curry. With this meal, I avoid longer cooking grains such as whole wheat berries or sorghum.
Chickpeas are the perfect star of the show. Because of this, I always have chickpeas on hand for quick meals (like these chickpea burgers). I prep a big batch on the weekend, freeze in 2 cup portions, and pull out/thaw whenever I need them. For inspiration, a few of my favorite chickpea recipes include:
Recipe first published on February 25th, 2013. Last updated on September 6th, 2015.