Chickpea Curry with Cauliflower

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Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry | @naturallyella

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.


Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

My favorite chickpea curry recipe with a solid homemade curry powder, chickpeas, and cauliflower to help round out the richness. Serve on your favorite grain!

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: dinner



Curry Powder:

  • 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

Curry Base:

  • 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 cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes

Serve with:

  • Brown Rice
  • Cilantro
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Chutney
  • Chapati
  • Limes


  1. 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.
  2. Transfer ground spices to a bowl along with remaining spices. Stir until well combined, set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve with brown rice and your favorite toppings.


Tips & Tricks: Can't find whole spices? I've also used all pre-ground spices before with good success. It's a great blend to have on hand when you want a bit of curry flavoring. Like on popcorn- so good!

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: cauliflower, coconut milk, chickpeas

Nutrition: see the information.


  • Calories: 263
  • Sugar: 3.5
  • Sodium: 437
  • Fat: 17.9
  • Carbohydrates: 22.9
  • Fiber: 7
  • Protein: 7.9
  • Cholesterol: 0

Chickpea Curry


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.

Chickpea Curry with Cauliflower | @naturallyella

Recipe first published on February 25th, 2013. Last updated on September 6th, 2015.

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36 comments on “Chickpea Curry with Cauliflower”

  1. This sounds delicious, and right up my alley! I made a similar spice blend (inspired by Sarah B at My New Roots) that I have used with cauliflower, potato skillets, and most recently, a turnip-based "hummus." I can't wait to make this curry!

  2. Incredible food and pictures! This is my kind of curry dish and much healthier than what I probably do for take out 🙂

  3. We must be on the same page again -- I was just going to try out something similar to this 🙂 Looks gorgeous as always! XO

  4. Looks fantastic! Awesome spice blend too. I'll have to whip up a batch this week. I just bought some cauliflower today, so I think this will have to go on the menu plan this week.

  5. Made this tonight for dinner, everyone loved it! I didn't have fenugreek or celery seed so just made it without and it was still delicious. Served with naan bread and homemade tomato chutney. Thanks Ella!

  6. Just made this with a few extra tweaks - delicious! I've never been fond of cauliflower but this has changed my mind.

  7. This was delicious. I made it for friends this evening. In addition to the cilantro, I topped it with chopped scallions (greens and all) and slivered almonds. I also put a quarter cup of sultanas in the double recipe I made. Looking forward to making more recipes from this site!

  8. I can't wait to try this tonight! Put this into a calorie calculator and was happy to find out it only added up to 269 calories, without the rice. Wonderful!!!

  9. There's something so much more rewarding about grinding your own spice blend rather than getting a store bought option! These photos are really beautiful and making me crave some spicy food right now 🙂

  10. Yum! I feel like I'm an apprentice learning about spices- there are ones I use with absolute confidence, and others that I have no idea what to do with. I rarely make my own blends, but this curry powder looks so good that I might have to.

  11. I live n Spain so finding all of these spices is not so easy, will a mix of garam masala and curry do?

  12. If you were to use store-bought curry powder instead of this custom blend, do you have a rough estimate of what the measurement would be?

    1. Hi Tess- I would still use about 3 (as long as it's not a spicy curry powder). If it is, cut it back to 2 to 3 teaspoons, taste, and add in as desired.

  13. Made this last week for a visiting group from the local Rotary Club. It turned out pretty darn good, although, it really was rather spicy!

  14. I've made this before and I'm making it again. I love the homemade curry powder. I suggest you post that as its own recipe. I use it exclusively in any dishes calling for curry powder. Thank-you!

  15. So when using the pre-ground spices in place of the seeds wouldn't you need to adjust the amount?


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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