Ever since I fell in love with Golden Turmeric Milk and started making my own Turmeric Paste, I have been trying to create recipes to allow turmeric and all its health benefits shine. This has also allowed me to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and put my focus on “meatless” meals.
That was the inspiration for this Indian Cauliflower Curry. It is a simple cauliflower curry recipe for those of you who want to add a punch of plant-based flavor and nutrition into your weeknight meals. I know you might be intimidated by the long list of spices, but I can assure you, this vegetable curry with coconut milk is 100% foolproof!
How to prepare?
The actual cooking time for this vegan chickpea curry is less than 30 minutes, but with the preparation of the ingredients included, it can be ready in under 45 minutes.
As soon as I get home from the market, the first step I take is to wash all my produce and prep it according to the recipe. The onion chopped, the cauliflower cut into florets, and the sweet potatoes cubed. This ensures a seamless cooking process from start to finish.
How to cook gobi curry?
Cauliflower curry, also known as Gobi curry in India, comes together in 3 folds.
First, prep your ingredients. I will admit, there is a little bit of chopping involved, but it is totally worth it. I would recommend getting everything ready before starting the cooking process.
To start cooking, add the oil and add the spices coriander, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, and cinnamon (more on these later!), along with the onion in a large dutch oven set over medium heat. Constantly stir the mixture, to prevent the spices from burning, until the onion has softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the ginger, cook for 1 minute, then finish with the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks like it needs some liquid. This is a part of the process of building flavor, so it is normal.
Second, add the tomatoes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, cauliflower florets, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and salt.
Scraping the bottom bits of the pot give it a stir, cover, and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are softened about 20-25 minutes.
Finally, stir in the green peas and cilantro at the very end. Serve in shallow bowls over a bed of rice ( I used basmati rice, but brown rice would also work) and garnish with fresh cilantro and lightly salted cashews.
PRO TIP: Adding the green peas and fresh cilantro at the very end of cooking will help to preserve their bright green color and fresh flavor.
Only have frozen blanched peas on hand? The heat from the cauliflower curry will gently warm the green peas from frozen, which means there is no need to thaw!
A Quick How To Video:
I know some of you may be wondering, what exactly goes into a vegan cauliflower curry recipe? The truth is, every Indian curry recipe is different based on the region of India it stems from.
However, every curry recipe includes warm, fragrant spices with the inclusion of aromatics such as onions, ginger, and garlic. The spices in our cauliflower coconut curry include:
- Coriander – the seed of cilantro, with a bright, citrus flavor
- Cumin – a small seed that is smokey and robust
- Curry Powder – an essential mix of fragrant Indian spices, with the inclusion of turmeric, that comes in mild, medium, or hot varieties
- Turmeric Powder – slightly bitter and aromatic with a high amount of antioxidants and health benefits (With the help of the curry powder, turmeric is what gives this curry dish its beautiful yellow color, which is why some people also refer to this dish as yellow cauliflower curry)
- Cinnamon – slightly sweet and warm to give it that special touch
But these are just a few of the spices in the vast array of Indian spices. If you were interested in adding more fragrant spices, you could also try:
- Garam Masala – a sweeter mix of aromatic Indian spices that includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, but no turmeric, transforming this dish into a gobi masala curry recipe
- Allspice – a small berry that is slightly sweet and warm
- Cardamom – a staple in Indian cuisine with a citrusy, minty, and herbal flavor
For the vegetable ingredients in this gobi curry recipe (gobi means cauliflower in India), the sweet potato and cauliflower florets are the stars. We also add in chickpeas and green peas to make it even more nutritious and colorful.
With that being said, if you don’t like any of these ingredients, simply omit them. Or swap in an equal amount of any of your favorite vegetables such as green beans, eggplant, or carrots. That’s what makes this easy curried cauliflower with coconut milk so versatile!
Is curry vegan?
Yes, this cauliflower chickpea curry recipe is vegan. But the real answer to this question really depends on what you put in it. Because we are using tomatoes, coconut milk, and vegetable broth as the base, this is an entirely meatless meal.
Looking for a coconut milk substitute? I know some of you are allergic to coconut. If this is you, simply replace it with 1 cup Plain, Whole Milk Yogurt. Obviously, adding yogurt will no longer make this dish vegan, but the taste indifference will be minuscule.
Is this recipe healthy?
Yes, this cauliflower coconut curry is extremely healthy with the abundance of spices and produce all packed into one pot. Not only does turmeric provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, but it transforms this vegetable curry with coconut milk into a creamy vegan yellow curry that is so pleasing to the eye. Serve this to your family, and they won’t be able to get over that bright yellow color!
Is it spicy?
Our Indian style cauliflower curry is not spicy, but the spice factor can certainly be enhanced with the right ingredients. To make a creamy, spicy curry, there are a few options:
- Purchase the hot variety of your favorite store-bought curry powder blend.
- Add ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper when you add the spices.
- Add 1 sliced Indian green chile or Thai Bird chile when you add the vegetables.
PRO TIP: The spice in fresh chiles lies mostly in the seeds and ribs. Since Indian green chiles and Thai Bird chiles are long and slender, it is hard to remove the seeds and ribs to dial down the spice factor.
If you still want some heat, but not too much, simply use half the chile. Save the remaining half as a garnish, for more spice, or the next time you make this cauliflower curry bowl.
When working with fresh chiles, don’t forget to wash your hands, cutting board, and knife immediately after slicing the chile. It’s not so fun when you wipe your eye with chile hands – ouch!
What to serve it with?
I find the best way to serve this cauliflower coconut curry is over a bed of freshly made basmati rice (or brown rice for greater nutrition). I also love serving it with my mom’s bulgur pilaf.
The sauce from the cauliflower turmeric curry seeps into the rice, creating a luscious, comforting meal. And if you find you still have some leftover yellow curry sauce in the bottom of your bowl, warm, toasted Naan bread acts as the perfect utensil to sop up all those juices!
A Few tips and variations:
Here are a few helpful tips and a few recipe variations you can follow for making the best cauliflower curry
- Don’t have sweet potatoes, but still want the naturally sweet flavor? Use an equal amount of regular potatoes + 1-2 tsp maple syrup.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of Homemade Turmeric Paste when you add the liquid ingredients to make it an even brighter Indian yellow curry.
- Want to make this cauliflower curry recipe low carb? Omit the green peas for a simple sweet potato chickpea curry.
- Want a Cauliflower Chickpea Spinach Curry? Add in 1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves at the end of cooking for additional flavor and nutrition.
- Looking to enjoy this vegan cauliflower curry throughout the week? Reheat individual portions in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until thoroughly warmed through.
Alternatively, reheat over medium heat in a small saucepan with the lid on until it reaches a gentle boil. If the Indian cauliflower dish seems a bit too thick, add 1-2 Tablespoons water to loosen it up.
- Want to freeze the leftovers? Go for it! This cauliflower sweet potato curry freezes beautifully. As a matter of fact, I use my favorite 2-compartment meal prep containers (affiliate link) to fill one side with this curry and the other (smaller) side with rice and freeze it to serve later when I don’t feel like cooking.
Other veggie-packed vegan dinner recipes you might like:
- Vegan Chili Recipe – Warm chili spices mixed in with beans, bulgur, and other veggies make this big pot of heartwarming chili.
- Stuffed Acorn Squash Vegan – While most people serve acorn squash during the holidays, I cook it throughout the year. This stuffed acorn squash is my go-to recipe for an easy weeknight dinner.
- Vegan Quinoa Recipes – I incorporate quinoa in our diet often because of its high protein content. This recipe is my favorite to make on a Tuesday night.
- Vegan Mushroom Ragout – This dish is for those who are mushroom lovers. Mixed with earthy and nutty, this recipe is perfect for a luxurious dinner.
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Stew – This butternut squash stew is as easy as it gets! Place everything in your slow cooker and enjoy dinner in 3-4 hours.
- Butternut Squash Noodles – A low-carb dinner you can make on a Tuesday night by swapping spaghetti with squash noodles. Only 6 ingredients.
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our Vegetarian Meal recipes.
Other curry recipes you might like:
- Thai Green Beef Curry in Slow Cooker – Eastern flavors mixed in with stew meat mixed in with fresh lemongrass and ginger cooked in the slow cooker.
- Spicy Chicken Curry – Learn to make chicken curry from the pros. This recipe features a technique I learned while I was living in the Caribbean.
- Tomato Curry Soup – Garnished with cumin roasted shrimp this curried tomato soup is a meal-worthy dish you can make on a weeknight.
- Brown Rice Curry – A basic brown rice recipe packed with veggies and curry flavors.
Vegan Cauliflower Curry With Coconut Milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 medium sized onion chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ginger minced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (or 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt)
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- A small head of cauliflower cut into 1-inch florets (approximately 3-4 cups)
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potato, cubed (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup green peas frozen or fresh (no need to thaw if using frozen)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped - more as a garnish
- A handful of salted cashews as garnish optional
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan (such as a Dutch Oven) over medium heat. Add in the ground coriander, ground cumin, curry powder, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, and onion. Sauteé, stirring constantly, until onion is softened, 4-5 minutes.
- Add in the ginger and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. At this point, it should be a thick mixture that looks like it needs some liquid.
- Add in the tomatoes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, cauliflower florets, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and salt. Give it a gentle stir.
- Put the lid on and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened.
- Stir in the green peas and cilantro.
- Garnish with cilantro and chopped cashews (if using). Serve over rice.
This Indian Cauliflower Curry Recipe was originally published in June 2019. It has been updated with additional helpful information and no changes to the originally published recipes in September 2020.
It is very watery- how do I rescue it? Thanks
Himm… I am sorry to hear that I would recommend letting it simmer so that some of the excess liquid could evaporate. Hope this helps.
Hi! I was wondering if you prefer coconut milk or yogurt more in the dish? Does the coconut have a strong flavor?
I like them both. The version with yogurt is more subtle whereas the coconut version is more-like a curry. I am not a big fan of strong coconut flavors and I can tell you that the version with coconut is not very strong.
I hope this helps.
Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
This is really delicious!!!! I used fresh diced tomatoes from the farmer’s market which are great for recipes this time of year. I used half a can of coconut milk and a little half and half (I know that’s not vegan). This will be great reheated for lunch all week! Thank you for the easy and tasty recipes!
I am thrilled to hear that you liked it. I just made some as well and we plan on eating it throughout the week too 🙂
Thanks for coming by!
Amazingly flavorful and easy to make. I definitely recommend!
Thank you Rewari!
This is my favorite vegan dish I’ve made. So much flavor. My meat-loving husband said, “I can’t believe how much I like this” and my 2.5-year old ate it all up. Thank you for the recipe!
This makes me so happy to hear Amanda. Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.
I found your website today and made your coconut curry Indian dish. it was exceptional! Everyone loved it including my picky son. thanks for sharing!
I am thrilled to hear that Donna. Thanks for coming by! Cheers.
I was thrilled when I received this recipe in my email especially since I had all the ingredients in my pantry. During these challenging times, I am al about using what I can and making a meal stretch. My husband and I loved this meal though our two young boys wouldn’t taste it because it had evil veggies (haha) in it. I made it as written and also added the spinach as suggested instead of peas since it was what we had on hand. We are not vegan/vegetarian so I used bacon fat from breakfast and leftover chicken bone broth from another recipe. Thanks for sharing easy-to-make and comforting meals.
I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. It is a favorite in our house as well.
It is surely a great way to incorporate “evil” ? veggies into your diet.
I love that you made it your own by adding spinach and making it with chicken broth.
Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.
I like Curry too much and I use it often in dinner parties. Thanks for the nice recipe and photos.
YAY! So happy to hear that you liked it Darly.
That curry looks absolutely delicious and you nailed it! I love that you prepared it with coconut milk.
So happy to hear that you loved it Kankana.
Sundays, I cook for the week. Today I am making your cauliflower curry for the second time. It will be even more delicious the rest of the week as “leftovers” because the curry flavors will continue to meld. Thank you for the inspiration!
This is just wonderful to hear. I cook this recipe on Sundays too.
So happy to hear that you liked it. Thanks for coming by.
I loved learning about all of the different species in curry! This dish was so flavorful and good!
So glad you found it helpful. Thanks Suzy.
I really loved how easy this is to make! Thanks for the recipe!
YAY! so happy to hear that. Thanks Toni.
My family and I are not vegan, but this was devoured!
We aren’t either, but we can never say no to curry 🙂
I’ve been trying to incorporate more turmeric into my diet and this curry was amazing! Such a delicious meatless meal!
So happy to hear that you liked it Liz. Thank you for stopping by.
Such a delicious dish. My wife actually said, ” This is one of the nicest things you’ve ever made”. Can’t wait to have it as leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for recipe!
So glad to hear you and your wife liked it Mark.
Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.