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.
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.
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!
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.