Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Curry – from scratch

cauliflower chickpea curry

This cauliflower and chickpea curry is one of our favorite plant-based meals. I’m in love with that amazing curry flavor.

This recipe builds on the potato cauliflower curry I developed several years ago for a recipe booklet I helped develop for the @canolaeatwell team and the Farm to School Vegetable Fundraiser. That dish is still one of my favorite side dishes and ways to eat potatoes!

potato cauliflower

This time I wanted a full meal, not just a side dish. So I replaced the potatoes with chickpeas to take advantage of their nutritional benefits. Registered Dietitian Leslie Beck says chickpeas are great for fibre, protein, folate, calcium, magnesium and iron. A 3/4 cup serving of cooked chickpeas packs a 9 g fibre punch and a respectable 11 g of plant protein a long with half a day’s worth of folate (212 mcg), a B vitamin that keeps our DNA healthy.

It doesn’t matter whether you cook chickpeas from their dried state or use canned chickpeas – both will work beautifully in this recipe and the nutritional content is pretty much the same. Just be sure to rinse canned chickpeas well to remove extra sodium.

cauliflower chickpea curry

Recipe for Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

cauliflower chickpea curry
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5 from 5 votes

Vegan Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

A delicious cauliflower and chickpea curry made from scratch with whole and ground spices. Like any soup, stew or curry, this recipe is very flexible – if you have a little more or a little less of a particular ingredient – that's okay. If you want to add potatoes or green beans, fantastic! Make it your own and adjust flavors to your liking.
Prep : 15 minutes
Cook : 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Getty Stewart


  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp black mustard seed
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-4 green chilies, sliced in half with seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder or 1 Tbsp fresh grated
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 28 oz/796 mL
  • 1 can coconut milk 14 oz/400 mL
  • 4 cups chopped fresh or frozen cauliflower 1 small head
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (2 cups prepared from dry) 19 oz/540 ml
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice (divided)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped (leaves and stems divided)


  • In large, heavy pot, heat canola oil over medium high heat.
  • Add cumin and mustard seed and sauté until fragrant and starting to pop, 1 minute.
  • Add onion, cilantro stems and green chilies; sauté until onions are translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, ginger and salt; sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes. Rinse can with 1/2 cup water and add to pan loosen any browned bits.
  • Add coconut milk. Rinse can with 1/2 cup water and add to pan.
  • Add cauliflower. If using raw cauliflower, add an additional 1 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add chickpeas and 1 Tbsp lime juice cover and simmer another 15 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Add additional salt, hot pepper or lime juice as needed.
  • Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy.


Toasting the seeds and then the spices really improves the flavor, don’t skip this step!
Add extra tomato sauce, water or coconut milk for a more liquid curry.
Want a shortcut? Go ahead and use your favorite curry paste instead of the whole and ground spices. Simply saute your onions, green chilis and ginger until onions are clear. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp curry paste and mix well before adding the tomatoes and coconut milk. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 653mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Iron: 7mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: affordable, cauliflower, chickpeas, vegan

Using Curry Paste Instead of Fresh Herbs

I get a great sense of satisfaction from making this curry using fresh herbs and spices. But it does take more time and patience. If you lack either one, go ahead and use your favorite curry paste instead. Double check the ingredient list to make sure your curry paste is vegan. I like Patak’s hot curry paste.

You can use the curry paste in addition to any of the herbs and spices listed in the recipe above, or you can replace them entirely. Simply sauté your onions, chilis and ginger until the onions are translucent. Add in 1 to 2 Tbsp of curry paste and mix well before adding the canned tomatoes and coconut milk. Continue with recipe as stated.

Build flavor by toasting the seeds, sautéing the aromatics and letting the powdered spices cook for just a little bit before adding the liquids. This is when the aroma becomes simply irresistible.

What to Serve with Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

Usually I serve this curry over a bed of rice.

On the table, I usually offer extra chopped cilantro, a wedge of lime and some hot sauce. That way everyone can add as much or as little heat as they like.

On a good day, we’ll also have a simple salad and maybe some naan bread. Those are very good days indeed! But even without any of those sides, this dish is super filling.

cauliflower chickpea curry

Does this Vegan Meal Offer Complete Protein?

First, get over the idea that every meal has to include 100% complete protein all the time. It doesn’t. If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of variety and include various protein sources throughout the day then your body will take care of the rest. Your body will make complete proteins out of all the different bits of protein you ate throughout the day – so there’s no need to obsess about making complete proteins at every meal. Got it? Good.

Now, having said that, yes this particular meal does offer complete protein because of the combination of rice and beans. Chickpeas and white rice are good – but if you want to be a super star – use brown rice or some other whole grain like quinoa as a side for your curry. You could also get whole grain naan bread.

Want to squeeze even more protein and nutrients out of this meal – serve a salad that includes nuts or seeds and anything else you feel you might be missing.

So there you have it, my super delicious vegan cauliflower chickpea recipe.

Now it’s your turn – go make it and let me know how it turned out. And if you take a photo and are connected to social media, tag me so I can like it! I’m on Instagram @getgettys and Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.


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