Cauliflower and Chickpeas in a Coconut Cilantro Curry

Apart from being a tongue twister of a name, this dish is an ideal combination of textures and flavors. The aromatic cilantro with creamy coconut and warm spices make this a perfect “warm your belly” meal.

Ingredients
Serves 4-6

For the Cilantro Coconut Masala
1 handful fresh cilantro, washed
3-4 indian green chillies (substitute thai red chillies, or serranos)
1/2 cup coconut grated, thaw if using frozen (I buy  fresh coconut thats grated and sold frozen in our local Indian store)
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 large tomato
3 cloves garlic

Putting the dish together
1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large can chickpeas, washed and drained (approx. 2 1/2 cups)
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 bayleaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tbsp ghee

Method
Puree the cilantro, chillies, garlic, salt and tomato, a few pulses in a food processor or blender. Add the grated coconut, and few table spoons of water just to get to a pourable consistency. Blend this all together into a smooth puree and set aside.

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Heat oil over medium heat, and add the bayleaf and cinnamon. Once the oil is heated add the cumin seeds, followed by cumin, coriander, and turmeric powders. Fry for a couple of minutes.

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Add the chopped onions, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until the onions have turned translucent and start slightly caramelizing.

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Drop the heat to low, and carefully pour in the blended coconut cilantro mixture. Watch out for splattering. Turn the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remember to keep stirring for a minute. Drop the heat to low, and simmer for 12-15 minutes.

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Add both cauliflower and chickpeas to the masala, with a tsp of salt, and mix well together.

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Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked. It should still hold its shape and retains some bite.

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Finish off with a tbsp of ghee (this tsp is optional). The brown butter/ghee gives the whole dish a quick velvety sheen, and adds a great layer of nuttiness which works perfectly with the rest of the flavors.

IMG_4303Serve with a carb of your choice – Chapati, Naan, a bowl of hot white rice, quinoa, or cracked wheat. Pick your carb, it doesn’t matter, cauliflower is the star!

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