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.

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

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.



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.


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



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.


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


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


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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