Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

This cauliflower chickpea curry recipe is a braise of cauliflower, chickpeas, onions, curry, and tomatoes. The secret to its wow factor? Fresh cilantro.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry recipe

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

Sometimes a single ingredient, a garnish, can turn a dish from meh to Wow.

In the case of this cauliflower chickpea curry, that ingredient is cilantro. I've been meaning to experiment with a curry using cauliflower and chickpeas for months.

When we finally got around to it, the result was okay, but nothing special. Frustrated, I tossed a handful of chopped cilantro into what we had made—a braise of cauliflower, chickpeas, onions, curry, and tomatoes.

The ingredients that minutes before had failed to inspire were now dazzling. It's as if the cilantro had woken everyone up and pulled them onto the dance floor.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry in a bowl
Elise Bauer

What's happening? I'm guessing one reason is that the cilantro is playing the role of a bitter, like parsley, kale, or green onion greens.

The bitter greens fire up the bitter sensors in our mouths and the flavor of everything brightens. In any case, with the cilantro, this curry is fast, easy, and delightful. (Great with Basmati Rice with Peas and Mint.)

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

For those of you who simply cannot tolerate cilantro, I would recommend slicing some arugula and adding that to the curry as it cooks, or toss with fresh chives or thinly sliced onion greens. It won't be the same, but the greens will help brighten the dish.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and then sliced across the grain (about 1 1/2 cups sliced onion)

  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and grated (1 teaspoon grated)

  • 1 (15-ounce can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 1/2 cups cooked)

  • 1 head cauliflower, cored, florets separated (see How to Cut and Core Cauliflower)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup packed roughly chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves


  1. Sauté the curry powder and onion:

    Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pot (with lid) on medium heat. Add the curry powder to the oil and let cook for a minute until fragrant.

    Onions sautéed with curry powder
    Elise Bauer

    Add the sliced onion, toss with the curried oil. Let cook until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

  2. Assemble the curry:

    Once the onions have softened, add the ginger and the chickpeas, toss to coat with everything.

    Add the tomatoes, shredding the whole tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pot. Include any tomato juice from the can.

    Add the cauliflower florets, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and water.

    chickpeas and tomato in a curry
    Elise Bauer
    vegan chickpea cauliflower curry
    Elise Bauer
  3. Simmer:

    Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cover. Cook 15 to 18 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through and tender.

    curry with chickpea, cauliflower and cilantro
    Elise Bauer
  4. Toss with the herbs and serve:

    Remove from heat. Toss with fresh chopped cilantro and minced mint.

    Serve with rice or rice pilaf. If you want, dollop a little sour cream or plain yogurt over it (non-vegan option).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
139 Calories
4g Fat
22g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 139
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 365mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 59mg 296%
Calcium 85mg 7%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 533mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.