Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

For those of you who simply cannot tolerate cilantro, I would recommend thinly slicing some kale 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.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of yellow curry powder
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and then sliced across the grain (about 1 1/2 cups sliced onion)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated (1 teaspoon grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (a 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored, florets separated (see How to Cut and Core Cauliflower)
  • 1 15-ounce can of 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 young stems)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves


1 Sauté 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.


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

2 Add ginger, chickpeas, tomatoes, cauliflower, bay leaf, salt, pepper, water: 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.

cauliflower-chickpea-curry-method-2 cauliflower-chickpea-curry-method-3

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

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


4 Toss with cilantro and mint to 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).

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Lisa

    This was really good! I doubled (at least!) the amount of fresh ginger, but otherwise followed the recipe as stated. I’ll make again!


  • Evelyn baron

    Really brilliant nutritious recipe; used arugula instead of cilantro; still strong peppery flavour; wonderful dish!


  • cindy

    Loved! Left out mint and added toasted cashews. Yummmm!!! Thank you!


  • Rona

    I’ve made this recipe 2 times and it’s a great easy and delicious recipe! I made a couple of changes. I roasted the cauliflower bc we like the texture and flavor of roasted cauliflower. After roasting i added the cauliflower and simmered about 5-7 min just to flavor it. I also doubled the recipe. It doubled very well! Thanks Elise!


  • Sylvie

    Making this now and it smells wonderful. I used Indian curry powder but reading the comments I see people have used Thai. I’ll try this again using that but it’s only available around here as a paste. Both will be wonderful, but did you mean Indian or Thai curry?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Sylvie! In the recipe, we meant Indian curry powder. If you’d like to try thai curry paste, then I think that would be fabulous. Add it along with the ginger. Enjoy!

      • Sylvie

        Thank you for the reply, Emma! The recipe was wonderful as is, and I still plan to try it with Thai curry. I think it will be a nice twist.

  • Isabella Perazzo

    Excellent, flavorful recipe! I replaced the plain water by the boild chik peas liquid. Delicioso!!!


  • Christine

    Do you think this can be frozen?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christine, I haven’t tried freezing it, but if you do, please let us know how it works out for you!

  • Andrea Kearney

    I just made this. Doubled it, and made the chickpeas from dried, and added more (Thai) yellow curry powder, otherwise was close to the original. Threw in a little red pepper also. It’s great! Used greek yogurt on top over brown rice/quinoa combo. Thank you, Elise!


  • Sandy S

    It’s the cilantro and the mint that brings this dish home to mama! I’m a cauliflower fan. Steamed with butter has always been fine with me. But, must say this recipe will definitely be made now, too! Thanks for pulling out your magic wand Elise!

  • Michele

    Oh this is such a delicious recipe! Thank you Elise for inspiring many of my dishes, though this is my first time commenting. I tend to like my food rather seasoned, so I used a lot more salt and pepper than the recipe called for. I also doubled the Curry Powder. In terms of other changes: I sauteed the onions with 2 cloves of fresh chopped garlic and also added garlic powder/onion powder to the mix before simmering everything. Oh yum yum yum! I am a cilantro LOVER but was weary about the mint. I used it anyways and so glad I did because it contributed a lovely taste to the dish. 5 Stars! I served this over quinoa with a dab of sour cream, which was amazing.


  • Carina

    Delicious!! Made it tonight and is perfect. Added coconut yoghurt and was perfect. Next time might add mushrooms :)

  • JaneB

    I am a huge fan of Simply Recipes. This was delicious. Yesterday I took the leftovers and heated them up with a bit of water. Once warm, I added a can of coconut milk, a bit more curry and s & p. Then pureed with an immersion blender and let sit overnight. Wonderful soup today for lunch!

  • Miss Patsy

    For Christine on cilantro substitution

    What about using mint particularly Thai mint. Yum.

  • Christine

    I am one of those people who is not a fan of cilantro (I want to be, but the smell makes me not happy). Is there a substitute? I really love Basil, would that work?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christine, I would just use parsley instead, just the leaves, not stems, finely chopped, about 1/4 of a cup.

  • Charmaine

    Is there anything I can use to substitute for the tomatoes?

    • Elise Bauer

      Not really, not for this recipe. I recommend finding a different recipe if you need to leave out the tomatoes.

  • joe

    I like this recipe very much. I will do it more often.

  • Tina

    Just made this for dinner, and it was so fragrant and delicious! My husband and four-year-old loved it, too. I’d definitely recommend adding a bit of sour cream (or vegan alternative).

  • Megan

    This recipe looks delish, however I’m not the biggest fan of chickpeas. Any suggestions for a substitute?

  • Cheryl

    I’m about to make this for the 3rd time, sooo good, thank you for a new regular weekly meal

  • Rachel

    I just tried this recipe. The only modification I made was excluding the mint (because I didn’t have any). Wow, so delicious. Brilliant flavor combination. I will definitely be making it again.

  • Daisy

    I like all the recipes I’ve tried from your site. Winners. 5 stars. Delicious. Happy mouth and happy belly.


  • Layla Grace

    Whoever said Cilantro tastes like dish soap, needs to get their taste buds tested. Are you kidding me? That is not a fair comparison at all.
    It tastes wonderful and is one of the most versatile herbs there is. Please don’t let a few comments deter you from trying / adding cilantro to your dishes.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Layla, everybody’s taste buds are different. It takes time to get accustomed to certain tastes, especially if you haven’t grown up with them. There’s some scientific evidence that for some people, genetically, cilantro will taste like soap. There are also contradicting studies saying that it’s just a matter of getting used to the taste. I grew up with cilantro so love it. But I didn’t grow up with saffron, and to me, that spice tastes like soap. I have a very hard time with it.

      • Pat Luboff

        Actually, there are people who have a certain gene that makes cilantro taste like soap to them. Have pity on them!

  • Dora

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I made this last night with great success. My modifications were: used garam masala spice instead of ginger, no mint or cilantro or bay leaf as I did not have it on hand. We loved it !


  • Debra

    I just made this and it is wonderful. Love the flavors, but like most vegetarian dishes without any fat, I found it lacking a bit in satisfaction. Then I recalled a similar recipe which adds just a little sour cream at the end, so I tried that, and it blended in to make a nice, creamy sauce. Definitely a keeper. Yum!


  • Emily

    This was so good! Even my three year old loved it. Will make this again very soon.

  • serena

    I wanted to try this dish ever since I saw the recipe and tonight was the night. I was tasting it as I was cooking and thought to myself, “This is great just the way it is”. Then I threw a handful of cilantro in and tasted it again. Omg, I thought I was in heaven! Trust me, don’t skip the cilantro unless you absolutely can’t stand it. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • [email protected]

    For those commenting on cilantro’s terrible taste, it is apparently a genetic trait that it simply tastes like dish soap to some, just to clarify and to give you all a valid reason to omit it from recipes.

  • Ashley

    I made this tonight and really liked it, as did my 4 year old son (he loves chickpeas!). I added light coconut milk to the broth, a bit more curry, and threw in a few other veggies and served over brown basmati rice. I look forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for an easy, healthy, and delicious recipe!

  • Deanne Bush

    I planned to make this dish tonight but discovered I was out of cilantro. Wanting to duplicate the recipe exactly, I asked my husband to drive the 6 miles to our closest store for the star ingredient. I had mint in my herb garden and used that with the cilantro as a garnish. We both found the Cauliflower Curry to be a wonderful dish served on top of a whole grain rice blend of Texmati, brown and wild rice. The addition of cilantro was well worth the trip to town.


    • Judy P.

      I found every time I bought a Cilantro bunch at the store, I didn’t use it all up before it went “bad”. I was making some pesto one day from a bunch of Basil I had grown and I thought, why not try this with Cilantro? So the next time I bought groceries, I got a bunch. I rinsed it well and chopped off the larger stems and ran it through my small chopper with some fresh garlic cloves, then added some olive oil and a small amount of salt and pepper. Then I put it into an ice cube tray and froze it. After it was frozen, I popped the cubes out and put them in a freezer zip bag so now i have Cilantro any time I want to cook it in a recipe.

  • Lisa

    What brand of curry powder do you use?

  • Againstthegrain

    I nearly always have the necessary ingredients on hand for curries like this.

    We’re experiencing super hot, dry desert winds in San Diego at the moment, not to mention multiple brush fires around the county. The utility authorities have requested that county residents limit use of major appliances to ease the strain on the electric supply grid, so for the duration I’ve been making meals that minimize or avoid using the stove and oven. I was planning to cook some chickpeas in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker to make hummus – I think I’ll make some extra chickpeas and adapt this for making in my Instant Pot, too.

    • Lisa

      I’m in San Diego also. This is a great idea!

  • Annie

    I have never tried cilantro in a yellow curry but it probably would be good. I always put it in a red curry, so why not?

    However, I would guess part of the original problem was that it was underseasoned, and that amount of curry called for is just too small for this much volume. I would at least double that. A little turmeric or smoked paprika can be nice in a curry, too.

  • Tammela

    Cauliflower and chickpeas are a great combination. Here’s my curry using the two ingredients:

  • kimek

    Cilantro is a must when you are preparing Indian dish :) For those who cannot tolerate it – first try to add it to your dish and cook it just a little, so the taste of fresh cilantro blends with your curry.

  • Matt Robinson

    Love this so much, Elise! Wow.

  • Su

    I love your website. I’m Indian and my family’s prefers traditional ‘desi’ food but I love your writing, photography and the elegance of your recipes. This cauliflower-chickpea is very much like what we cook at home for a quick meal. The recipe is very accessible to the home cook who would want to try cooking curry without investing in a rack ful of Indian spices. Those who do want to take the complexity up a notch, you can sub the generic curry powder with a mix of cumin , coriander and turmeric powders. Maybe a tiny dash of garam masala too. Carnivores can sub the chickpea with medium shrimp ( added at a later step to prevent toughening). Cilantro haters, you could perhaps squeeze a lime slice to perk up the taste.

    • Jessica

      I haven’t made this yet, but I know exactly what Elise means when she says that a handful of cilantro can completely transform a dish. I think when I make it, I will take Su’s advice for kicking it up a notch with the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. I’m on a bit of a cumin kick these days and can’t do without.

      • Su

        Jessica, if you’re up to it, try making a paste of ginger, cumin seeds and a bit of dry red chilly (optional if you dislike spicy heat) in a spice blender. Fry tomatoes in a bit of oil and add the paste + turmeric, keep stirring and after a few mins add warm water. Very easy and fresh tasting ‘curry base’ which goes well with fish, potatoes, cauliflower,peas and such. Benefits enormously from a cilantro garnish as well.

        • Jessica

          Sounds delicious Su! I love Indian food and have all of the spices on hand, but can never quite get it the way it should be. Maybe this will be the trick!

          • Jessica

            I made it the other night with the spice substitutions. It was delicious, but I think next time I will increase the quantities of the spices that I put in, because it could have needed even more of a kick. But a really delicious, fast and easy recipe!

    • Bev

      Thank you for the curry powder sub. We just started cooking with Indian spices, and they make all the difference.