Easy Vegan Cauliflower Curry for a Fab Curry Night!
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Do I have to write about Vegan Cauliflower Curry? Another day, another curry, ho hum! What tedium, what a bore!
Got ya! As if I would ever, ever say that! Don’t you know by now I love my curries? Crazy for Curry, that’s me. Whyever not? My ancestors set sail in search of pepper and whatnot. The least I could do is tuck into delicious curries!
And to get to write about curries, test different curry recipes, talk to people about curries…. Best. Job. Ever!
Today it is the turn of one of my favorite curry recipes – Cauliflower curry.
Right behind our massive hit vegan chickpea curry (which more than half a million of you have seen so far!), in the popularity stakes, cauliflower curry is an easy, tasty dish that is such a fab way of getting more veggies in your diet.
Though the title says ‘cauliflower curry’ the actual recipe contains more veg – peppers, green beans, potatoes, they all go in there. This curry is one nutritious fella, I tell you!
And what’s more, it is a very versatile kind of recipe. You can switch out these veg for whatever you find in your fridge and use them up before the veg gets furry. Gravied recipes are quite forgiving that way, I find.
They amalgamate quite easily, getting along with whatever you see fit to toss in.
Just exercise caution and do not go too far out of the box with your selection. Like bitter gourd, for example! (shudder!)
This curry recipe is something I came up with. So while it isn’t authentic Indian cuisine, it does borrow heavily from it. Feel free to tweak it to suit your tastes. After all, that’s the best part of food, isn’t it?
Cauliflower is one of the few veg that tastes equally yum in dry preparations as well as in gravy format. This curry is a triumph of delicate flavors coming together to dance on coat your tastebuds with comfort.
The fresh cauliflower florets gleefully absorb the goodness of the curry paste and the coconut milk, leaving you with an unctuous curry you will be happy to dive face-first into.
As I mentioned above, I have used onions, ginger, potato, green beans, and peppers. Feel free to experiment a bit, free up your veg drawer and just have fun with it. Green peas and cauliflower make a great combination, in my opinion.
Spinach is a great addition – just tear up the leaves and bung them on top of the veg, cover and let them cook in the residual heat. Talk about more bang for your buck, eh?
The tang of iron from the spinach leaves lifts up the curry very nicely indeed.
If you have readymade bottled ginger-garlic paste, chuck that in too.
You can add sweet potatoes to the curry too. If you do, the curry will be a total meal in one and you can skip the rice accompaniment.
The fresh cilantro for garnish is what truly makes Indian curries special so don’t skip those!
Olive oil in curries? Hmm, not really sold, are you? But then, this isn’t a traditional Indian curry so we can freewheel a bit. Good quality olive oil is excellent at bringing out the best flavor from veggies – that’s exactly what we want, right?
If you’d rather go with coconut oil, that’s fine too.
What maketh a curry? A good spice base. You can save up on time and go with a store-bought curry paste. When selecting one, go for a paste couple of notches higher on the heat scale than your usual.
The coconut milk will calm down the heat, so by getting a spicier paste, you can still retain a little bit of heat in the curry.
This is what adds that special something to this curry. I love, love, love coconut milk curries. That silkiness they bring to the texture of the curry is unparalleled. As is the flavor profile. Hmm hmmm hmm.
Make sure you grab the low-fat tin, mind you. Full-fat coconut milk can easily pack on the calories! But if full fat is what floats your boat, remember the nutrition data given after the recipe card will vary.
“We have added the curry paste already, Dave, do I need curry powder too?’, you ask.
I say “yessss!”. Why? Flavor, flavor, flavor!
Cauliflower, bless it, is a bland veg. I try not to hold this against it. And after all, this makes it a veritable sponge that soaks up everything in the curry.
This is why we need both the curry paste AND powder, so we can double down and pack in the flavor bombs. Trust me!
If you have only garam masala, that’s perfectly good to use in this too.
Lime and maple syrup
Sweet, salt, sour and bitter – a good curry must hit all these top notes. This is why a squeeze of lime and a delicate touch with maple syrup is welcome. These brighten up the curry and add some depth to it.
Go with honey or agave syrup if you cannot lay hands on maple syrup.
The final ingredient – rice. The perfect accompaniment. I generally like to go with the old reliable, basmati. Fragrant basmati rice can elevate the simplest of curries and why settle for anything less?
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Make those calories count
One portion of this yummy curry contains 449 calories per serving, and it contains 8g protein per serving. Of this, carbohydrates form the major chunk at
Did you know that humble cauliflower contains vitamin C? In fact, 1 cup of cauliflower can provide you with as much as 77% of your RDA! And you thought you get max Vit C from citrus!
And by adding lime to your curry, you give the Vit C quality a bit more boost!
Apart from C, cauliflower also contains K and B6, as well as essential minerals such as manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folate, pantothenic acid, etc.
And, despite what you might have read on the internet, cauliflower contains the antioxidants glucosinolates and isothiocyanate.
These two are super helpful in guarding us against breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer! (Eat that cauliflower!)
Cauliflower also contains sulforaphane and choline, which are vital to our body’s needs.
Who’d’a thunk the humble cauliflower to be such a nutrition powerhouse, eh?
How to make the best cauliflower curry
Now that you know this is a curry recipe that is good for you, let’s see about making it, shall we?
- Clean and cut the bell pepper. I love using red bell pepper – it is lovely to eat as is and the red color pops so nicely in this white curry.
- Top and tail the beans and cut them in half.
- Dice the onions, and grate the fresh ginger.
- For added oomph, you can add crushed garlic too.
- First, gently warm the oil up and add the aromats. Saute over a low flame. Toss in the onions. Top tip: always add a wee bit of salt whilst sauteing your onions. This will sweat the onions quicker, browning them faster and deepening the flavor.
- Add the peppers and stir them nicely.
- Once they are tender, add the curry paste. Now, the depth of the flavor in your curry depends on how long you cook your curry paste. If you are a skilled (and brave!) cook, push it to the edge. Else pull back a bit sooner. But never skip this step or you will risk a very bland curry.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of light coconut milk to the curry paste and stir quickly so it is a smooth slurry. Quickly add in the rest, mix well and allow it to come to a slow boil. Take care while doing this as coconut milk is notorious for splitting.
- Throw in the cauliflower florets and coat them nicely in the curry mix. Add the curry powder, salt, lime juice, and maple syrup. Mix well. If you want a spicy curry, add more curry powder.
- Throw in the beans. Cover and cook over medium heat till the veg are cooked whilst still retaining a bite.
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if you have them handy. Ta-da! One pot of delicious curry ready!
- You can eat this as is, especially if you have added any white or sweet potatoes to the curry.
- Else go with your choice of carb – rice or Indian breads.
What do you serve with cauliflower curry?
This curry goes beautifully with rice, of course – jeera rice, for example. I use basmati but you can use brown rice too. But did you know you can pair it with quinoa too?
Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the packet, make a small side salad, cold raita, and make your tummy happy!
You can also eat the curry with Indian breads – roti, naan, paratha, etc.
Go for it, and tell me in the comments how the pairing went.
Can the cauliflower curry be frozen?
Definitely. Cool down the curry completely first. Then transfer to a freezer-safe container. When reheating, defrost it in the fridge first and then heat it up. You can do so in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Freshen it up by adding some fresh lime juice and another dash of cilantro garnish.
Good as new!
How to prep cauliflower florets for cooking? I don’t feel comfortable using raw florets in my curry.
Best way to pre-cook the cauliflower florets is by steaming it. This way there is no loss of minerals, antioxidants etc. Simply cut the cauliflower into small florets. Now place the cut florets into a steamer.
Or steam it in the microwave/stove top in a bamboo steamer.
Now you can just slip them into your curry, and let it all simmer together to absorb the flavor. If you want a creamy cauliflower curry, then let the florets cook a bit more so the texture isn’t al dente.
Can I make this vegan cauliflower curry in my instant pot pressure cooker?
Oh yes! Instant pot is a great way to retain the nutrients in vegetables and seal in the flavor. Just set it to saute and follow the instructions. Cover and cook by following a time similar to other vegan curry recipes.
Can I make the cauliflower curry ahead?
Most definitely. Just skip the garnishing and do it right before serving. Maybe even add a squeeze of lemon. Both with freshen up the flavors.
How can I store the curry and reheat?
Tomato-based curries generally stand up to being frozen and reheated very well. As cauliflower florets retain a fair bit of water, they might end up soggy bullets so take care to defrost completely before warming up the dish.
Cauliflower Curry Variations and Alternatives
This delicious curry is already suitable for vegans and the gluten-intolerant. But you can zhuzh it up a bit further. How?
- Throw in more veg – peas, carrots, beans – any and all of them go wonderfully with cauliflower and you will have a rocking veg medley curry in your hands!
- Switch up the garnish – instead of cilantro or parsley, if you can get your hands on kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), toss them in. The aroma will be Something Else!
- Add finely minced raw onions on top, right before serving. This will add a fresh layer of crunch to your curry. (Make sure you have breath mints handy!)
More like these
If you are in the market for more cauliflower recipes, head this way.
This Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Curry is a Pakistani recipe and a belter! You can vary the heat per your taste. The curry just goes beautifully with rice or roti and some cooling raita to take the edge off.
Or try this Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup – just takes 5 minutes prep!
This Garlic Mashed Cauliflower is a low-carbers dream. Just a few simple steps and you’ll end up with the greatest cauliflower mash the world has ever seen.
Our Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad is a winner of a recipe, perfect for lunches and potlucks.
So there you have it – the Vegan Cauliflower Curry recipe you can take to the bank! (Or maybe just to lunch?) Hope you have as much fun making – and eating – it as we do, around these parts.
Tell me how you got on! Any hiccups/tips, do share them in the comments section below.
- ½ cup basmati rice (½ cup = 100g)
- ½ medium cauliflower (½ = 300g)
- 1 onion
- ½ red pepper
- ½ cup green beans
- 1 thumb ginger, fresh
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp curry paste (make sure the paste is vegetarian – choose your fave)
- 1 can low fat coconut milk (1 can = 400ml)(use regular if you like)
- ½ lime (juiced)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 4 sprigs cilantro/coriander, fresh (if you fall in the cilantro haters group, try basil instead)
- Cook rice according to packet instructions.½ cup basmati rice
- Cut the bell pepper into small cubes, chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces.½ red pepper, ½ medium cauliflower
- Remove the tips of the green beans and cut them in half.½ cup green beans
- Dice up the onion and finely chop the ginger.1 onion, 1 thumb ginger, fresh
- Add some oil to a pot and on medium heat add the ginger.1 tsp olive oil
- As soon as it starts to release its aroma (about 2 minutes) add the onion and the bell pepper, and sauté (fry on a medium heat) for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the curry paste, stir and cook for 2 more minutes.1 tbsp curry paste
- Stir in a little of the coconut milk to dissolve the curry paste and then pour in the rest. Set to high heat until the milk starts to boil.1 can low fat coconut milk
- Once boiling reduce to low heat and add the lime juice, curry powder, salt and maple syrup. Stir well.½ lime, 1 tsp curry powder, salt, 1 tsp maple syrup
- Now it’s time to add the cauliflower. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the green beans and and let everything simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Give the curry a taste test: see if you need to add some more salt, sugar or lime. You can also add a little more curry paste if you like. Once you’re happy, it’s ready to serve, wohooo!
- Serve with chopped fresh cilantro on top. Rice or quinoa goes very well with this lovely curry dish!4 sprigs cilantro/coriander, fresh
Can you recommend some of your favorite curry pastes? Both regular and vegetarian? All groceries around me seem to carry the same two and I am wanting to branch out…knowing online may be the only option!
Hey Seth! Where are you based? Are the two brands Sharwood’s and Pataks? I actually do use them most of the time, I’m afraid. I do need to buy a new one very soon, and a small Indian shop has opened nearby, I’ll go check out what they have. In terms of flavour my favourites are definitely tikka masala, butter chicken (it has no chicken in it) and vindaloo (very spicy!). I’ll update when I have new ideas. I hope that helps in the meantime!
Our house is split on cilantro… I love cilantro and my wife is wrong. 😉 This looks like a great meal!
Hahaha! That’s exactly the same here 😀
This looks sooo good! My mouth is watering just reading the recipe.
Does it taste good the following day? I’m the only veggie in the family and I’m always on the look out for recipes I can get a couple of days out of.
It certainly does Em! Maybe even better, in fact 😀
Can you make a vegetarian curry ahead of time and reheat it?
Absolutely! I usually make a big batch so I can have it for lunch the next day, too. It’s also suitable for freezing and reheating 🙂
Do you recommend peeling the potatoes before chopping? Thanks
Hi MJ! With pretty much any of our potato/sweet potato recipes, unless it’s a mash (then always peel), I would just judge by the quality of the skin. If it looks horrible and blotchy I always peel, if it looks smooth then a quick clean and it’s good to go 🙂
Thanks, Dave! I made it that night and it was so delicious! I used purple cauliflower, for all those great antioxidants. The color change made the dish so much more vibrant to the eye. I did add a lot more of the curry paste. It seemed that the ratio of 2 cans coconut milk to only 1.5 tablespoons of curry barely flavored it. Compared to the curries I get in restaurants, this was not as flavorful as I was used to. I guess I need a curry flavor punch! So I kept adding till it fit my taste. Thanks for these great recipes!!
Good you made it how you like! Yes, we tend to err on the side of ‘not too spicy’ to let folks add more if/when needed. I love spicy food and often add at least double the spiciest spices 😀
Hello, Beti from Poland,
I’ve just made – is perfect! Even with cilantro! brrr 😉
I made some mistake (because of what I had at home) and I put one whole cauliflower and only one pot of coco milk.
Still perfect – and light 😀
I add also roasted cashews.
Thanks a lot!
Cześć Beata, really glad you liked the recipe and that it still turned out good! The more veggies the better 😀
Roasted cashews are soo good! Great idea indee!
Thanks Dave, good recipe & I changed the potatoe to sweet potatoe which worked well. I added another half a tablespoon of curry paste. Very tasty.
Ha, so good to hear, Suzanne! Great to know it works well with sweet potato too.
The taste was nice, but I was wondering whether the potatoes should have been cooked before? This ended up taking me significantly longer than 30 minutes, in part due to waiting for the potatoes to soften enough to eat – I cut them small, but they take longer to cook than the recipe suggests.
Hi Paula! Glad you enjoyed it. The potatoes do need to be in pretty small cubes to cook quickly (about 1cm), but yes you could definitely par-boil them beforehand and that would let you have slightly larger chunks 🙂
Hi I’m about to try this but I noticed when I click to convert to metric it is not just cups that convert to grams but quantities of onions, coconut milk, curry paste and maple syrup all increase. Is there an issue with the conversion tool?
Hi Anne, thanks for the pointer, good catch! We’ve recently updated the recipe and we missed the metric unit conversion. It’s fixed now! I hope you’ll enjoy the curry! Happy New Year!
One question: there are 2 potatoes in the ingredients photo, but they do not appear in the ingredients list. Is that to do with the calorie count?
Hi Alison, good catch!! I had a look and can tell you that we’ve recently updated this recipe. We removed the potatoes from that recipe. I can’t exactly remember why, but the calories might have played a role. I’m really glad you liked the dish!
For how many people is the above recipe please?
Hi! This one is two servings as it stands. If you look just above the ingredients there is also a little box where you can adjust how many people you would like to make servings for 🙂