Rich, flavorful, and 100% plant-based! This Vegan Cauliflower Curry is a simple recipe packed with good-for-you ingredients. Made creamy with coconut milk, big in flavor with tomatoes and plenty of spices, this is bound to become a favorite in your home.
If you live a completely plant-based lifestyle or are at least trying to include more plant-based meals into your week, curry is such a fabulous way to go. India has a massive vegetarian population and, as a result, tons of gorgeous vegetarian and vegan dishes to enjoy and grab inspiration from.
While this is, by no means, a traditional curry recipe, it’s a really easy way to enjoy a simple vegan cauliflower curry made at home. This is a dish that will also get even better the more time these flavors have to sit together, so it’s a perfect candidate for your weekly meal prep. Leftovers that taste better than they did fresh? I’m in!
Click “Jump to the Recipe” at the top of the page or keep scrolling down to the recipe card for the full ingredient amounts and recipe instructions. Below you’ll find substitutes, FAQ, tips, and storage instructions!
- Olive oil – For sautéing. Other oils such as vegetable, canola, grapeseed, avocado, coconut, sunflower, or safflower will work.
- Cauliflower – I used an entire head of cauliflower. Grab a medium size rather than a large head so everything will fit in the skillet.
- Salt – Season to taste.
- Onion – I like to use white or yellow onion. Red onion will work too if that’s what you have.
- Garlic – Fresh is best! However, if you have jarred garlic, use 1 tbsp. If you have a jarred garlic and ginger mix, use 2 tbsp.
- Ginger – I like to keep my ginger in the freezer. It lasts longer and is way easier to grate. Peel the skin away with a spoon and grate on a Microplane.
- Spices – Curry powder, ground coriander, and cumin. Feel free to adjust the amounts of spices as per your own preference.
- Tomatoes – I used a whole can of diced tomatoes. If you don’t like pieces of tomatoes in your curry, you can substitute with a 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes or tomato passata.
- Curry paste – Red or yellow. Whichever is easier for you to find!
- Coconut milk – The canned coconut milk, not the drinkable non-dairy alternative in a carton. Full fat coconut milk is best and will give you a creamier curry, but you can use lite coconut milk if you want.
- Chickpeas – Drained and rinsed. If you use dried chickpeas, make sure to prep and rehydrate them before using in this recipe.
- Peas – Fresh, frozen, or canned. I like to add peas at the very end so they don’t end up overcooked.
How to make vegan cauliflower curry
- Sauté cauli: Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower with a pinch of salt and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and charred on the edges. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet and set it aside.
- Aromatics: Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet along with the onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until softened and translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Spices & tomato: Add the curry powder, coriander, and cumin to the skillet. Stir well and toast for 1 minute. Pour the diced tomatoes into the skillet along with the curry paste. Mix everything well and turn the heat down to medium.
- Finish: Simmer until the excess moisture has cooked off from the tomatoes and the mixture has thickened, 5-10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas. Continue to simmer until the curry has reached your desired consistency. Stir in the peas and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Taste for salt and add more as needed
Tips for making perfect vegan cauliflower curry
- Make sure to grab an Indian-style curry paste. Many jars you’ll find at the store will be Thai! Red or yellow curry paste will be great in this recipe depending on what you can find.
- You’ll notice that I don’t add salt to the curry until the very end. There are multiple stages of cooking moisture out of the curry. If you salt to taste before reducing, the end product will be too salty. Always salt at the very end!
- Even with frozen peas, I like to add them at the very, very end of the cooking process. Peas don’t need much cooking time and become unpleasant when overcooked. Frozen peas will be warmed through in a minute or two.
Absolutely! Try broccoli, celery, eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots (to sauté in step 1), or corn, snow peas, beans, asparagus (to add with the coconut milk), or spinach/ arugula to add right at the end with the peas.
This blend will make exactly as much as you need for this recipe: 3/4 tsp coriander (ground), 1 tsp cumin (ground), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp ginger (ground), 1/8 tsp dry mustard, 1/4 tsp cinnamon (ground), 1/8 tsp cardamom (ground), and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.
Absolutely! To prep whole spices for this recipe, you can toast them on a dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing often, until fragrant. Transfer the spices to a grinder or a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder, then use as per the recipe instructions.
How to store leftovers
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also store leftovers in the freezer for about 3 months. Keep in mind that with their high water content, veggies can soften quite a bit when frozen and thawed. I recommend thawing your curry overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, you can use the microwave at 20-30 second intervals, and stirring in between. You can also reheat your curry in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Feel free to add a splash of broth or water if you find the curry has thickened too much.
Did you love this easy dinner? Try these:
- Chicken and Mushroom Coconut Curry
- Vegan Risotto
- Roasted Chickpea Salad
- The Best Vegan Pizza
- No-Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Vegan Cauliflower Curry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head cauliflower about 20 oz
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 medium onion white or yellow, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp coriander ground
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 14 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
- 2 tbsp curry paste red or yellow
- 2 cans coconut milk 13.5 oz/400 ml each
- 1 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 cup peas fresh, frozen, or canned (drained and rinsed if canned)
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower with a pinch of salt and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and charred on the edges. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet and set it aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet along with the onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until softened and translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the curry powder, coriander, and cumin to the skillet. Stir well and toast for 1 minute. Pour the diced tomatoes into the skillet along with the curry paste. Mix everything well and turn the heat down to medium.
- Simmer until the excess moisture has cooked off from the tomatoes and the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas. Continue to simmer and stir until the curry has reached your desired consistency. Stir in the peas and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Taste for salt and add more as needed