We’ve been harvesting some beautiful cauliflowers from the allotment over the past few weeks, although I was initially a little stumped with what to do with them. Cauliflower Cheese has always been my go-to cauli recipe, but a warm, cheesy bake is the last thing on anyone’s mind when the days are long and hot and even the idea of turning on the oven is enough to melt you. Plus, on a personal level, my days of cheesy bakes are pretty much over. I don’t profess to be a vegan, but my exploration of veganism last January made enough of an impression on me to want to ditch the dairy. Mostly. There are exceptions. Homemade pesto is one of my most favourite things in the world and it’s nothing without a grating of real parmesan. But the idea of cauliflower, swimming in a thick cheesy sauce, really doesn’t appeal to me like it once did.
So I’ve been doing other things with our cauliflowers instead. I’ve roasted them and had them in salads. I made a soup. (Yes, it was thirty degrees outside and I was chugging hot soup for lunch. That was fun.) But then I made a Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry. Now, I’ve used cauliflowers in curry before and they’ve always been a bit of a disappointment, a little bit bland. But I managed to get the right balance with this recipe. Maybe it’s because cauliflowers and chickpeas are a match made in heaven. Or maybe I hit on the perfect ratio of spices. Maybe it was the addition of coconut milk that gave it an extra something. Or maybe, it’s simply down to the fact Ade has grown some first-class cauliflowers this year.
Whatever the reason, this is a fantastic way to cook this most underrated of brassicas. My Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry is packed full of goodness and flavour, it’s a picture on the plate, and it’s ready in the time it takes to cook your wholegrain rice. Perfect!
CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEA CURRY
Prep/Cooking Time: Serves: 4-6
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 can of chickpeas (400g), drained and rinsed
1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g)
Squeeze of lemon
Salt and Pepper
Handful of chopped coriander
Heat the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat, before adding the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the spices and tomato puree and cook for a further minute.
Add the cauliflower florets and cook for a minute, stirring to make sure they’re coated with all the spices.
Add the chickpeas, coconut milk and tinned tomatoes, swilling out the empty tomato tin with about half a can of water to add to the pan.
Increase the heat and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat, covering and simmering for a further 15 minutes.
Uncover, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Add a good squeeze of lemon, season with salt and pepper and garnish with coriander.
Serve with rice.
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