This rich and creamy curry is a far healthier choice than your regular Indian takeaway. Low in calories and bursting with flavour, one serving contains four portions of vegetables.
Inspired by Indian flavours, this delicious curry is perfect for anyone who is trying to eat more healthily but missing their weekly takeout.
It’s creamy and warming and packed with flavour but it contains far fewer calories than the average takeaway curry. It’s also made without the excess salt, sugar and oil so often found in these meals.
Oh, and did we mention it happens to be vegan? Whether you are a full-time vegan or vegetarian, a seasoned flexitarian, or simply looking to fit more plant-based meals into your routine, you need this curry in your life.
Takeaway is all about convenience, so while this homemade version of course requires a little more effort, we’ve made it as easy as possible.
There’s not too much chopping to do, and once you’ve prepped your vegetables and spice mix, the whole process only takes around 30 minutes.
This recipe transforms humble (and cheap) ingredients such as frozen cauliflower and tinned chickpeas into a delicious curry guaranteed to impress.
Of course, you could soak your own chickpeas, and fresh cauliflower work just as well. But don’t underestimate the nutrition value of frozen and tinned vegetables. They count as a portion of vegetables just like their fresh counterparts.
We’ve made our own spice mix, which adds amazing layers of flavour. If you don’t have these spices to hand and don’t want to buy them all, you can use two tablespoons of garam masala instead. You could also use curry powder if that’s what you have in your cupboard.
Coconut milk is not as common in Indian curries as in Thai varieties. However, in this case we think it adds a creaminess and sweetness that really takes the dish to the next level.
What makes this recipe healthy?
This curry is packed with vegetables, serving up four of your 5 A Day (which is great, as we should all be aiming for not just five but as many as possible).
Eating a variety of vegetables means you’re getting a variety of nutrients. This curry is high in vitamin C and vitamin A and also contains potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and calcium.
There’s a decent amount of fibre in this curry, which comes from the cauliflower and chickpeas in particular. Add a portion of brown rice or wholemeal bread and you’ll boost the fibre content even further.
This recipe makes four hearty portions, coming in at under 250 calories each for the curry. For most people, that leaves ample room (calorie-wise) for a portion of brown rice or a small wholemeal flatbread or two.
You might be tempted to reach for naan bread but be aware that these can be surprisingly high in calories, with some varieties containing lots of added sugar and salt.
If you’ve been advised to reduce your carb intake, broccoli or cauliflower rice both make a tasty accompaniment to this curry.
How to make creamy cauliflower and chickpea curry
This recipe is designed to help beat cravings for takeaway and as such we’ve tried to make it as quick and easy as possible.
Of course, opening an app and clicking order is always going to require less effort. But try this recipe once and we’re sure you’ll be impressed by just how easy homemade curry can be. Not to mention you’ll feel better for it, knowing you’re packing in the good stuff and cutting out the bad.
You start by softening the onions in a little vegetable or coconut oil (you can use olive oil but the flavour doesn’t work quite as well in Asian-inspired cooking).
Once they’re soft, add in the garlic along with all the spices and heat for a few minutes. This cooks the spices a little and they start to release the most amazing smells.
Next, pour in the stock along with the chopped peppers, cauliflower florets and chickpeas. Bring it to a boil then let it gently bubble to heat and soften the veg.
Then simply add the coconut milk and cook over a medium heat for another 10 minutes or so, until the sauce is as thick (or thin) as you like it. Keep an eye on it during this time as coconut milk can split (it won’t hurt you but it won’t taste as nice).
And there you have it, a creamy vegetarian and vegan curry that tastes deliciously indulgent but is actually super healthy. What could be better for a cosy night in?
Creamy cauliflower and chickpea curry recipe
1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp chilli powder, depending on your heat tolerance
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground fenugreek
500ml veg stock made from 1 vegetable stock cube
2 red peppers, chopped
500g frozen cauliflower (or one large head fresh cauliflower, cut into florets)
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 x 400ml tin reduced fat coconut milk
Brown basmati rice or wholemeal flatbreads
Freshly chopped coriander
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and gently cook the onions until soft, around 8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together all the spices in a small bowl or ramekin.
2. Add the garlic and all of the spices and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. You want the spices to cook a little and begin to release their fragrance, but be careful they don’t start to catch or burn.
3. Next, add the stock along with the cauliflower, peppers and chickpeas. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
4. Once the vegetables are nearly soft, add the coconut milk and cook gently for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick you like your sauce.
Keep an eye on the pan during this stage so that the curry doesn’t boil, which could lead the coconut milk to split.
5. Serve the creamy curry alongside the rice or bread, sprinkled with chopped coriander.