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Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpeas by Nava Atlas




“My family loves Indian food, but even at modest-priced eateries, an in-house or take-out meal of four modest portion main dishes and samosas can easily run about sixty dollars. On the other hand, a meal centered around this delectable Indian-Spiced Cauliflower & Chickpeas recipe, even with an optional splurge of frozen samosas, costs a fraction of that. (See the variation in the recipe notes for adding coconut milk to turn this dish into a stew.)"

Serves 6 to 8



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Two 16-ounce bags frozen cauliflower florets, thawed (see Note)
28-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 medium ripe juicy tomatoes, chopped
12- to 16-ounce jar Indian simmer sauce (see Note)
1 teaspoon curry powder (for color)
2 teaspoons minced fresh or squeeze-tube ginger
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or sliced basil leaves or to taste
Hot cooked rice or other grain, optional



Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.

Add the cauliflower, chickpeas, tomatoes, simmer sauce, and about 1/2 cup water. Stir in the curry powder and ginger.


Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until everything is piping hot.

Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro or basil and serve at once in shallow bowls, on its own or over hot cooked grains if desired.


Nava’s Recipe Notes:

Though using frozen cauliflower makes this dish easier to tackle at the end the day, you’re certainly free to use fresh. You’ll need one large head, cut into bite-sized florets. Steam until tender-crisp before adding to the dish.

Look for Indian simmer sauces in the international foods aisles in supermarkets and in natural foods stores. They come in a range of vegan options from mild to spicy, including Goan coconut, Kashmir curry, Jalfrezi, and Madras curry. Some include dairy, so be sure to check labels.


Nava’s Recipe Variations:

Use a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes if good tomatoes aren't available.
You can vary the recipe by adding a 15-ounce can of light coconut milk. That makes it more like a stew. Or, add the coconut milk to leftovers to stretch the recipe.