Cauliflower Chickpea Coconut Curry
The 4 Cs: Cauliflower, Chickpea, Coconut, Curry. You know how some people get noodle cravings, or sushi cravings, or burger cravings? I get curry cravings. Warmth, bold spices, depth of dimensions in flavours. Oh and the aroma! I honestly think Indian food is one of the reasons India is on the top of my list of places to visit in the world.
I had already made this recipe with a friend weeks ago and knew I wanted to make it again to photograph for the site. I started to brainstorm the plates I would use but nothing I owned looked right in my mind’s eye. Some time passed and my mom returned from a trip overseas. She had brought me back a gift: these baby blue handmade clay bowls. I knew they would be perfect for the curry and rice dish I had been imagining.
The day I made the dish and plated it for snap shots the sun started setting – I was nervous the light wouldn’t work in my favour. To top it off the flowers I had selected to include in the pictures had wilted in the sun .
It seems dramatic to conclude that I was about to give up. I get it. “So the sun wasn’t bright enough and the pictures lacked flowers. Big deal. Just take some shots and post it online. Call it a day!” I heard my sister’s voice say in my head. But this is my passion and my hobby – I want to create the best images I feel I’m capable of in that moment. Nope. I decided I would give up and try again another day. I wasn’t too upset. I figured it was meant to be – something better would come along.
That moment my cousin stopped by for a surprise visit. When I opened the door she handed me a single ruby red flower and said, “I saw this and it made me think of you.” Oh universe: you have a pleasant way of making all things fall into place just as their meant to.
To my mom, cousin, and universe: thanks for always helping things fall into place just when they need to. Not only today but in all days. Sometimes it’s not when I want it to happen, but it always happens when it needs to happen.
Cauliflower Chickpea coconut Curry
▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free
Yield: 6 cups curry, 3 cups rice (6 servings)
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
INGREDIENT: THE CURRY
1/2 Tbsp (8mL) vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chilli pepper, minced (optional)
1.5 Tbsp (20g) grated ginger (~2" piece before grating)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp (15g) curry powder
1/2 Tbsp (8g) garam masala
1/2 Tbsp (8g) ground turmeric
1 tsp (5g) ground cumin
1 tsp (5g) ground coriander
1 tsp (5g) cinnamon
1 tsp (5g) salt
1 medium potato, chopped into 1cm squares
2 cups (500mL) water
1 head cauliflower, chopped into 1cm pieces
1 can (400mL) coconut milk
1.5 cups (250g) cooked chickpeas (0.5 cup (100g) if cooked from dry, or ~1 can)
INGREDIENTS: THE RICE
1 cup (200g) basmati rice
3 cups (750mL) water
5 cardamom pods, split in half (optional)
1/8 tsp saffron (optional)
DIRECTIONS: THE CURRY
Sauté onions in oil on medium-high heat, adding splashes of water to de-glaze the pan while stirring until lightly brown.
Add the garlic, chilli pepper and ginger to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and all the spices, stirring to combine and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture turns into a textured paste.
Add the potato and 2 cups water to the pot. Partially cover and bring to boil, then reduce to medium heat and allow the contents to simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cauliflower to the pot, partially cover and allow the contents to continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and coconut milk to the pot. Uncover and allow the entire dish to simmer on the stove for 20-30 minutes, allowing the water to evaporate and for the curry to become thicker in consistency.
DIRECTIONS: THE RICE
Add the rice, water, and cardamom to a pot on medium-high heat. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.
The rice is ready when it's al dente and all the water has been absorbed.
Serve the rice separately with some cardamom pods or saffron sprinkled on top for garnish. Otherwise serve 1 cup curry beside or on top of 1/2 cup of rice. Enjoy!
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