A seasonal vegan cauliflower curry with sweet potato, chickpeas, and greens. Serve this healthy curry with naan or rice for a plant based comfort food meal that you can feel good about.
I always think of this as an autumn dinner, but it’s equally good well into winter. It’s a particularly enjoyable, comforting meal, with plenty of vegetables to make sure you feel good after eating it.
We often make this about once a week from about September right through end of November, when both cauliflower and sweet potatoes are readily available in this region. It’s an excellent weeknight dinner with a short-ish cooking time, though it’s well worth taking the extra time to make some spelt naan to have on the side.
If this is a familiar recipe to you, don’t worry! The post has been updated, and the recipe tweaked, but only to improve. The video will also need to be updated but it’s still pretty accurate. See below for some new notes and substitutions as well.
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
It might seem like a long list, but that’s largely due to the spices. See below for some tips on that if you don’t have a big spice cupboard.
- Coconut oil
- Sweet Potato
- Sea salt
- Cayenne pepper
- Dried coriander
- Black pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Canned tomatoes
- Cooked or canned chickpeas
- Full-fat canned coconut milk
- Greens (spinach, rucola, kale, etc. – see substitutions)
Heat the coconut oil in a large pot, then add the onion. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it’s translucent but not brown. Add the sweet potato and cauliflower, then cook for a few more minutes to brown slightly. This makes for a better flavour than adding them to the sauce to steam only.
Stir in the garlic and ginger, then add the spices. Cook for another 30 seconds or so, stirring. The spices should be fragrant.
Add the apple cider vinegar, then the tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. If your vegetables are quite chunky then it may need a bit more time – go for fork tender on the sweet potato. Once the vegetables are cooked, stir in the coconut milk.
Remove the curry from the heat and stir in the greens (see substitutions). Taste and season as needed, and serve hot.
Tips and Notes
The original recipe called for vegetable broth and only a partial can of coconut milk. The impracticality of this bothered me, and when I make this curry I never do that now, so it’s been updated with a full can of coconut milk instead. If you want a lighter dish, use a lower fat coconut milk.
I really like this with naan, but rice is great too, and you really don’t even need a side with it. Without something carb-y to soak up the sauce, it’s a tiny bit like a soup and equally delicious.
Apple cider vinegar helps to cut through the sweetness of both the coconut milk and the sweet potato, and it’s not noticeable in the finished dish. It’s key to include some acidity somewhere in the dish, in just about any dish, to make sure it’s well rounded and tastes the best that it possibly can. I don’t recommend leaving it out (and it’s only a tablespoon).
If you don’t have all of the spices on hand, feel free to use a store bought curry powder or garam masala that you like. You can also leave a couple of spices out (the coriander and cinnamon in particular) if you know you don’t like them or you’re out.
Fresh tomatoes are a good substitute for canned if you have them, in the same quantity. Carrots also work well in place of the sweet potato.
I’ve used spinach in the curry pictured because it’s doing well in my garden right now. Rucola (arugula), chard, and kale are all excellent substitutions. If you’re using kale, you may want to cook it for a minute in the curry instead of just wilting it at the end. Frozen greens are great too, which you can see are used in the recipe video.
More Warming Curries and Stews
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 150 grams / 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 350 grams / 1 medium sweet potato, diced
- 300 grams / 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 400 ml (13.5 oz) canned diced tomatoes
- 300 grams (2 cups) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
- 400 ml (13.5 oz) canned full-fat coconut milk
- 70 grams (3 cups) spinach or other greens
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once the pot is hot, add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes, or until translucent but not browned.
- Add the sweet potato and cauliflower and cook for another five minutes to brown slightly.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger, followed by the salt, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander, black pepper, and cinnamon, and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in the apple cider vinegar, then add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork-soft.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, stir in the coconut milk.
- Remove the curry from the heat and stir in the greens. If using kale or frozen greens, cook for a couple of minutes.
- Serve hot with naan or your grain of choice (rice, quinoa, etc.). Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to three days and freeze well for up to a month.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 830mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 14gSugar: 12gProtein: 15g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
This post was originally published in March 2018. It has been updated with some tweaks to the recipe, new photos, and an updated post as of October 2020.