This easy, creamy Indian curry is rich, luscious and perfectly spiced. Sweet, tender cauliflower florets, nutty chickpeas, and melt-in-your-mouth tender tofu chunks take this vegan curry dish over the top. Pair it with basmati rice and a side of buttery-garlic naan, and you'll see dreams do come true!
Cauliflower Curry Sauce Ingredients
This restaurant-style vegetarian curry sauce is easy to make, velvety smooth, and perfectly spiced. There's no better flavour combination than ground tomatoes and cashew cream to make this luscious dairy-free sauce.
Curry - I used Sambar spice which is a wonderful, smooth combination of Indian spices with a very specific flavour profile. Years ago, a friend made me a delicious meal with Sambar spice, and I was hooked. It's one of my favourite curry flavours so it make sense that it was my curry of choice for this dish. For the best flavour, 'fry' or cook the curry in the butter-oil mixture until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
Tomatoes - Crushed tomatoes are probably the most common choice for this luscious gravy. My favourite is 6 in 1 ground tomatoes which are thick and rich with a heavy puree. The tomato paste adds a lovely richness and another layer of flavour.
Creaminess - Dairy-free options. I tested this recipe with both homemade cashew cream and also coconut cream. The cream mellows the heat and also adds the luscious, velvety richness to this sauce.
Cashew cream creates a richer, slightly sweeter sauce. If you have a high-speed blender it takes only a few minutes to make the cashew cream. If not, you'll have to plan ahead to allow time to soak the cashews for a couple hours. To me, it's worth the tiny bit of extra effort.
Coconut milk/cream was delicious as well. There is no coconut taste and it is much faster and easier.
Spices - sautéing fresh onion, garlic, and ginger is a classic and epic flavour trifecta (plus the whole house smells like a 5 star restaurant!). Cayenne for heat (customizable), paprika for colour and sweetness, and dry methi leaves (fenugreek) a popular spice used in Indian curries. A pinch of salt and sugar to round out and enhance the flavours.
Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
Cauliflower florets simmering in the sauce turn all tender and sweet - they are spectacular. The chickpeas add a huge nutritional punch but also their size and texture is the perfect addition.
Tofu - The Perfect Vegan Protein!
Let's talk tofu, love it or hate it? I was late to the tofu game, but I'm making up for it now! For super tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture, use medium firm tofu (pressed for 30 minutes). I typically choose firm or extra firm and skip the pressing all together for this recipe.
Chunks or cubes? I like the rustic-ness and texture of torn tofu chunks. After it's pressed, just gently break/tear the block into bite-size chunks.
What to Serve with Curried Cauliflower
Rice - Basmati or Jasmine are soft and fluffy and the a perfect accompaniment for this curry. For a change, serve it on baked jacket potatoes.
Naan – buy your favourite store bought brand or make this delicious, finger-licking-good recipe by Eva (The Curious Chickpea).
Managing Your Time
This easy, one-pot meal is pretty simple to make. Press the tofu. Make the rice and the cashew cream. Start the curry sauce. Warm the naan in the oven. Enjoy!
More Delicious Tofu Recipes
- How to Cook Tofu that Tastes Good - a complete guide
- Tender Crisp Fish Tacos (vegan) - these tacos are unbelievable!
- Best Tofu Marinade Recipe - a quick and easy way to flavor tofu
- Spicy Satay Tofu Noodle Bowl - the sauce is addictive!
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Rich Creamy Cauliflower Curry (vegan)
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- 2 cup jasmine rice, cooked
Black Pepper-Garlic Tofu
- 1 block tofu, firm or extra firm, pressed, torn
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp coarse ground pepper
Creamy Tomato Curry Gravy
- 1 tbsp butter*
- 2 tbsp oil*
- 1 onion, minced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp sambar spice
- ½ tsp cayenne (to taste)
- ½ tsp sweet paprika, not smoked
- 3 tbsp tomato paste + splash of broth
- 1 28 oz tin ground tomatoes*
- 1 - 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp methi leaves
- ½ tsp salt (to taste)
- ½ tsp coconut sugar
Cashew Cream or 1 cup coconut milk/cream
- 1 cup cashew cream or coconut milk/cream
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ - ⅔ cup hot water
- pinch salt
- 2 ½ - 3 cups cauliflower, florets
- 1 19 oz tin chickpeas, drained
- cilantro, chopped for garnish
- Press medium tofu by wrapping it in a couple layers of paper towelling or a clean kitchen towel and place a few heavy cookbooks on top for 30+ minutes. Break the pressed tofu into bite-size pieces, place back on paper towel, dust with the spices, and gently toss to coat.*for extra firm tofu, I press for about 15 minutes (or sometimes skip altogether).
Rice and Cashew Cream
- RICE: Prepare the rice as per package directions. I use my Instant Pot which is perfect because I can set it and forget it.
- CASHEW CREAM: place cashews in the cup of a high-power blender, add hot water and pinch of salt - blend until smooth. If you don't have a high-power blender, you can soak the cashews for a couple hours, drain and follow directions as above OR use coconut milk/cream instead.
Creamy Tomato Curry Gravy
- In a large cast-iron or heavy bottom dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and butter, once melted, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
- Add the bay leaf, sambar spice, cayenne, and paprika. Continue stirring and sauté for another minute or two while the spices become fragrant. Add a splash or two of broth as required. Add the tofu chunks, stirring gently to coat with spices. Push tofu to the sides - add the tomato paste and another splash or two of broth and let if cook for a minute. Then stir all the ingredients together.
- Add ground tomatoes, 1 cup of broth, methi leaves, salt, and sugar. Let simmer over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then add the cauliflower florets and chickpeas. Reduce the heat and partially cover for 15 minutes, stir in ½ - 1 cup of cashew cream (to taste). Let simmer, covered over medium-low until the cauliflower is fork tender. Keeping it partially covered. Lower heat if boiling. Taste for flavours and adjust as necessary.*I use Better Than Bouillon Broth (add 1 heaping tsp per cup of water).
- Serve over basmati rice, garnished with chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
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