This Roasted Cauliflower Curry is my new favorite vegetarian dinner. The cauliflower gets roasted in the oven with black pepper for a little heat then added to a simple, creamy coconut curry sauce. Add a can of chickpeas for some extra protein or just enjoy the cauliflower in all it’s glory over some warm basmati rice. Vegan, easy to make and most importantly, so delicious!
This is one of my favorite vegetarian curry recipes! It’s simple and easy to make but still has so much flavor. I also love that you can multitask by making the curry sauce while the cauliflower roasts. Coconut milk takes the place of cream, so the sauce is super rich and creamy, But there’s cauliflower so super healthy right? Served warm with fluffy basmati rice and maybe if you’ve got the time these amazing herbed olive oil parathas.
What You’ll Need to Make This Cauliflower Curry Recipe
- Cauliflower: For this roasted cauliflower curry, you’ll need a whole head of cauliflower broken into smaller florets. This article does a great job explaining how to do this if you’re unfamiliar. You’ll want to florets to be about the same size so they cook evenly,
- Cornstarch: This helps the cauliflower crisp up in the oven and also helps it to soak up some of the curry sauce.
- Coconut oil: You could really use any oil here, like olive oil or avocado oil, but I like how coconut oil tastes in this dish. You’ll need oil for roasting the cauliflower and also to sauté the aromatics.
- Black pepper: One of my favorite ways to add a little heat to a dish, freshly ground black pepper adds a really interesting flavor. To make sure the pepper sticks, it gets tossed with the cauliflower before roasting. Depending on how spicy you want your curry, you can adjust the amount. I use about a tablespoon for mild to moderately spicy curry.
- Coconut milk: To keep this curry dairy free and a little healthier, I like to use coconut milk for a creamy curry sauce. Make sure you buy unsweetened full fat coconut milk, the kind that comes in a can.
- Yellow onion, ginger and garlic: This is kind of the holy trinity when it comes to Indian cooking. By sautéing these ingredients in a little oil, we bring out their flavor which makes the curry sauce extra delicious.
- Tomato paste: Other recipes you see may use a can of chopped tomatoes or tomato purée, but I like to use tomato paste because it has a more concentrated flavor and doesn’t water down the curry sauce.
- Garam Masala: To keep things simple, I like to use garam masala. It’s a popular South Asian spice blend with lots of ground spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel etc. You can find it at most grocery stores or make your own.
- Sugar: This may seem like a weird addition to a curry but just a tiny bit of sugar can really help bring out the flavor of the tomato paste.
- Lime juice: For a last bit of acid to help bring out the flavor of the curry, I like to add a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end. It’s one of those things that you probably won’t notice if you forgot, but makes a big difference if you remember.
How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Curry
Roast the cauliflower: The cauliflower does take a bit of time to roast so you want to get in the oven before you start prepping the sauce. I like to first toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, cornstarch and black pepper in a large bowl as opposed to directly on the sheet pan. I think this helps give it a more even coating. Next, spread it out onto the sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd and slide it into the oven to roast for about 35 minutes.
Make the curry sauce: While the cauliflower is in the oven, get started on the curry sauce by sautéing the onion, ginger and garlic in a large skillet. Then add in the garam masala and tomato paste. I like to let it cook for another three minutes or so to let the tomato paste get a little toasty before adding in the coconut milk and sugar. If the sauce seems to thin, you can turn the heat up and reduce it until it reaches the right consistency. If it seems to thick, just a couple tablespoons of water.
Put it all together: Once the cauliflower has finished roasting, it’s time to add it to our sauce! Just dump everything in, including those crispy bits stuck to the sheet pan. If your cauliflower is still pretty firm, you might want to simmer it in the sauce until it can be easily pierced with a fork. I personally like my cauliflower a little firmer, but if you want it to be falling apart tender, feel free to keep it cooking. The last step is to turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice and you’re ready to go! Serve fresh over rice or reheat the next day for an epic leftovers meal.
Tips and Substitutions
- To add a little more protein to this vegan cauliflower curry, I like to add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. When you add the cauliflower to the sauce, add the chickpeas as well and let everything simmer together.
- While this cauliflower curry does taste great fresh, it tastes amazing the next day. Heat it up in the microwave or over the stove. If you choose the stove, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water if it seems too thick.
- Serve this roasted cauliflower curry with white or brown basmati rice and/or my herbed olive oil parathas. They’re a little extra work, but so worth it. Trust me.
More Recipes to Try:
- Roasted red pepper meatball curry
- Creamy miso sweet potato carrot soup
- Italian stuffed peppers with sunflower basil pesto