This super easy, ultra creamy, and heavily spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala is my new favorite dinner! That spicy-creamy sauce is just so 👌that I have to sop up every last bit with a piece of naan. This dish comes together super fast, requires very little chopping, is insanely inexpensive, and holds up well in the fridge, so it’s great for meal prep! This one is going right into my weekly rotation. :)
How to Serve the Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala
I’ve been eating my Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala with a piece of naan bread to scoop up that delicious sauce, but this dish would be equally as good over a bed of hot rice. Either way it’s creamy, spicy, and oh so delish!
Make it Spicy or Mild
You can adjust the heat of this sauce by increasing, decreasing, or even eliminating the amount of cayenne pepper in the spice mix. The amount listed below creates what I would call a “medium” spice level, but that’s extremely subjective, so take that with a grain of salt.
Make it Vegan
An easy sub for the heavy cream in this recipe would be full fat coconut milk (the stuff that comes in cans, NOT the dairy milk substitute). You can play around with the quantities, but I’d guess somewhere between 1/2 to 1 cup would work well.
Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala
Masala Spice Mix
- 2 Tbsp garam masala ($0.60)
- 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne ($0.02)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- Freshly Cracked Pepper ($0.03)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.21)
- 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
- 1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.15)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 12 oz. frozen cauliflower florets ($1.00)
- 1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained ($0.49)
- 1 15oz. can tomato sauce* ($0.59)
- 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream ($0.26)
- salt to taste ($0.02)
- In a small bowl, combine the spices for the masala spice mix (garam masala, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper).
- Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger. Add all three to a large skillet along with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the spice mix and continue to sauté for one more minute.
- Add the frozen cauliflower florets to the skillet with the aromatics and spices, and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes more, or until the cauliflower have thawed through and are completely coated in spices.
- Add the drained chickpeas, tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Stir to combine, then allow them to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. This will help mellow the acidity of the tomato sauce and allow the spices to blend. If the mixture becomes too dry as it simmers, add a couple more tablespoons of water.
- After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Give the masala a taste and add salt as needed. Serve in a bowl either over rice or with a piece of bread for dipping.
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How to Make Cauliflower Chickpea Masala – Step by Step Photos
Begin by combining 2 Tbsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl.
Finely dice one yellow onion, mince three cloves of garlic and grate about 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (ginger is hard to measure, so this is flexible).
Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the spice mix and continue to sauté for one more minute.
Add 12oz. frozen cauliflower florets to the skillet and continue to sauté until the cauliflower is thawed through and coated in spices.
Next, add one 15oz. can chickpeas (drained), one 15oz. can tomato sauce, and about 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Stir to combine and then let the sauce simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce starts to dry out as it simmers, add a couple more tablespoons of water.
After the sauce has simmered and the tomato sauce has mellowed a bit, turn off the heat and stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream.
After stirring the cream into the sauce, give it a taste and add more salt to taste (I added about 1/4 tsp).
I garnished here with fresh cilantro, but didn’t find that it added a lot to the flavor, so that’s entirely optional!
This was amazing, easy, and I will absolutely add this to my weekly rotation. I took a “risk” and made this for friends without having made it before, which can be anxiety-inducing for me. Everyone enjoyed it and dinner conversation mostly focused on how delicious the meal was. THANK YOU for another easy and delicious recipe using ingredient I can find locally.
I absolutely love this recipe, smells and tastes amazing! I usually add a small yukon gold potato, diced. I’ve also added a small sweet potato, diced.
Delicious and easy! One of our favorite meals.
Can this be frozen?
Hi, Gila! It can definitely stand up to a freeze and will keep for about a month. ~ Marion :)
I have fresh cauliflower. How much should I use and how do you recommend we soften the fresh cauliflower before we add it to the recipe? Thanks in advance.
Use the same amount called for in the recipe. Blanch the cauliflower first. XOXO -Monti
Thank you Monti. xoxo
You’re so welcome! Thanks for being here!
I added a couple of minced habanero peppers to this, and omitted the cayenne pepper. I also used plain yogurt in place of heavy cream because that’s what I had on hand. It came out tasting perfectly fine, and will be going in to my regular meal prep rotation!
Lovely recipe, fast and easy. I didn’t have Garam masala on hand, so mixed cinnamon, coriander, tiny bit of nutmeg and curry powder as a reasonable substitute, in addition to the other spices in the recipe. I used a lot of fresh ginger and smoked paprika. The only other substitution was coconut milk for the heavy cream. Served this with naan. Delicious! This is a good make ahead meal. It reheats beautifully.
The spice mix is so delicious! I tried this recipe with fresh cauliflower and it took forever to cook. If you use fresh cauliflower, I recommend semi-cooking the cauliflower first, so the chickpeas don’t turn mushy. I can see this becoming a side-dish to go with butter chicken!
Any ideas for making this in a slow-cooker?
I’m working with fresh cauliflower too. How much did you use for this recipe?
This recipie is so delicious…and fast. I had everything in my house except the garam masala, but now that will be a permanent addition to my spice family.
I just finished the last serving (four meals for me) with brown rice, and I was so sad, I immediately planned to buy all the ingredients in the morning and make another big batch. I did sub in a russet potato for the chickpeas, since I needed to use it soon, but tomorrow I’ll use chickpeas, and also probably add zucchini. It’s healthy, vegan (used coconut milk), and really damn delicious! Thanks for this recipe!