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This fragrant and warm recipe for Indian Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Caramelized Tofu is seasoned with Madras Curry. Named after the old city of Madras in Southern India, now known as Chennai, Madras Curry is a blend of spices and chilies. Like all curry, the components and flavors vary greatly from region to region.
In this dish, the cauliflower is roasted until golden and crispy, chickpeas are added to the tray in the last 5 minutes just to warm up. The tofu is caramelized on the stovetop rounding out the dish, giving it a lovely texture and a hint of sweetness.
The Madras curry powder is combined with a little oil and vinegar to create a dressing that is thick and full of flavor, perfect for adhering to all the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower. Every bite is filled with an amazing savory experience!
Indian Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Caramelized Tofu can be enjoyed just as is. For a heartier meal, add basmati rice and for even more flavor sensation- serve with Cilantro Mint Chutney, you will not be sorry! Leftovers are a delicious addition to salads and Buddha bowls.
Ingredients in Indian Cauliflower Bowls
- Madras Curry Powder (or make your own- see notes)
- Optional Garnishes: Toasted cashews, Cilantro Mint Chutney and Fluffy Basmati Rice
How to Make Indian Cauliflower Bowls
Step one: Prep your ingredients. Blot excess moisture off of the tofu and cut into cubes. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
Step two: Toss cut cauliflower in a bowl with avocado oil or olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a pan and roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes until the pieces begin to turn golden.
Step three: Remove from oven. Scoot the cauliflower over to one side of the pan and place drained chickpeas on the other side. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes to warm the chickpeas.
Step four: Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a generous sprinkling of sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and a sprinkle of pepper.
Step five: Add tofu to the seasoned pan, (be careful- it may pop and spit oil). Leave tofu for 3-5 minutes, once it forms a crust, flip. After 2 minutes cooking on the second side add ginger, garlic and coconut sugar sauté for 1-2 minutes more until tofu is coated and golden. Remove from heat.
Step six: Mix the dressing by adding oil, apple cider vinegar, Madras Curry Powder and sea salt together in a small bowl. It will be thick, almost paste like.
What to serve with Indian Cauliflower Bowls
- Cilantro Mint Chutney
- Easy Homemade Naan Bread!
- Fluffy Indian Basmati Rice with Tempering Oil
- Toasted Cashews
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Indian Cauliflower Bowls
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 50
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Indian, vegan
- Method: roasted
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
Savory oven-roasted Indian Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Caramelized Tofu, seasoned with a simple Madras Curry dressing. Serve it with fluffy basmati rice and cilantro mint chutney to create a hearty vegan bowl. A simple dish rich with fragrant spice and amazing flavors. Healthy, flavorful, and vegan!
- 1 head cauliflower – cut into 1-inch bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 14 ounce can chick peas -drained and rinsed
- 16 ounces tofu -pat dry and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or minced
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons madras curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, minced
- 1 small apple, diced (optional)
- toasted cashews (optional)
- more salt to taste
Serve with Fluffy Basmati Rice and Cilantro Mint Chutney (both optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F
- Roast cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and toss in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a pan and roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes until the pieces begin to turn golden. Remove from oven. Scoot the cauliflower over to one side of the pan and place drained chickpeas on the other side. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes to warm the chickpeas.
- Pan Sear tofu: Lightly blot tofu with paper towels, pressing down gently to release excess moisture. Cut into bite-sized cubes. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a generous sprinkling of sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and a sprinkle of pepper to the oil.
- Add tofu to the pan, (be careful- it may pop and spit oil). Leave tofu for 3-5 minutes, once it forms a crust, flip. After 2 minutes of cooking on the second side add ginger, garlic and coconut sugar sauté for 1-2 minutes more until tofu is coated and golden. Remove from heat.
- Mix the dressing: Add oil, apple cider vinegar, Madras Curry Powder and sea salt together in a small bowl. It will be thick, almost paste-like.
- Combine: Gently mix the chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, caramelized tofu, and dressing in a large bowl. Toss in cilantro, scallions and apple (if using) and toss. Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve warm (or at room temperature) for optimum flavor over the optional basmati rice, with a spoonfull of Cilantro Mint chutney (also optional).
Leftovers are delicious added to salads.
To make Madras Curry Spice Blend:
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how spicy you like)
In a dry skillet over very low heat, place the coriander, cumin, mustard and fennel seeds. Roast the seeds gently, shaking the pan occasionally until they begin to pop. When about half the seeds have popped, add the cinnamon, peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, ginger and cayenne.
Continue to heat and stir gently until the mixture is quite hot but not burnt. Pour into a dry blender or food processor, or use a mortar and pestle. Grind into a fine powder. Cool completely. Pour into a clean, dry jar, seal.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 435
- Sugar: 8.6 g
- Sodium: 530.5 mg
- Fat: 15.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.2 g
- Fiber: 7.8 g
- Protein: 9.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Indian cauliflower, vegan indian recipes, indian cauliflower bowl, indian cauliflower tofu chickpea
I would love to know how you get your tofu to brown.
Hi Denise, Do the instructions in the recipe help? We also have a recipe on How to Make Crispy Tofu that you can check out!
I just made this for dinner tonight and had to leave a review – it’s amazing! Absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipies! ❤️
So happy you enjoyed these Susan!
Delicious vegan recipe full of flavor and vegetables. Can highly recommend this even for picky eaters
Thanks so much Taylor! Glad everyone enjoyed this!
Delicious vegan recipe full of flavor and vegetables. Can highly recommend this even for picky eaters
Great to hear!
Stellar recipe. The tofu was pillow-soft inside with a crispy exterior. I made the Madras Curry powder in the recipe and found 1/2 tsp cayenne offered warm undertones, perfect for our family. I did enjoy a full large jalapeno with rib/seed in the cilantro mint chutney excellent. The apple option is a MUST in serving. Might try sliced dates as an apple substitute as well. I did find that making the curry powder, cilantro mint chutney, and drying the tofu before slicing all the day before certainly made the meal cooking much quicker and more enjoyable to be prepped ahead of time in this way. Left overs were lovely as I reheated the cauliflower mixture in a dry skillet. My carnivore husband says “let’s do this again!” and I agree! It caused me to purchase an EZ Tofu press from Amazon from other reviews… a marvelous invention that saves paper towels and is just $20. I’m excited to make this recipe a part of our rotation. Thanks so much once again Sylvia. You’re a genius.
We’re so glad you enjoyed this Tracy!
I love all your recipes. My concern is what I can substitute coconut oil and sugar with? I am trying to eat plant base and watch my fats. Coconut Oil is high in saturated fats and I would like to use another healthier fat. What do you suggest?
Hi Sandi, Glad you are enjoying the recipes! It can be a bit overwhelming to sort out what is healthy and not healthy especially when it comes to saturated fats. Our understanding is that though coconut oil is high in saturated fat, it is primarily composed of medium chain-triglycerides which do not contribute to heart disease the way that long chain-triglycerides do. That said, use a fat you are comfortable with eating. 🙂
You can just leave the sugar out! Hope this helps!
I have very successfully used less saturate oil like olive or canola and a drop or two of coconut flavoring found in some grocery stores’ baking isle near the maple extract/orange extract/ area. Some stores have it and others do not so look around. Coconut flavoring/extract is NOT sweet but has flavor only. This works quite well. I think you could also spritz the pan/vegis with oil spray for less fat and add the coconut extract into the dressing. I’m certain you would like this option in results.
Thanks for sharing your tips!
Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Next time, I’ll toss the seasoned cauliflower with curry powder before it goes into the oven, to simplify and to reduce the calories from the dressing. Granted I served it with the cilantro mint chutney which was SO good and was dressing enough. Loved the surprise of the chopped apple too. Thanks for posting.
Glad you enjoyed Barbie! Love that you will adjust and make it perfect to your tastes.
I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I wasn’t sure how I’d like the combination of flavors, but it’s amazing. The cilantro mint chutney totally makes it (tho I cheated on that – I mixed some chimichurri and zhoug from Trader Joe’s with fresh mint from the garden and coconut yogurt – which was wonderful). I could have eaten another enormous bowl of this.
I love your ingenuity Jaeden! Glad you have this a go and hope you are having a lovely spring!
The picture of the chickpeas look like there is seasoning ,but your recipe just says to heat a can of chickpeas.. is something missing?
Hi, I simplified the recipe by adding the spices to the dressing. I see how that is misleading so I took it out. This is a very old recipe that desperately needs new photos!!!
Love this recipe! so flavorful!
So Yammmy foood,,,, it looks fabulous ,,, i want to make a try at my home…
i want to try this awesome recipe at home .. !! really great
yum yum this look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make. Simon
Yay, a vegan recipe! This looks amazing and I am planning to make it this week or next week. Thank you for sharing!
nice recipe, I like it…
I just made & blogged this recipe after having it pinned for a while. It was DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing.
I just made this recipe& blogged about it after having it pinned for a while. It was DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing!
Yum! I just found your blog and can’t wait to cook up some of your recipes 🙂
This looks amazing! I just found your blog and can’t wait to cook up some of your recipes, thanks 🙂
This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I baked the tofu instead of frying it to avoid the extra calories (still added a pinch of brown sugar) and its still delish. The Madras Curry Spice Blend is perfect in the dressing…YUM
Yum this looks delicious. I’ve got a big cauliflower in the fridge and I now know exactly how I’m going to use it. Thanks for the recipe
Sylvia, we tried this tonight and it is SO good! I’ll confess, I used a sweet curry powder from Penzey’s Spices as a shortcut, but we loved the combination of slightly crunchy cauliflower with the soft, sweet tofu. I’m thinking some chunks of roasted apple would be a delicious addition, too! Thank you for always inspiring me.
Thank you karen! Roasted apples sound perfect with this…such a good idea!!
This looks fabulous, Sylvia! My first time to your blog, as well. I love it! Thanks for sharing.
Just discovered your blog. So far, I must say its quite lovely and your photos have me mouth watering till the last image. Can’t wait to start tasting. Starting with this one this weekend.
thanks, let me know what you think.
Beautiful dish and photos!! Can’t wait to try this!