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Cauliflower and chickpea curry

This beautifully simple, light curry is closely based on a wonderful recipe from chef Angela Hartnett. It’s always preferable to use some carefully selected ground and whole spices in a recipe like this but, if you’re in a hurry, use a ready-made curry powder instead of the dry spices.


Cut the cauliflower into medium florets. Put into a large pan, cover with cold water, add some salt and bring up to a rolling boil. This will part-cook the cauli. Take off the heat straight away, drain well and keep warm in the pan.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the ground coriander, cumin, chilli flakes, star anise and some salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and the chickpeas. Stir well, then add the cooked cauliflower. Pour in enough cold water to almost but not quite cover everything (100–200ml) and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5–10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is tender.

Stir in the garam masala and half the chopped coriander, then check the seasoning. Serve scattered with the remaining coriander and accompanied by rice, flatbreads or naans.

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  • 1 medium-large cauliflower (about 800g), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • A large pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 star anise
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes, chopped, any stalky ends and skin removed
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • A good handful of coriander, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Veg Every Day!