Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry in a white bowl with rice, with a spoon nearby

This not-so-authentic take on a vegetarian Thai red curry is an EXPLOSION of awesome flavor. And the best part? It comes together in less than 20 minutes. You typically wouldn’t pair hot-off-the-presses naan with a Thai curry, but I love serving some up with this. In no time at all, you’ve got yourself an amazing healthy dinner that the whole family will love.

If you’ve never made curry before, it’s nothing to be afraid of. The best way to get the curry flavor you’re used to from your favorite South Asian restaurant is to use curry paste. Yes, they sell curry powder at most grocery stores, but the flavor of typical curry spices tends to fade very quickly after grinding—so powder form isn’t the best way to get robust flavor.

Spoon full of white rice and chickpea and cauliflower curry on a spoon that is resting on the edge of a white bowl of curry.
White bowl full of chickpea and cauliflower curry and white rice, with a torn piece of naan tucked into the rice.

Curry paste is the wet version of curry powder, and you can probably find it at your regular supermarket in the international foods aisle. Because it is wet, it keeps the flavor of the spices nice and robust, and having a bottle of curry paste in the fridge makes it a BREEZE to make a simple curry like this one.

For this recipe, you’re looking to pick up red curry paste—Mae Ploy brand is one that a lot of folks like, but I can’t find it at my supermarket, so I usually just use Thai Kitchen. If you’re a little more advanced, you can also make your own curry paste at home—here’s a great how-to from Hot Thai Kitchen.

Spoon full of Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry resting on a bowl of curry, rice, and naan
Red curry paste on a spoon, on a marbled background

This recipe also makes an awesome make-ahead meal prep recipe, if you’re so inclined. Just pre-cook the curry and your rice, pop them into meal prep containers, and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to microwave. Enjoy!

Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry is packed with bold flavor, but only takes about 20 minutes to come together from start to finish thanks to using curry paste. You can find curry paste in the international food section of most supermarkets!


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2–4 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rice, cauliflower rice, and/or naan for serving


  1. Heat the coconut oil and curry paste in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until the oil is melted and the curry paste is fragrant.
  2. Add in the ginger, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the coconut milk, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce is thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve over top of cooked rice with a side of hot naan for serving. Serve over cauliflower rice to keep it grain-free.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1924mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 11gSugar: 11gProtein: 14g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. I made this for my family last night and it was a hit! I want to make this for my sister and her family, but she’s allergic to coconut. What would be the best substitute? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Alana! We’re so happy to hear that this was a hit with your family! Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about it.

      We think the best substitute for the coconut milk in this would be regular half-and-half, if your sister and her family are okay with dairy. You’re going to lose a lot of the flavor that the coconut milk brings, but this will be the closest substitute in terms of the silkiness in the sauce. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  2. I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious! A perfect dish to make as the season changes to full-on fall in California.

  3. When I first made this recipe back in 2017, I had no red curry paste so I used the Korma paste I did have. Also 2 members of the family I made it for don’t like capsicums, aka bell peppers, so I left that out. I’m not actually a fan of red curry paste as it’s way too hot and not much of a nice flavour. With Korma paste it’s damn delicious and I’ll never look back lol I made it once using capsicum but I actually prefer without as it dominated. And now I also add frozen peas. Yummy. It’s a great recipe

  4. This recipe is actually vegan! It looks really delicious and simple to make. I love making curries at home because they are so simply and I love Indian spices as well. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have based what I make on this recipe. I use Korma paste, which I love, as it’s what I had on hand. I forgot to buy red curry paste. Which is good as I don’t think red curry paste has a nice flavour. Well I can’t taste it as it’s too hot for me as well. I also omit the capsicum as when I first made it I made it for people who don’t like capsicum. I have tried it with capsicum but actually prefer it without. Capsicum dominates too much. And lastly I also add 1 cup of green peas. Bit of colour and I love peas. I once made it with green peas only and no chickpeas for a friend who can’t eat chickpeas due to anaphylaxis. Equally as yum. Can I call it my recipe now? ?????

  6. Try adding 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and 5 oz of peas and carrots–yum! It definitely needs 1.5-2 tsp of salt too, in case anyone is wondering how much. We started with less and I didn’t care for the whole recipe. I added more salt and suddenly everything was much better.