Masala is one of my favorite Indian dishes. There are so many different ways to make it, but I go back to this easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala time and time again.
I roast the cauliflower in the oven to crisp it up a bit. You can do this step in your air fryer if you prefer. Try it at 380 degrees for 8-10 minutes, turning midway.
The masala sauce uses several spices, so here is my time-saving favorite trick: Measure each spice six times into a small jar. Shake to combine. Now you have 6 recipes worth of the spice mix. The total spices for one recipe equal about 1/4 cup, so write on your jar: Masala 1/4 cup. Voilá! Next time you make this wonderful dish you only need to reach for one jar instead of several spices!
I used canned tomatoes; I like Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, but you can also use fresh cherry or regular tomatoes, diced.
I usually use lite coconut milk to lessen the fat content, but you can use the full-fat coconut milk if you choose.
Regarding heat, feel free to eliminate the cayenne pepper if you don’t like your food spicy, or increase it if you like a lot of heat. You can also use medium spice chile peppers or even add some sliced jalapeños.
This is one of those dishes that gets better the longer it simmers, and is really good the second day (so make enough to have leftovers!)
Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala
- 1/4 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups cauliflower florets (1 small head)
- 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (about 20 turns)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (4 oz.) can mild diced green chiles
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- Optional: fresh cilantro
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 425°.
- Step 2 Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Step 3 In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt until well blended. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat well.
- Step 4 Transfer the florets to the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes and then flip the pieces over and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Step 5 In a small bowl, stir together the garam masala, coconut sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne. Set aside.
- Step 6 Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water and stirring if they begin to stick.
- Step 7 Add the ginger, garlic, and green chiles and continue to cook for 2 minutes, adding a bit more water and stir if things start to stick.
- Step 8 Add the spice mixture and stir for about 30 seconds, and then add the chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk, and cauliflower.
- Step 9 Reduce heat to low, place a lid on the pan at an angle, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Step 10 Serve over brown rice, topped with fresh cilantro, if desired.