This recipe is adapted from one I wrote for my vegetarian cookbook, Simple Green Suppers. But in reality, it is so easy to add chicken or shrimp or fish  to this if you like. You’ll need a little time to get your ingredients in order for this recipe, but once you start cooking, you have a seriously delicious curry in 15 minutes. This is definitely a repertoire dish – we make some version of it almost every week. If you don’t have a stir-fry pan, you can make this in any deep skillet or even a Dutch oven.

Serve it alone or over rice or with naan if you like.

Serves 2 to 3

  • 1 generous tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 generous tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 ½ teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons Asian chili-garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried (or about 1 1/3 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (1- to 1½-inch pieces, cut so that most have a flat side)
  • 1 medium-large onion, cut lengthwise (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups canned full-fat coconut milk (preferably organic), well stirred
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1.  In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, curry powder, brown sugar, chili-garlic paste, and cumin.

2. In a large (12-inch) nonstick stir-fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the chickpeas are golden and have some brown spots on them, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chickpeas to a large plate or sheet tray.

3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the cauliflower and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir, cover, and cook, uncovering to stir occasionally, until the cauliflower pieces are browned in spots and have lost their whiteness (they will be softened but still crisp), about 5 minutes. (If the cauliflower is browning too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. If your pan does not have a lid, use a baking sheet or the bottom of a large skillet.) Transfer the cauliflower to the plate with the chickpeas.

4. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions are browned in spots but haven’t lost all their stiffness, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic-spice mix and stir well, cooking for about 30 seconds.

5.  Add the spinach, tomatoes, and coconut milk and stir well to incorporate the spices with the liquids and to soften the spinach. Add the cooked cauliflower and chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro and remove the pan from the heat.

Serve hot or very warm in two or three bowls.