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Lovely for Lunch: Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

See those leftovers? That was last night’s dinner, and today’s lunch. Some meals are just like that; as soon as you put down your fork after the first go-round, you’re already looking forward to the leftovers. I admit to making certain things for dinner just because I love the leftovers so much- bizarre, no?

I didn’t know this recipe was going to be one of those, but after one dinner and one lunch, I’m already hooked. I came across this Spicy Chickpea Stew while browsing The Kitchn‘s archives one bored afternoon. A guest post from Michael of the blog Herbivoracious, it caught my eye primarily because it uses two ingredients that I love eating, but am constantly struggling to get excited about cooking: cauliflower and chickpeas.

Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

This “stew” (more like a curry, really) is made by simmering roast cauliflower florets in a mixture of onion, spices and chickpeas. The flavour is slightly different from my usual curries, in that it includes a healthy dose of cinnamon (yum!) and fennel seeds (not usually a favourite of mine, but they work here).

Last night, I served this over brown rice with a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side. As delicious as it was, Andrew still felt that there was something missing. I think I hit on the right formula for my lunch today, though: served over pasta and sprinkled with cold feta cheese. But don’t think I’ll be letting him in on this discovery- more leftovers for me, this way.

Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

  • Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew
  • adapted from this recipe by Herbivoracious
  • serves 4 with rice, pasta or couscous
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
    4 Tbs. olive oil
    2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    sea salt
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tbs. tomato paste
    1 tsp. ground turmeric
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1 tsp. fennel seeds
    1 tsp. cayenne pepper
    2 cups cooked (or canned and rinsed) chickpeas
    juice of one lemon
    black pepper
    1/4 cup chopped coriander, to serve
    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, to serve
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin and a pinch or two of sea salt and roast for 20-30 minutes, until very tender and starting to brown all over. (Stir once or twice to ensure even roasting.)

    2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until soft and golden. Add the garlic and tomato paste and continue cooking for another minute or two, then add the remaining cumin, the turmeric, cinnamon, fennel seeds and cayenne. Cook for about 30 seconds until the spices are very fragrant.

    3. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and about one cup of water. Cover and simmer over low heat until the cauliflower are done; when they are, add to the pan and bring everything to a low boil. Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, try to crush some of the chickpeas and cauliflower to thicken the sauce- you may need to add more water to achieve a “stew-like” consistency.

    4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, then serve over rice, couscous or pasta. Sprinkle the coriander and feta over the top.


  1. Dana says:

    Yep. Can eat this kind of thing all day long and the next day too. Good for you for getting creative with it!

  2. Hannah says:

    This has me really hungry.

  3. Sally says:

    This dish looks great! I like your elephant pot-holder too!

  4. Hilary says:

    Where’s the potholder from? Sweet!

  5. Ele says:

    Dana- I’m glad I did- this is great with the feta.

    Hanna- Me, too. Unfortunately, there’s none left now :(

    Sally, Hil- The potholder was a stocking suffer. It’s made by Svenskt Tenn and I just love it. Far too pretty to actually use, so I’ll probably just use it for staging purposes :)

  6. Kalyn says:

    This definitely looks like something I’d love, especially with the feta!

  7. Ele says:

    Kalyn- I love feta on just about anything. It’s just one of those magic ingredients, isn’t it?

  8. Sara says:

    not bizarre AT ALL. I love leftovers! I double everything up for this very reason. Looks great!

  9. Ele says:

    Sara- Glad I’m not the only one :)

  10. The first recipe looks so good. I think I will try that recipe.

  11. [...] lifted a recipe off of Kitchenist, which is nothing short of amazing.  It’s a little like a stew, and a little like a curry, [...]

  12. maya says:

    i am in love with this recipe. this is the gazillionth time i’ve made it (switching curry with allspice+cumin and amping up the tomato flavor with canned crushed tomatoes). pic:

  13. Catarina says:

    Wow this looks delicious! I’m definitely going to make it!
    Do you think it would be good at room temperature? I’m thinking of making it tomorrow and taking the leftovers to college the next day but I can’t warm them up… :$

  14. love cooking says:

    I love cauliflower, but not a spicy curry. Thinking to reduce the amount of cayenne pepper. Or maybe just leave it out. So will be a non-spicy curry for me. It’s so good to cook at home, so I can always adjust the spicy level of my dishes. :)