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Curry and stew recipes

Cauliflower kumara chickpea curry

Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 30 minutes
serves 4 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Tracey Creed and Amandine Paniagua
Words by Tracey Creed

Published November 26 2019
Updated December 3 2019


1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 orange kumara, cubed (alternatively you could use pumpkin)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
-32 tsp turmeric powder
12 tsp cumin
12 tsp cayenne pepper
14 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 can tomatoes
1 cup filtered water
12 cup coconut milk (approx 125 ml, or ¼ of a can)
3 cups cooked chickpeas (approx. 520 g; eq. 1½ cup/310 g of dried chickpeas to be cooked)
3 cups spinach or kale
2 cups of cooked grains to serve, we used quinoa (approx. 370 g; eq. 1 cup/170 g of dried quinoa to be cooked)


Heat a large pot over medium heat with coconut oil. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add the kumara (or pumpkin if using) and cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, fresh ginger and remaining spices. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

Next add the apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, water, coconut milk, and chickpeas. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to achieve a thick curry. Remove from heat, and stir in the spinach.

Meanwhile to cook the quinoa bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa reducing heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Divide quinoa amongst bowls and top with the kumara cauliflower curry and serve immediately.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, they will keep for up to 3 days.

* We soak and cook our legumes from scratch, in batches since it saves time, and they can be utilised in various meals throughout the week. Soak your chickpeas the night before and the next day bring a large pot of water to boil, add the chickpeas (typically they double in volume so 1½ cups of dry chickpeas yield 3 cups cooked), reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1.5 hours. You will need to check the water level 2-3 times, adding more water to cover the chickpeas to prevent them from sticking to the base of the pot and burning. And if you don’t have any chickpeas on hand use canned, 2 cans equate to 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.

Our cauliflower chickpea curry amplified by Ayurveda

What is amazing about recipes like this, is that it's not much of a recipe at all. Consider this more a set of guidelines. A friend of mine who once lived with us would make this frequently, we'd prepare different versions and this one has been prepared since with new friends. You pass it on with whom you choose and then do with it as you wish. This version is made frequently with adaptations depending on what produce I have, and I'll alternate between kale and spinach, brown rice and quinoa to serve. Often without the kumara (sweet potato) which I'll substitute for pumpkin. The basic ingredients are chickpeas, cauliflower, kumara (sweet potato), canned tomatoes and greens — loads of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods. It is what I like to call a workhouse meal.

My partner and I rarely eat out and never order in so we're taking the time to cook pretty much every day. And so most nights, my focus is on preparing deeply nourishing healthy meals — the kind truly feeding your body. I've been of recent practising the principles of food combining, a system of eating with the intent of optimising digestion and elimination. I think we have the power to create vibrancy in our lives and a good portion of that can be supported by the foods we consume. Greens in all forms tend to make up the bulk of our meals so I'll serve this with an abundance of leafy greens. And lots of nutritional yeast. That and generous servings of hummus which delivers healthy fats, protein, fibre, minerals and grounding comfort. Sometimes a side of Quorn Vegan Nuggets. There's always leftovers. For storage, we use these 4-cup Pyrex containers which are ideal for holding lunch, dinners, your more substantial meals. These are glass and come with nicely fitting lids. I prefer glass and opt to avoid plastic for food storage. For storing your hummus, I am quite partial to these glass jars which come with a simple tight-fitting lid which are leak proof.

And if you want to incorporate some truly high vibrational ingredients into your meals, take inspiration from the medicinal practices of Ayurveda. Turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are among the Ayurvedic spices known to aid metabolism and help bring digestion back into balance.

Turmeric The inflammation-fighting root makes a potent addition to savoury dishes, smoothies — it makes everything a bit better and better for you. Most studies are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself — the active ingredient of turmeric, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. Those kinds of anti-inflammatory benefits require supplementation. The curcumin content of turmeric is not that high; you won't get there with food. And since curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, add black pepper, it increases curcumin absorption up to 2000%. That is not to say adding turmeric to your meals is a wasted effort, everything counts — include it daily.

Cinnamon Sprinkle cinnamon into your smoothie or oatmeal to protect and elevate. A potent antioxidant, cinnamon contains vital oils and other botanical derivatives with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic and cardioprotective properties. Combine cinnamon with turmeric, ginger and black pepper to prepare nourishing anti-inflammatory golden mylks or stir through your morning oatmeal and balance blood sugars until noon.

Cumin A digestive system booster, cumin aids the proper elimination of toxins and the body's ability to absorb nutrients. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, cumin seeds are highly valued, particularly for the treatment of digestive disorders — cumin stimulates digestive enzymes. Transformative for everyday cooking, blend this earthy powder through hummus or sprinkle over your savoury dishes to help tame indigestion.

Cayenne Stimulate your lymphatic pathways and support detoxification. Capsaicin, the active ingredient of cayenne pepper heats the body from the inside. And when paired with medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) — the healthy fats in coconut oil, studies have shown cayenne induces thermogenesis and activates metabolism. Spike your savoury dishes and prepare cleansing tonics to activate your metabolism, tame cravings and calm digestion. In traditional healing circles, the digestive system is vital to achieving balance and vibrant health.

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