Healthy Comfort Food: Vegan Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Like a zillion other people, once the holiday gluttony is over my body begs for healthy meals and exercise. And with excellent intentions, I make my New Year’s resolutions: do more yoga, eat more veggies, live a healthier life. I can usually make it ‘til the end of January and then my body decides it wants comfort food and a few glasses of wine. So, in an effort to prepare hearty meals that are of the season and that will satisfy and nourish these cravings, I’ve been trying to come up with healthy, packed-with-veggie recipes that keep everyone happy and enable me to follow my resolutions without going off the deep end.

Vegan Cauliflower and Potato Curry
Vegan Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Kim Laidlaw)

This cozy curry—packed with cauliflower, Yukon gold potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, and plenty of spices—is pretty simple to make. The best part is that you can prepare it a day or two in advance, and it only gets better! It makes quite a lot, so you can serve it for a few meals during the week. And it’s super versatile: serve it as a side dish, atop a mound of steaming basmati, or just heaped into a bowl on its own or with a side of warm naan or paratha bread.

I love eating this with raita (plain yogurt mixed with shredded cucumber, a pinch of cumin, and a little lemon juice) and/or a little dollop of tamarind chutney (and yes, I realize adding yogurt means it’s no longer vegan, so just do what you’d like to do!).

Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Makes 6 to 8 servings

    Ingredients:
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and florets cut into approximately 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste; optional)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Steamed basmati rice (optional)
    Instructions:
  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover, add a few teaspoons kosher salt, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel if you like, then cut into about ¾-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover, add a few teaspoons kosher salt, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
    Put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover, add a few teaspoons kosher salt, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. (Kim Laidlaw)
  3. Meanwhile, soak the cauliflower in cold water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Soak the cauliflower in cold water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    Soak the cauliflower in cold water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. (Kim Laidlaw)
  5. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion. Cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown in spots, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a bowl.
  6. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion. Cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and a sprinkle of salt
    In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion. Cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and a sprinkle of salt. (Kim Laidlaw)
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown in spots, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a bowl.
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown in spots, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a bowl. (Kim Laidlaw)
  7. In the frying pan over medium heat, add the diced tomatoes. Cook until bubbling and warmed through, then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and the cayenne if using. Stir well, then let simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened. Add the cauliflower, chopped potatoes, and ½ cup water and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 8 minutes (depending on how tender you like your cauliflower and how big the florets are, but be careful not to overcook it). If the cauliflower mixture becomes too thick before the cauliflower is tender (or if you like it more saucy), add a bit more water and continue to cook.
  8. In the frying pan over medium heat, add the diced tomatoes. Cook until bubbling and warmed through, then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and the cayenne if using. Stir well, then let simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened.
    In the frying pan over medium heat, add the diced tomatoes. Cook until bubbling and warmed through, then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and the cayenne if using. Stir well, then let simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened. (Kim Laidlaw)
    Add the cauliflower, chopped potatoes, and ½ cup water and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
    Add the cauliflower, chopped potatoes, and ½ cup water and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. (Kim Laidlaw)
  9. Stir in the garam masala and cilantro. Serve hot, over rice if you like, garnished with more cilantro.
  10. Stir in the garam masala and cilantro.
    Stir in the garam masala and cilantro. (Kim Laidlaw)
    Serve hot, over rice if you like, garnished with more cilantro.
    Serve hot, over rice if you like, garnished with more cilantro. (Kim Laidlaw)

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