Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Green Beans in Cauliflower Sauce

by on March 31, 2006
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One of my most recent cookbook acquisitions was Neelam Batra’s The Indian Vegetarian. It contains a wealth of information about Indian cooking, and I’ve been meaning to cook a recipe from it ever since I got it, but something always stands in my way. Either I don’t have all the ingredients or the recipe would take too long to prepare. (Yes, I know there’s this little concept called planning, but it just hasn’t caught on in my psyche yet!)

Anyway, I bought two cauliflowers thinking that I would make Whole Cauliflower Baked in Classic Curry Sauce. It didn’t look to be that time-consuming, a little more than a half hour, until I took a look at the Classic Curry Sauce, secreted away in another recipe. It required at least another 50 minutes. So I gave up my dream of whole baked cauliflowers on a Thursday night and added the recipe to my Weekend-Only list.

But I did have those cauliflowers just sitting in my fridge, and I wanted to use at least one of them while they’re fresh. So I scoured the book and found a recipe for Cauliflower Broth that Ms. Batra says can be a base for a sauce or a soup. I elected to use it as a sauce for chickpeas and potatoes, and I adapted it as I went along, using my Foolproof Recipe Adapting Technique (TM): I dip a little of the sauce out into a bowl, add a tiny pinch of whatever spice I’m considering throwing in, and taste. It’s prevented me from making some big spicing mistakes in the past.

One more thing, before I show you the not-so-lovely photo: This is a great “sneaky mom” dish if your child (or spouse, for all I know) doesn’t like cauliflower because the cauliflower is completely blended into the sauce. I figure, “What they don’t know can nourish them.”

Oh, one more one-more-thing: This is a very mild (not spicy) Indian dish, so that’s another point in its Kid-Friendliness favor. I served this with Fiery Onion Relish, a recipe I originally got from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. The photo below shows a little dollop of relish on top; I actually ate it with about three times that much. I like breathing fire! But my daughter E. enjoyed hers plain, and if you like complex yet delicately seasoned food, you should like this without any embellishment.

Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Green Beans in Cauliflower Sauce


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous September 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I came looking for a recipe to use some chickpeas, but I didn't have any cauliflower. So I used carrots instead! I dumped a bunch of baby carrots in, simmered them with the spices, mashed 'em up with my blender wand, and voila! It tastes delicious, although not probably as creamy as the cauliflower version, and it's beautiful. Thanks for the awesome recipes!


2 Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

Made this last night and it was delicious. I added turmeric to the sauce for some color, and some curry powder to punch up the flavor. Tasty and creative–thanks! 🙂


3 Samantha P March 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

this was really good! the onion relish really made it come to life, it wouldn't have been the same without it.


4 Ms_Min July 15, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Excellent recipe! I used Pinquito beans instead of chickpeas, since I was out of chickpeas, and used yellow squash from my garden instead of green beans. DH, who started out with a cautious 1/2 cup, loaded up his bowl (twice) after tasting it. I wasn’t going to make the onion relish because I thought it would be too raw oniony, but I decided to try it and it was terrific! Next time I might try it with a diced hot pepper instead of the cayenne, since I have a lot in my garden. Home run, Susan!


5 Nadia Heyd April 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Hi Susan,

I tried this recipe last night. It was delicious, and kid-friendly, as advertised!

But I will do things differently next time. I think I will either mix up the sauce, then add it to the slow cooker with potatoes well in advance of dinner, or start with the potatoes at least partially cooked. It took way too long for my potatoes to cook in the cauliflower sauce. Maybe I did something wrong?

Like your other fans, I also thought it needed colour, so added turmeric. I also thought the onion relish would be too onion-y, but I took a chance, and we all loved it.


6 Jenny April 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

I don’t think you did anything wrong; I just made this for dinner last night (only a day after you!) and my potatoes also took longer to cook than expected, so you’re not alone in that. Perhaps it depends on your stove? Although, the sauce did thicken nicely…


7 Jenny April 20, 2011 at 8:09 am

This is the first recipe I have tried from your site (I believe) after months of admiring your delicious-sounding recipes but holding off on making any (because I was cooking for a meat-lover, in addition to myself!)… I have to say, I was very impressed. It was a delicious dish, and the fiery onion relish was a wonderful accompaniment to the milder “curry”.

Fantastic recipe – thank you! 🙂


8 alisa April 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

Made this last night and it was very good. I will cook the potatoes some before adding as they took to long to get done. Also should have made the Fiery Onion Relish, but will next time and for black-eyed peas. Thanks for all you do. You are an inspiration.


9 Kaleigh January 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

This was delicious! In my opinion the firey onion relish was not optional. Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂


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