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Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas with Chicken


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into chunks or slices
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white parts only (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 small cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 small dried hot red chiles (like Thai), or a pinch of red chile flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil, and add the chicken. Stir once, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger and scallions and cook for a half minute or so. Remove everything from the pan.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. When it’s hot, add the chickpeas and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the chickpeas are lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the curry powder, stir again and remove from the pan.

Put the coconut milk, cauliflower and chiles into the hot pan and reduce the heat so it bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and the mixture thickens, 10 minutes or longer.

Return the chicken and chickpeas to the pan and toss once or twice. Stir in the sugar if you like, then garnish with cilantro and serve

The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman