Butter Chicken is a popular Indian dish. And for good reason, the sauce is incredible! In this Cauliflower Curry recipe, we’re keeping that same delicious sauce, but ditching the chicken to make a vegetarian dish. Be sure to serve a piece of naan on the side for dipping up any extra scrumptious sauce!

This recipe is gluten free and easily made vegan. If you love my Butter Chicken recipe, then you’re definitely going to love this vegetarian spin on the dish!

Cauliflower covered in curry sauce on plate with rice and cilantro

Every time I go to an Indian restaurant, I always order the butter chicken, also known as chicken makhani. There’s no denying that butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian curries. The rich, creamy, flavorful sauce is absolutely to-die-for! Dipping it up with a piece of warm naan is my favorite part of eating at an Indian restaurant.

I first recreated this Butter Chicken dish at home, with an easy 29 minute recipe. But I wanted a way to share the goodness of this incredible sauce with all of my vegetarian friends, so I created this delicious recipe for Indian Butter Cauliflower Curry!

It’s the same delicious sauce that we all know and love from Butter Chicken, poured over roasted cauliflower. And it’s also made in just 29 minutes! It can be served over cooked basmati rice or with a piece of naan for dipping right into the sauce. I like to include both options when I make this dish!

Basmati rice can be easily made in a rice cooker, on the stove or in an Instant Pot while you prepare the cauliflower curry. And while homemade naan is totally delicious, if you don’t have the time to make it yourself, you can find prepared naan in the bakery section of your local grocery store.

To kick up the flavor of store-bought naan, I brush it with melted butter, then sprinkle crushed garlic and fresh chopped cilantro over the naan. I place it in the oven under the broiler on low for 1-2 minutes. This freshens up the naan and gives it an extra burst of flavor!

Cauliflower florets on plate covered in curry sauce

What you’ll need to make Cauliflower Curry

  • Spices – garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt. Each of these spices should be easy to find in the spice section of your local grocery store.
  • Butter – I use unsalted butter, so that I can control the amount of salt added to the dish.
  • Sweet Onion – I find that a sweet onion pairs well with the sweetness of the coconut cream in this dish. You can also use a regular white or yellow onion, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Garlic – fresh minced is always preferred over a jar of garlic.
  • Ginger – fresh grated is also preferred!
    • Quick Tip! I like to keep a knob of ginger in a ziplock bag in the freezer. The ginger will stay good for months in the freezer and you can grate the frozen ginger right into any dish, no thawing required!
  • Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed, please!
  • Canned Tomato Paste
  • Canned Tomato Sauce
  • Coconut Cream – full fat coconut milk can be used in place of coconut cream, but just know that coconut cream is much creamier than coconut milk. Hence the name! Always use unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream to make this recipe.
    • Note: Coconut milk is made from simmering one part shredded coconut in one part water. Coconut cream is made from simmering four parts shredded coconut cream in one part water, thus making it thicker, richer and great for curry dishes!
  • Plain Yogurt – this can be plain, regular yogurt or greek yogurt, as long as no flavor or sweetener has been added.
  • Head of Cauliflower – chopped into florets.
  • Fresh Cilantro – for garnishing the curry.
  • Basmati Rice – while basmati rice is preferred with Indian food, any type of white rice will work. You could also use brown rice or quinoa, if you prefer.

How to make Cauliflower Curry

  • Prepare the seasoning. 
    • In a small bowl, combine the garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and salt. This seasoning mix will be used in the sauce and to season the cauliflower.
  • Prepare the butter curry sauce. 
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan, or dutch oven, on the stove over medium high heat.
    • Saute onions, garlic and ginger in the butter.
    • Stir in more butter, lemon juice, tomato paste and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix that you prepared earlier.
    • Add tomato sauce, coconut cream and plain yogurt, bring to a boil.
    • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the cauliflower.
    • Spread the cauliflower out evenly on a baking sheet.
    • Toss with melted butter and the remaining seasoning mix.
    • Place the cauliflower in the oven under the broiler on low for 4-6 minutes.
      • Note: whenever broiling anything, always check it every 1-2 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. Oven broiler temperatures vary, so just keep an eye on the cauliflower while it’s under the broiler!
    • Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add it to the butter sauce.
  • Finish the dish.
    • Simmer the cauliflower in the sauce for 5-10 minutes.
    • Top with fresh chopped cilantro.
    • Serve the cauliflower over cooked basmati rice and/or with a side of naan.

Can you make Vegan Cauliflower Curry?

Yes, this cauliflower curry can easily be made vegan with two simple substitutions.

  1. Replace the butter with vegan butter.
  2. Replace the yogurt with plain coconut yogurt, cashew yogurt or a vegan greek yogurt alternative.

What else can I add to this dish?

Peas, sweet potatoes and chickpeas are all delicious additions to this curry.

  • If adding peas, toss 1/2 cup frozen peas in the sauce at the same time as the roasted cauliflower.
  • To add sweet potatoes to the curry, you’ll want to boil 1 cup of diced sweet potatoes in a pot of water on the stove for 15 minutes. You can then toss the boiled, diced sweet potatoes with the cauliflower, melted butter and seasoning and broil in the oven.
  • To add chickpeas, simply drain and rinse a 15 oz can of chickpeas and add it to the curry sauce with the roasted cauliflower.

Cauliflower covered in curry sauce on plate with rice and forks

Looking for more vegetarian cauliflower recipes? Check out these 5 favorites!

  1. Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
  2. Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
  3. Cauliflower Nachos
  4. Korean Fried Cauliflower
  5. Indian Cauliflower Bowl with Roasted Chickpeas
Cauliflower on plate, covered with Indian butter curry sauce
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 2 votes
Rate this Recipe

Indian Butter Cauliflower Curry

Butter Chicken is a popular Indian dish. And for good reason, the sauce is rich, creamy & flavorful! In this Cauliflower Curry recipe, the same delicious sauce is poured over roasted cauliflower to make an incredible vegetarian dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 head cauliflower, app 24 oz - cut into florets
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Serving Options

  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 piece naan

Instructions

  • Preheat the broiler on the oven to low.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and salt.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large saucepan on the stove over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion, saute 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger, saute for an additional minute.
  • Stir in another ¼ cup butter, 2 ½ tbsp of the spice mix you made earlier, lemon juice and tomato paste, saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato sauce, coconut cream, and plain yogurt, bring to a rapid simmer.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, spread the cauliflower out evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and drizzle over the cauliflower, toss to coat, then sprinkle the remaining spice mix over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
  • Place the cauliflower in the oven under the broiler on high for 4-6 minutes.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add to the butter sauce.
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Top with fresh chopped cilantro.
  • Serve over rice or with naan.

Notes

  • The nutritional information provided is only for the cauliflower curry and does not include the serving options.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 581kcal (29%)Carbohydrates 36g (12%)Protein 12g (24%)Fat 47g (72%)Saturated Fat 35g (175%)Cholesterol 69mg (23%)Sodium 1378mg (57%)Potassium 1737mg (50%)Fiber 10g (40%)Sugar 19g (21%)Vitamin A 2349mg (47%)Vitamin C 96mg (116%)Calcium 170mg (17%)Iron 6mg (33%)
Did you make this recipe?Tag @WhitneyBond on Instagram and hashtag it #WBRecipes!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.