Indian-Inspired Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

Indian-Inspired Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

Photo Credit: Alison Catone

This was a surprisingly wonderful, warm salad…yes, warm! Before you scroll past this, give it a shot! I had a large head of cauliflower that I wanted to use, so a quick search through Pinterest found several options.

Generally, I like to boil a few eggs and make a ‘potato’ salad using cauliflower as the potato. Mixed with hard-boiled eggs, a little mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper, it’s quick and filling.

However, I am so glad I tried something new. This recipe called for roasted cauliflower and carrots. It also included about a half cup of fresh cilantro and parsley each. I had neither, but a little dried parsley seemed to do the trick. Check it out!


  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into bite-size florets 
  • 1 can of chickpeas, 15.5 oz
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt  
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  • 1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • A heavy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus the zest
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Photo Credit: Alison Catone


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Place cauliflower florets onto the pan, evenly distributed. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with curry powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture.
  • Bake or air fry at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender; the pieces should be slightly browned around the edges. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients; drain and rinse the chickpeas. 
  • Move roasted cauliflower to a large serving bowl. 
  • Arrange chickpeas and pepitas on the same baking sheet and toss in the leftover spices from the cauliflower. Spread in an even layer and toast at 425 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Add the toasted chickpeas and pepitas to the cauliflower, along with the red onions and dried parsley. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix gently. 
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo Credit: Alison Catone

I LOVED the use of fresh lemons,

which I had a bag of for a future lemon and garlic chicken dish I planned. I used more than what the original recipe called for, plus I used the zest. Using the zest of the lemon is a great way to enhance the flavor and brighten up the dish. The flavors were so fantastic with the curry and cumin, yet not overpowering.

The subtle taste of red onion and ginger, the smoky paprika, and the slight heat from the cayenne was perfect! I chopped my red onion very fine, using a handheld chopper that a friend bought me for my birthday a few years ago (thank you, Lisa!). It’s about a 2-cup size – just a few pulls of the handle and it was done.

I’m not a huge lover of raw onion in salads, but this was just enough without overdoing it. This is the chopper I use and absolutely love – it’s a Kuhn Rikon Swiss Design chopper, which can be found at a kitchenware and home goods store, Acorn Farm, in the quaint little town of Milford, Michigan! Of course, you can also find it here –> on Amazon. 🙂


Photo Credit: Alison Catone

As I mentioned, the original recipe called for carrots, but since I didn’t have any, I thought of chickpeas because I often use these in other Indian dishes. I’m sure you can think of vegetables to use as well – just make sure they won’t get too mushy when mixed.

Something like eggplant and zucchini

might be too soft once they are roasted; you’ll want something with a low water content. Radishes, potatoes, or even mushrooms might be an option though! I love that this recipe can be tweaked and still taste wonderful. Finally, I used salted pepitas that I always buy at our local Aldi – it gave the salad a wonderful texture.

However, you choose to make it, don’t let this one pass you by! Enjoy!

P.S. I made this again but with carrots!


Photo Credit: Alison Catone

Alison Catone

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