Instant Pot cauliflower curry is a quick, easy, yet wholesome recipe, made in under 30 minutes. Full of flavor, made in one-pot with minimal cleanup for later, this curry pairs best with rice or your choice of grains.
For a quick way to satisfy those mid-week curry cravings, I like to make this easy cauliflower curry in the Instant Pot. This hearty, nourishing curry has everything that is good for you – it is entirely vegan, and is full of veggies, and what's more - it's delish!
What I love about this cauliflower curry recipe is that it is so customizable – you can any combination of veggies - I went with cauliflower, potatoes, and peas, but you can add carrots, green beans, sweet potato, zucchini or squash, or just about anything you like. If you want to skip the potatoes and go low-carb, then do so by all means. Chuck in a handful of spinach leaves towards the end to up the nutritional value of the curry, you can also add chopped carrots or squash if you like.
My 6-year old, who usually keeps his distance from cauliflower, ate this curry, and then turned to me to me and said that he has started to like cauliflower now! Now that’s my kind of validation.
List of Ingredients
For this curry, we will need the following ingredients:
- A small head of cauliflower
- Peas (preferable frozen)
- Tomatoes (preferable tinned)
- Spices: Kashmiri Chili Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Turmeric Powder, whole cumin
- Vegetable oil
- Ginger garlic paste (or grated ginger and garlic)
- Salt to season
- Coconut Milk
Step-by-step recipe instructions
I prefer to use the Instant Pot to make this cauliflower curry, as it allows me to be hands-off for most of the cooking time. Just like most curries, this one starts with a curry base of onions sautéed in vegetable oil.
Sauté the onions with whole cumin, then add minced ginger and garlic. Add in the spices, and saute for a minute or so, remember to add a little water to deglaze the inner pot of the Instant Pot (an important step to avoid the 'Burn' error message).
Add tomatoes – freshly blended, or tinned, and cubed potatoes and let this simmer in the Instant Pot in the Sauté mode for 3 minutes with a glass lid on. This allows the potatoes to cook for a while, before the cauliflower is added.
Add the cauliflower, peas and a little more water. Now switch to Pressure Cook or Manual mode and let the curry cook for 2 minutes. Perform a quick release of pressure to avoid overcooking the cauliflower.
Finally, add salt, coconut milk and give it all a stir. The coconut milk helps in cutting through the acidity of the tomatoes and thickens the curry too. I like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to finish the recipe.
Substitutions and recipe variations
Replace potatoes with Squash/ Carrots: This cauliflower curry recipe uses potatoes and peas in addition to cauliflower, but you can skip the potatoes and opt for squash or carrots as well. These vegetables will need just 1 minute of sauté time, instead of 3 minutes.
Add spinach/kale: Add shredded kale or a handful of baby spinach at the end, and close the lid. Let the greens soften in the residual heat of the Instant Pot for 3-4 minutes. This is a great way to pack in more iron and nutrition into this recipe.
Substitutes for spice powders: I recommend using Kashmiri chili powder for this recipe (and almost all curry recipes), as it lends a lovely intense red color, without too much heat. I recommend using organic spice powders instead of store-bought curry powder in all my recipes - preferably spice powders that are ground at home. But if you do not have access to spice powders, then use a curry powder blend by all means.
More Instant Pot Curry Recipes
Instant Pot Cauliflower Curry
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp whole cumin
- 2 red onions finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste or use grated fresh ginger and garlic
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp cumin powder optional
- ½ cup tomatoes canned
- 2 potatoes cubed
- ½ cauliflower cut into medium-sized florets
- ⅓ cup peas frozen
- salt to season
- ⅓ cup coconut milk (NOT coconut cream)
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode (Normal setting) and add the vegetable oil. Add whole cumin and onions. Cook until onions are soft (around 2-3 mins).
- Add ginger and garlic (paste or grated).
- Add the turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and cumin powder. Saute for a minute more.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and deglaze the inner pot, making sure there are no bits sticking to the pot.
- Add the canned tomatoes, followed by the cubed potatoes and mix well.
- Add1/3 cup of water followed by enough salt to season and stir. Cover with a glass lid and continue to cook in Saute mode for 3 minutes.
- After 3 mins, take off the lid, add the cauliflower florets, peas and 1/3 cup water. Mix gently.
- Close the Instant Pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook mode and cook on high pressure for 2 mins followed by quick release.
- Once done, open the Instant Pot, stir in coconut milk, check salt and add more if need be, to season.
- Add a squeeze of lime, garnish with cilantro and serve over rice or your choice of grains.
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