These vegan cauliflower chickpea tacos are blended with spice and have a delicious crunch. Perfect as a lunch or dinner meal, these meat-free tacos are delicious, filling, and easy to make. Get our taco recipe here.
Despite not being vegan, I am always trying to find inventive ways to reduce my meat and dairy consumption, and I have found meals like today’s recipe the perfect way to do that. My favorites are recipes that try to replicate the texture and taste of the meat component in order to try and keep the essence and heart of the dish. This taco recipe does exactly that.
I originally saw this recipe on Jagruti’s excellent Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey blog, so full credit to her for this brilliant dish. I’ve done my best to do the recipe justice on here!
This vegan take on tacos ditches the meat filling in favor of cauliflower and chickpeas, coated in a beautiful baked tandoori mix. All topped off with delicious guacamole and housed in a soft tortilla. It’s one of our favorite vegan taco recipes by far.
There’s a lot going on in these tacos, but it all works so well. The crunch of the coated cauliflower, the spice of the mix, and the creamy guacamole creates a really balanced mix of flavors.
It all creates a beautiful summery sensation that goes perfectly as either a lunch or dinner meal. And even better: It’s cheap enough for those living on a budget.
From start to finish this dish only takes about 40 minutes to make, and couldn’t be easier.
How to Cut Cauliflower Into Florets for Taco Filling
The best way to cut cauliflower for taco filling is into florets because that makes the cauliflower manageable enough to put into a tortilla without too much effort. To cut the cauliflower, start by cutting the cauliflower in half, then into quarters. Take each quarter and slice off the core, which is the hard part in the middle. Once you do that, it should be easy to break down the cauliflower into florets using your hands.
What Is Tandoori Masala?
Tandoori masala is a traditional spice blend from India. It is usually used when cooking or roasting food in a tandoor, which is a traditional cylindrical clay oven. Recently, people have started using this spice blend for grilling and barbecuing thanks to its complex, hot flavor. There are many regional variations in tandoori masala, but most blends contain garlic, ginger, onion, and cayenne.
Tandoori Masala vs. Garam Masala
Garam masala is another traditional Indian spice blend, and sometimes tandoori masala includes a pinch of garam masala as a base. However, their use is different: garam masala is usually added at the end of the cooking process to season food, while tandoori masala is used to marinate food before cooking. Tandoori masala is savorier than garam masala, which is almost sweet thanks to the large amounts of cinnamon.
The best accompaniment to homemade tacos is homemade guacamole, which is more flavorful than anything that you can find in a store. Whether you are making guacamole for the first time or looking to perfect your recipe, here are a few tips:
- The right choice of avocados will make or break your guacamole. Make sure that your avocados are perfectly ripe and flavorful, otherwise your dip will taste bland. To make sure that you’re using the right avocado, squeeze it to check if there’s a little softness.
- The quality of your other ingredients also matters. Use fresh, minced onions, garlic, lime juice, and herbs. A hint of cayenne pepper and plenty of high-quality salt will bring out the flavors.
- Finally, the texture of your guacamole is important. Chunkier guacamole is more popular and brings the flavors of your ingredients to the forefront. Instead of throwing all the ingredients in a food processor, mash them with a fork to let some of the texture of the avocado shine through.
Vegan Tandoori Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos
For the Tandoori Cauliflower and Chickpea mix
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp tandoori masala/curry powder
- 1 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dry mango powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- salt to taste
Creamy and Spicy Guacamole
- 1 avocado peeled and with stone removed
- 4 tbsp coriander chopped
- 1 hot green chilli
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- salt to taste
- tortilla wraps warmed
- green salad of your choice
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- Start by preheating your oven to 425°F/220°C
- In a mixing bowl, add the oil, tandoori masala, red chilli powder, cumin, mango powder, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt. Mix well.
- Add the cauliflower and chickpeas to the mix. Combine well, covering them in the mixture until evenly coated.
- Place the mix on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Try to spread the mix evenly across the tray, and prevent it from bunching up or piling up.
- Transfer the tray to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check on it regularly to ensure the mix doesn’t burn.
- While the mix bakes, make the guacamole. Put the peeled and de-stoned avocado, coriander, green chilli, garlic, lime juice and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. If it’s a little thick, add a little water to allow it to smoothen.
- Once baked, remove cauliflower and chickpea mix from oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Prepare the tortillas by filling each one with pink slaw, salad, tandoori cauliflower and chickpeas, and drizzle a little bit of guacamole on top. Garnish with lime wedges and chopped coriander. Serve and enjoy.