Who really wants to spend tons of time cooking in a hot kitchen in the summer? Not me.
That's why I'm always excited when I come up with a recipe that I can put together in a minimal amount of time, that needs very little prep, that tastes mindblowingly good, and that is really, really good for me and my family.
This 20-Minute Best Vegetable Curry makes the perfect and easy vegan dinner, because it meets all of these criteria, and more.
What you'll love about this 20-minute veg curry
- It takes 20 minutes from scratch! And that's absolutely a fact. You can put this curry together in less time than it would to order takeout and it's way healthier than anything you'd get at a restaurant.
- It is delicious. Speaking of restaurants, everyone you feed this to will wonder if you secretly ordered it from a restaurant.
- It is easy. Oh yes. These are the kinds of recipes, like my mushroom spinach curry that I had shared earlier, that make life bearable when time is not on my side. And the few simple spices you will need are likely already in your pantry, even if you only occasionally make Indian food.
- It's versatile. You can use all the haul from your summer garden or from the farmer's market--or just open a pack of frozen, precut veggies! Nobody'll be the wiser.
- Mushrooms (button or crimini). You can use a meatier mushroom, like portobello, but I prefer the smaller varieties for this curry.
- Bell peppers. Any color is fine. You can even use frozen multicolored bell peppers for a really pretty look.
- Jalapeno peppers. For some delicious heat. Use more or less than what I suggest depending on your preference.
- Ginger. Ginger adds freshness and deliciousness and healthfulness to this curry.
- Shallots. Although a red onion is fine too.
- Vegetable oil. Coconut oil would be great here, or use avocado or another flavorless oil, but not olive oil.
- Black mustard seeds. To infuse the curry with more flavor.
- Curry leaves (optional). Although you can skip these if you cannot find them, I recommend them highly in this curry as they add amazing flavor.
- Turmeric: For color and health.
- Garam masala or Curry Powder. Yeah, I know they are very different, but this is not a traditional Indian curry, just Indian inspired, and you can definitely use either spice blend in this recipe. Each will add different flavor and each version will be delicious.
- Paprika. Again, this is optional, but it will add more color to the curry.
- Coconut milk. Use full-fat coconut milk from the can for the best flavor.
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Lemon juice. For some acidity, to balance out the flavors.
- Cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes. These add more acidity and sweetness to the curry, creating layers of flavor.
- Spring onions. For yet another layer of flavor and some lovely crunch.
- Use any quick-cooking veggies you have on hand. I used what I had: mushrooms and bell peppers. Zucchini or yellow squash would work great here, as would broccoli or cauliflower or asparagus or green beans. Corn and green peas are good too.
- The creamy coconut milk really ties in all of the flavors together, and gives this curry a decadent, silky mouth-feel. You can use a cashew cream as a substitute, however. Blitz ¼ cup of raw cashews with a cup of water and add instead of the coconut milk.
- If you don't have curry leaves, use cilantro as a substitute. Add them to the recipe at the same time as you would the curry leaves.
- Open a can of beans or lentils and add it to this recipe for a protein hit. Or add cubed, air-fried tofu.
What to serve with this curry
You don't need much to gild this lily. Serve the curry with a side of white or brown rice for a dinner to remember. And a weeknight dinner that you're family will be thrilled to welcome into the rotation.
If you must, serve some poppadum on the side, or an Indian lime pickle.
- Easy Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas and Coconut Milk
- Creamy Cauliflower Curry (Malai Gobi)
- Vegan Palak Paneer with Tofu
- Mushroom Matar, Mushrooms and Peas in a Creamy Sauce (One Pot, 30 minutes, Oil Free)
- Creamy Cauliflower Curry with Basil
- Vegetable Korma, a Mix Veg Curry
20-minute Best Vegetable Curry
- 16 oz mushrooms (button or crimini, sliced)
- 1 large bell pepper (thinly sliced into ½-inch long pieces)
- 1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers (deseeded, if you want less heat, and thinly sliced)
- 1-inch piece ginger (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium shallot (thinly sliced)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 15-20 curry leaves (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1-2 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder)
- 1 teaspoon paprika (optional, but adds a deeper color)
- 1 cup coconut milk (canned, not from the carton)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 10 cherry tomatoes (halved. Regular tomatoes are fine)
- 4 spring onions (chopped)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds, let them sputter and crackle, then add the shallots, ginger, jalapeno, and curry leaves, if using. Season with salt and pepper and saute for a couple of minutes until the shallots begin to soften.
- Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and saute another 3-4 minutes until the vegetables appear to have softened. Add the turmeric, garam masala, and paprika if using. Stir to mix, then add half the coconut milk and bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for a couple more minutes or until the vegetables are done to your liking.
- Add the remaining coconut milk, salt if needed, and warm through without bringing to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, cherry tomatoes and spring onions.
- Serve hot or warm with rice.