A delicious one-pot, 30-minute Vegetable Curry with Indian flavors.
This flavor-packed but easy Vegetable Curry with chickpeas and coconut milk is a weeknight favorite in our home. Chickpeas are simmered with veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots, and flavored with cardamom and curry powder. Coconut milk adds a creamy and delicious finishing touch. I have included a video so you can see exactly how to make the curry. Serve it over a bed of basmati rice or quinoa, or eat it by itself. A vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free recipe.
How about a creamy vegetable curry with Indian flavors for dinner tonight? It's packed with nutritious veggies and tastes absolutely amazing.
This Easy Veg Curry has been a long-time favorite not just in my home but in the homes of so many readers. It truly is one of those dishes that makes one feel good from the inside out yet takes very little work, apart from some chopping.
The curry requires very few spices, but they are balanced perfectly to give you the most delicious result. The coconut milk adds an exquisite finishing touch.
The time you will need to get this curry done depends entirely on your chopping skills. If you have better knife skills than I do, which you probably do, you could get this curry done even faster. But no matter how experienced you are, or not, the recipe is quite foolproof, and you can watch the accompanying video below to make the dish exactly as it's meant to be.
I would call this an Indian style curry but this is not a true Indian curry because it uses a spice mix not commonly used by Indian cooks: curry powder. I came up with this recipe when trying to put together a healthy and delicious dinner in a rush, and I wasn't going for an authentic Indian curry. But that doesn't mean this curry falls short in any way.
Why you will love this vegetable curry
- It's full of delicious flavor. There are so many textures and tastes here, and each is perfectly balanced. There's sweetness from the coconut milk and sweet potatoes, tang from the lemon, nuttiness from the chickpeas, and so much more!
- It's gorgeous. There's a rainbow of colors in this dish thanks to fresh, delicious veggies like carrots, bell peppers, green beans and sweet potatoes, making it a treat for the eyes as well as the tummy.
- It's healthy. This is one of the healthiest dishes you will ever make and eat, period. There's nothing here that's not wonderful for you, from those plump, tasty chickpeas to the mixed veggies to the coconut milk. I could eat this curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- It's one-pot. You not only need just one pot to make this mixed vegetable curry, you will also find all the nutrition you need in the single pot. There are legumes here and veggies and the curry tastes delicious by itself.
- It's easily adaptable to anything you have on hand. You could, for instance, use other veggies like cauliflower or zucchini or butternut squash. And you can even sub the chickpeas for another legume like white beans, with delicious results. More on that in the tips and substitutions section below.
- It's everyone-friendly. There are no gluten, soy and nuts in this recipe so you can make it for anyone. I would even call this curry a child-friendly recipe: it's vibrant with the spices, yet mellow enough with the coconut cream. The crisp carrots along with the al dente green peppers also make for a happy mouthful. Jay usually polishes it off although he did make a remark once about "too many veggies." 😉
- 1 tbsp coconut oil. Coconut oil works perfectly with the other flavors here. If you have to substitute, any neutral oil, like avocado oil, would be fine.
- Aromatics: 1 yellow onion, 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste. If you don't have ginger-garlic paste, crush 4 cloves of garlic with a 1-inch knob of ginger.
- Veggies: 2 medium sweet potatoes, 2 medium red potatoes, 1 carrot, 1 green bell pepper and 2 cups green beans.
- Spices: 4 green cardamom pods, which are the only whole spice added here and they add amazing flavor. ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cayenne (use as much or as little as you like depending on your heat tolerance) and 1 ½ tablespoon curry powder. Use a really good curry powder, like my homemade recipe, because it will decide how delicious your curry is.
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock (or water). A good stock will add depth and flavor, but you can just use water with good results.
- An approximately 14 oz can of coconut milk. The full fat kind from the can is really essential to create a lovely, creamy sauce. Don't use light coconut milk.
- 14 oz chickpeas. Chickpeas are an amazing legume to use here because their texture and flavor go really well with the mixed veggies. If you'd like to substitute, use a more neutral tasting bean, like white beans.
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or fresh lime juice). This adds a nice tang and balances out the flavors.
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro. For a really delicious finishing touch and garnish.
- Salt to taste
Watch how to make the vegetable curry
Tips and substitutions
- Add cubes of tofu or tempeh to this veg curry for an extra protein boost.
- You can use any of your favorite veggies to this curry so long as they cook fairly quickly. I used carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green peppers and green beans. Here are some other veggies you can use: cauliflower or broccoli florets, any squash -- summer or winter -- like butternut or acorn squash, zucchini or yellow squash, or pumpkin, mushrooms, peas and greens like spinach, chard or watercress. Tomatoes would also be a nice addition to this curry--I'd add them closer to the end, at the same time as the chickpeas, so they remain sweet and don't lose their shape.
- I'll share with you a secret that will cut cooking time down even more: use frozen veggies. Frozen veggies will do wonderfully, and imagine how easy your life will be if all that dinner involves is chopping up an onion and then opening a bag of frozen veggies, a can of chickpeas, and another of coconut milk. I would use a bag of stir fry veggies or peas and carrots, or chopped spinach.
- Sub the curry powder with garam masala, if that's what you have. Or stir in a couple of tablespoons of Thai curry paste, red or yellow, for the flavor base (in that case, you probably will need less cayenne).
- Once you have added the coconut milk, make sure you reduce the heat to a simmer. Turn off the heat as soon as you've added the final ingredients. There is a small chance that the coconut milk will curdle if you boil it too long, but if it does, don't be alarmed--the curry will still taste fabulous.
Is this curry spicy?
While some Indian style curries can be spicy, this creamy curry balances out any spiciness from the cayenne and ginger nicely with the creaminess of the coconut milk and the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. You can always adjust the amount of cayenne up or down based on your spice preference. Some curry powders (including mine, which is linked below in the recipe card) can have red chillies in their ingredient list, so make sure you factor that in when adding cayenne.
What to serve with this mix vegetable curry
- Brown rice or white basmati rice. Drizzled simply over some rice this curry is divine and a wholesome meal.
- Quinoa. Quinoa goes nicely with any spicy curry or stew, and this one is great with it.
- Jeera Rice/Cumin Rice. This is a recipe that takes just about 15 minutes to make and is so simple, yet gives so much flavor. It is amazing with the veg curry.
- Carrot Rice. The carrots in the rice nicely complement the flavors of the curry.
You could serve this curry with vegan naan but keep in mind that this veg curry with coconut milk is more like a stew and naans need something thicker and spicier to hold on to because they're densely textured. If you absolutely want to eat it with bread, serve it with French or Italian bread, which has a crumb that's porous enough to absorb the curry.
More lipsmacking vegan curry recipes
Easy Vegetable Curry
- Dutch oven (or large saucepan)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 4 green cardamom pods (slightly crushed)
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne (use more or less based on your preference)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (diced into ½-inch cubes)
- 2 medium potatoes (yellow or red is fine, diced into ½-inch cubes)
- 1 large carrot (sliced into thin rounds)
- 1 large green bell pepper (diced)
- 2 cups green beans (chopped)
- 1½ cups vegetable stock (or water)
- 14 oz chickpeas (canned or cooked from scratch. Drain thoroughly before adding)
- 1½ tablespoon curry powder (or substitute with garam masala. It will produce a slightly different flavor but works just as well)
- 14 oz coconut milk (one can, stirred)
- 3 scallions (green and white parts chopped, optional)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped, for garnish)
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil. Add the onions followed by the cardamom pods and saute over medium heat until the onions start to sweat and turn translucent.
- Add the turmeric, cayenne and ginger garlic paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the sweet potatoes, potatoes, and carrots. Season with some salt and cover the pan. Turn the heat to low and let the vegetables cook about five minutes. If the veggies start to stick, add some water.
- Now add the green beans and green peppers and ½ cup of water or vegetable stock. Cover again and cook five more minutes.
- Check to see if the potatoes and sweet potatoes are cooked and fork-tender. If they are not, continue to cook, covered, for a few more minutes.
- Stir in the chickpeas, curry powder and another cup of vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the coconut milk and scallions, if using, and just let the curry heat through.
- Stir in the lemon and cilantro and add more salt if needed. Serve hot.
- Add cubes of tofu or tempeh to this veg curry for an extra protein boost.
- The vegetables can be any kind, really, as long as they are veggies that cook fairly quickly. I used carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green peppers and green beans. Here are some other veggies you can use: cauliflower, broccoli, any squash -- summer or winter -- like butternut or acorn squash, zucchini or yellow squash, or pumpkin, mushrooms, peas, greens like spinach, chard or watercress.
- You can even use frozen veggies, and imagine how easy your life will be if all you have to do to get a delicious dinner ready is to chop an onion and then open a bag of frozen veggies, a can of chickpeas, and another of coconut milk. I would use a bag of stir fry veggies or peas and carrots, or chopped spinach.
- Sub the curry powder with garam masala, if that's what you have. Or stir in a couple of tablespoons of Thai curry paste, red or yellow, for the flavor base (in that case, you probably will need less or no cayenne).
- Serve rice, plain or dressed up, with this curry. I wouldn't serve it with an Indian bread of any kind, like a naan, because a veg curry with coconut milk is more like a stew and naans need something thicker and spicier to hold on to because they're densely textured. If you absolutely want to eat it with bread, serve it with some French or Italian bread which has a crumb that's porous enough to absorb the curry.