This easy and healthy Indian curry is a breeze to make. It's spicy and one-pot and it's packed with veggies and good protein from vegan meat mince of "keema" (you can sub with lentils). It takes under 30 minutes from scratch, which also makes it a perfect fit for a weeknight. Serve it with rice, naan or roti.
Curries like these which are spicy, tasty and packed with nutrition are my go-to meals for weeknight dinners. They are certain to please everyone, and they give me an opportunity to use up all those veggies hanging out in the refrigerator before I have to send them into the compost pile.
If you love eating Indian food but are intimidated by the idea of cooking it, you should try this recipe for sure. It's beginner-level easy, and it'll leave you excited about trying out more Indian style recipes. And what an adventure that'll be!
I called it an "Indian curry" although there really is nothing like that, because I wan't being loyal to any single one of the many Indian cuisines when I made this. But if I had to, I'd put it in the north Indian bracket because of the spices I used.
The complexity in this recipe comes from a spice mix that's called kitchen king masala, which I buy online or pick up at the Indian grocery store.
What is kitchen king masala?
A relatively recent addition to India's vast smorgasbord of spice mixes, the kitchen king masala is an all-purpose spice blend. I hadn't heard of it until I came across it at the Indian grocery store a couple of years back and bought it on a whim. I really liked it, and I use it often now. It has some elements of garam masala with additional ingredients like fenugreek seeds, poppy seeds, ginger powder and mustard powder (although ingredients can vary by brand).
I most often use it in curries, both wet and dry, and it adds a restaurant-like flair and finish to the dish, as well as a really appetizing fragrance.
If you don't want to buy it, or can't find it, just use a good garam masala blend.
What is "mince" or "keema"?
In the context of Indian food, "mince" or "keema" refers, usually, to mutton or goat meat that's been ground. Before a politically motivated ban on beef was imposed on most Indian states, it also included ground beef.
Keema is used in tons of tasty Indian recipes, and I've already shared with you my recipe for a dry vegan keema masala, to scoop up with rotis and naans. You can also use it to stuff pastries called keema samosas, and in our home we love a vegan version of keema biryani.
I usually use something like Beyond Beef or Impossible Burger in these recipes to stand in for the keema. This time, I used the Beyond Sausage, crumbled up into bits.
Tips and steps for making an Indian curry with mince and veggies
- Veggies are the king in this recipe, so use all you want to. I add about five to six cups of chopped veggies in this recipe, which reduce a bit as they cook.
- The veggies I used are onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers and turnips. Sweet potatoes, squashes, peas are all fine additions. Stay away from leafy veggies or others that will take longer to cook, like eggplant, unless you are willing to roast the eggplant first. Roasted eggplant would go really well with this keema curry.
- There is a lot of garlic in this recipe because I love garlic in spicy Indian curries like this one. I add about five to six garlic cloves, crushed and sliced, when I saute the onions. Then more garlic goes in when I add a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste to the pot after the onions have browned.
- I like using vegetable stock to add an additional layer of flavor to my curries, but you can sub with water.
Indian Curry with Mince and Veggies
- Large skillet or wok
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed, then thinly sliced)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- ½ to 1 tsp cayenne (use less if your garam masala already has red chili peppers added)
- 2 tsp paprika (or more, mainly for color)
- 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
- 14 oz vegan sausage (Can use a 14-oz can of lentils instead. Drain the lentils)
- 1 large turnip (cut in a ½-inch dice)
- 2 medium potatoes (yellow or red. Cut in ½-inch dice)
- 2 medium carrots (cut in a ½-inch dice)
- 1 large bell pepper (any color, although green is preferred. Deseed and cut into ½-inch dice)
- 1 medium zucchini (cut in a ½-inch dice)
- 2 heaping tbsp kitchen king masala (or garam masala. You might need less garam masala, so add a tablespoon at first, then add more if needed after tasting)
- 1 tbsp kasoori methi (optional, use only if you use garam masala and not kitchen king)
- 2-3 cups vegetable stock (can use water)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped, for garnish)
- Heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onion starts to brown.
- Add the ginger garlic paste, saute for 30 seconds, then add the powdered spices--turmeric, coriander, cayenne and paprika. Mix well, then add the tomato paste and saute for a couple of minutes until the tomato darkens a bit.
- Crumble in the vegan sausage and mix well. Saute for a couple of minutes until some of the fat oozes. If using lentils instead of the meat, saute a couple of minutes and proceed to the next step.
- Add the vegtables--turnips, potatoes, carrots, bell peppers and zucchini. Season with salt, mix well, and add 2 cups of the vegetable stock. Cover the pan and let the veggies cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes or until they are tender. Once the veggies are cooked, you can add more vegetable stock or water if you want a thinner curry.
- Add the kitchen king masala or, if using garam masala, add that and the kasoori methi, crushed between your palms. Mix well and season with more salt as needed.
- Turn off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.