This easy vegan traditional vegetable curry recipe is so easy and simple to cook yet tastes amazing and is my family’s favourite curry to date. We have it at least once every few weeks and never get tired of it.
This curry is just so versatile as any veggies you have to hand can be chucked in.
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Quick Origins of Curry
Dishes made with a variety of ground up spices known as curries have been around for thousands of years and originate in Ancient India. Curry was actually termed kari by the Tamil people.
Curry powder is a blend of different spices and is not actually an Indian invention. Authentic Indian curries grind each spice into a powder and tend not to actually use a ready-made curry powder.
Curries in India are traditionally prepared with a variety of meats as well as vegetables and pulses. Coconut milk or cream, yogurt, tomato paste, ghee, butter and stock are all common additions along with various spices, peppercorns, and curry leaves.
During the 18th Century the British East India Company, who traded with the Tamil people, developed curry powder as a convenient way to introduce curries to western societies.
Curry powder was brought back to Britain and by the late 1700s curries were on the menu in many restaurants with the first curry eating establishment founded in 1810 London.
I can’t imagine life without curries as they bring countless interesting and creative flavours and textures. The aromas that are produced when your curry is bubbling away is just amazing.
Vegan Veggie Curry
The basic ingredients for this easy veggie curry sauce is peanut butter, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, curry powder, garam masala, creamed coconut and vegetable stock. All these flavours work together to provide a traditional curry sauce similar to the ones popular at British chip shops.
Chuck in a load of your favourite vegetables and cook everything up and that’s all there is to it. I simply use whatever veggies I happen to have in my fridge or freezer. Although sweet potato, frozen peas and corn are generally a must as my kids love them.
If your allergic to nuts or just don’t like peanut butter you could sub out the peanut butter for an extra tablespoon of creamed coconut. Or perhaps use some sunflower seed butter although I have never tested this curry with this type of seed butter.
I generally add creamed coconut to this veggie curry as a block is much cheaper than a can of coconut milk and the remaining creamed coconut keeps well in the fridge for a few months. A creamed coconut block should be enough for 3-4 curries and it just works beautifully to thicken up the curry and provide delicious creaminess.
However if you can’t access any creamed coconut try subbing it for a 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut either as it is or whizz the coconut to a fine powder using a blender or a nut/coffee bean grinder. I have used desiccated coconut a few times and it works perfectly well.
This easy vegan vegetable curry is the perfect dish for using up leftover cooked vegetables. Frozen vegetables work well too. As do slightly wilted vegetables lurking around the fridge! And reduced vegetables from the bargain bucket of the supermarket are perfect.
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge within a covered container for up to 3 days. Or frozen for 4-6 months. Defrost completely before reheating.
Why not prepare a double batch of easy veggie curry? That way you will have tasty leftovers or extra portions to freeze for fast future meals.
Leftovers can be reheated in a pan by bringing to a simmer, reheat for 3-4 months until piping hot. Add an extra splash of veggie stock to loosen the sauce if necessary.
* Any veggies you have to hand are suitable for this easy curry but bear in mind the need to adapt cooking times depending on what veggie you use. I usually chuck any veggie combo I have in the fridge. Frozen veggies also work well.
* sub out the butterbeans for any other pulse
* use a cashew or almond nut butter, or omit if allergic
* use any type of curry powder such as mild, medium, hot, tikka masala, korma, etc
* broccoli or cauliflower rice: Simply spread out your cauliflower rice on a baking tray and roast at 180 Fan/200 Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/Gas 6 for 25-30 minutes until it looks nice and toasted. Give it a stir half way for even browning. If you don’t have a food processor to chop the cauliflower into rice try using a cheese grater or a sharp knife. Broccoli rice can be cooked using these same methods.
* any variety of rice
* naan bread
* three ingredient quick flatbreads
* potato chips/fries/wedges: To prepare oil-less wedges simply chop your potatoes and add some seasoning, such as garlic powder, paprika, potato seasoning blend, etc. Roast on a baking tray at 180 Fan/200 Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/Gas 6. For about 25-45 minutes, depending on how thick your wedges are, until brown, crispy and soft. Flip over half way through cooking. Or use an air-fryer.
* baked potato especially a yummy baked sweet potato
Yes. It is easy to prepare this recipe as gluten-free with a few considerations. Ensure that your vegan stock is certified gluten-free, and that your curry powder and garam masala does not have added ingredients that may contain gluten.
A few ideas:
* Add a few cups of spinach just before serving as it will wilt and cook in seconds.
* Add chopped kale, spring greens, turnip greens, collard greens, etc about 8 minutes before the end of cooking time.
* grate about an inch piece of fresh ginger and sauté along with the onions and garlic
* chillies, fine sliced, perfect for those who love hotter curries
* red chilli or paprika flakes
*a good grinding of cracked black pepper. I always add this to curry as studies have shown that the benefits of turmeric (its in the curry powder) are more easily absorbed by our body if it is accompanied by black pepper.
* spring/green onions otherwise known as scallions
* fresh coriander/cilantro
* chopped cashew nuts or flaked almonds
* a dollop of mango chutney
* vegan mayonnaise or sour cream
Easy Vegan Vegetable Curry
- Skillet/Sauté pan/deep frying pan with lid.
To sauté vegetables:
- 250 ml vegetable stock (1 cup) or 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium carrots chopped into small dice
- 2 sticks celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic Add a few more cloves if liked.
- 1 tablespoon curry powder I use a mild curry powder. If you prefer a hotter curry used medium or hot curry powder.
- 60 grams peanut butter 1/4 cup. Alternatively use cashew, almond or sunflower seed butter.
- 850 ml vegetable stock (3 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 300 grams broccoli (about 3 cups or 1 head of broccoli chopped into florets)
- 360 grams sweet potato (about 3-4 cups chopped into chunky bite sized pieces)
- 130 grams frozen peas (1 cup)
- 130 grams frozen sweetcorn (1 cup)
- 1 can butterbeans 400g/15oz can drained, or use chickpeas
- 50 grams creamed coconut block (about 4 tbsp)
- 10 grams coriander/cilantro chopped
- 20 grams flaked almonds
- 250 grams basmati rice cooked according to packet instructions
- Over a medium heat sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in 250ml (1 cup) of vegetable stock or 1 tbsp of olive oil, for about 8 minutes. Cover your pan with a lid and stir a few times to prevent sticking. Add a few tablespoons of extra stock as required.
Prepare the rest of the curry:
- To the sautéed veggies add the curry powder, peanut butter and 850ml (3 1/2 cups) of vegetable stock and mix well to incorporate the peanut butter.Tip in the sweet potato and add a lid to the pan.
- Simmer for around 10 minutes.
Meanwhile begin to prepare any accompaniments such as rice
- Remove the lid and add the creamed coconut. It will melt as it heats so give the sauce a stir every now and again to help mix the coconut through.Add the broccoli, sweetcorn, peas and butterbeans.Stir well and push the broccoli down into the sauce.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes. Mix the broccoli a few times so that it can cook through on all sides.
- The sauce may look thin but it will thicken up once off the heat and it begins to cool.Although if somehow your sauce is too thick for your liking just add a little extra vegetable stock.
- Once the sweet potato and broccoli are fork tender add the garam masala and mix well. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Scatter coriander/cilantro over each serving, and any other garnishes. Serve with your chosen accompaniments.
- The following nutritional data is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is calculated using nutritional computerized apps.
- For a lower sodium curry use a vegan stock that has less added salt.
- Leftovers will keep fresh in the fridge for 3 days, within a covered container.
- Or frozen for 4-6 months. Defrost before reheating.
- Reheat by adding to a skillet or pan, and bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes until everything is heated through. A little extra veggie stock may be required to loosen up the sauce.
- A scoop of reheated curry leftovers is so tasty served over a slice of toasted bread or with a leftover naan or flatbread for next days lunch.
- For a creative lunch use leftover curry as a grilled vegan cheese/cheese toastie filling. My kids especially love these for lunch.