This Vegetable Curry has a lovely spiced warmth to it from the spice blend (a home-made garam masala) which we are making up for it, and the whole curry takes just over 40 minutes to make, so it can be made quite quickly. This curry is not just for vegetarians, it is a real treat for those wanting a meat free day – serve this Vegetable Curry with steamed rice and naan bread. As with all curries, any leftovers taste even better the next day …
Vegetable Curry Recipe
Makes enough for 4 people. We will make our own garam masala to flavour the curry – garam just means “hot” or “heating” and masala means “spice blend”.
- 175g button mushrooms (quartered)
- 4 plum tomatoes (seeds removed and diced into 2cm cubes)
- 1 small courgette (diced into 2cm cubes)
- 1 small aubergine (diced into 2cm cubes)
- 1 small cauliflower (separated into small florets)
- 2 small onions (chopped fine)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4cm fresh root ginger (peeled and very finely chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 large red chilli (seeds and pith removed) finely chopped
- 1 large green chilli (seeds and pith removed) finely chopped
- 75g small peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 500ml coconut milk
- 100ml water
- handful of fresh coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
- 1 small lime (juice only)
for the spice blend
- 7 cardamom pods
- 3 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces)
- 15 whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 5 cloves
For the spice blend: toast all the spices in a small dry frying pan over a very low heat for 10 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. The dry heat will release the natural oils from the spices. Do not burn the spices, keep an eye on the colour. Grind the toasted spices with a pestle and mortar (or in a spice grinder) until you have a fine powder.
For the curry: in a large non-stick saucepan heat the oil over a low heat and gently fry the chopped ginger, garlic and chilli for two minutes – this releases the flavour into the oil.
Add the bay leaf, onion, sea salt and half the spice blend you ground up (store the rest for the next curry) – and fry gently for a further ten minutes. After 10 minutes turn up the heat and add the chopped mushrooms, courgette, aubergine and cauliflower. Stir and coat them in the spices. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for five minutes, stirring from time to time.
In a small pan add the coconut milk with the water and lime juice – warm through on a gentle heat and stir until blended. Add the blended coconut milk to the saucepan with the vegetables. Bring this up to a gentle simmer and cook for twenty minutes, stirring from time to time.
Finally stir in the chopped plum tomatoes and peas and cook for a further ten minutes on a simmer. If it needs to thicken turn the heat up and reduce the liquid whilst constantly stirring. Remove the bay leaves, laddle into a large serving bowl, and sprinkle over the chopped coriander. Serve the Vegetable Curry with steamed rice and naan bread.