This is my go-to vegetable curry recipe. It's easy to make, but it packs a punch of flavor from turmeric, ginger, more delicious spices & fresh chiles.
This coconut curry recipe is everything I want on a weeknight. Scratch that – it’s everything I want… any time. I’ve been eating it as leftovers for lunch, dinner… I even ate a bowlful for breakfast the other day.
The recipe is particularly Monday night-friendly because it’s quick to make yet packs a punch of flavor. It’s filled with cozy, nourishing vegetables that will help you recover from a weekend of maybe… I dunno… too much pumpkin cake?
The ingredient shot above makes this recipe look more complicated than it actually is. Once you’ve chopped the vegetables and measured the spices, you’re only about 20 (mostly hands-off) minutes from a creamy, delicious hot curry dinner on the table.
I find this recipe really fun and soothing to make. There’s nothing better than this moment when the coconut milk and spices hit the vegetables. Of course, this moment will happen on the stove and not on the countertop, I just had to move my pot near the window to show you:
The ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom… it all smells so good! You’re going to have to take my word on it unless you can smell through your screen.
How to Make Coconut Curry
Most of the steps of this recipe are actually pictured above – it’s really that simple. Here’s all you need to do:
- Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat, add a chopped onion and cook until it softens.
- Stir in the butternut squash (or sweet potato) and chiles, and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, and spices, and simmer until the veggies are tender.
- During the last five or so minutes, stir in the green things and add squeezes of lemon and lime to brighten everything up.
Vegetable Curry Recipe Variations
This butternut and cauliflower curry recipe is very flexible, so I encourage you to use it as a template. Here are some ideas to change it up:
- Use different veggies. If you don’t have butternut squash, use sweet potatoes. If you don’t have cauliflower, then use broccoli. Green beans, carrots, bell peppers, and potatoes would be great here as well.
- If you want more heat, spice it up. Add extra chiles or more turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, or red pepper flakes.
- Vary how you serve it. You can serve this curry with basmati rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or even quinoa. You can also customize it with any type of protein that you like in your curry, or you can just make the recipe exactly as it’s written, a.k.a. my favorite version 🙂
If you love this vegetable curry recipe…
Easy Coconut Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 3 red Thai chiles, or 1 serrano, or ½ jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked basmati rice
- a few big handfuls of fresh basil or cilantro
- Naan bread, optional
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and well-browned, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat to low halfway through.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
- Add the butternut squash and chiles to the pot, stir, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower and then add the coconut milk and the spice mixture. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the lemon juice, lime juice, spinach, peas, and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding additional lime juice, salt, and pepper, as desired.
- Serve the curry over the rice with fresh basil, naan bread, if desired, and lime wedges on the side.