Easy Vegetable Korma- Simple Directions with Easy to Find Ingredients

Vegetable Korma

Easy Vegan Vegetable Korma- Simple Directions with Easy to Find Ingredients

This vegan Vegetable Korma is made with easy to find ingredients and uses simple step-by-step directions.

I’m a little obsessed with Indian food.  When I go more than a week or so without eating it, I start craving it and can’t think about anything else.   Last summer in Italy, I was surrounded by fresh homemade pasta.. But after 8 days, all I wanted was curry.  Ridiculous? Maybe. But my brain and belly didn’t care.

‘Indian Affairs’ in Rome

Roast or Fry Your Spices!

As much as I love to gobble up Indian food on a regular basis, eating out constantly isn’t in my budget, and pre-made jarred or boxed Indian curries never leave me satisfied.  The flavors aren’t as intense, and often aren’t even correct.  Indian food from a jar makes me sad. That said, I did what I always do, cook it myself!  Easy right? Not so much.  At first it was a little overwhelming to learn about new spices and ingredients.  Also, I always felt like the food I made wasn’t quite right, but I didn’t know what was missing!  It always (sadly) tasted like the jarred curry.  It was like there was a secret to making Indian food that I couldn’t figure out.  Turns out– there is. To bring out extra flavor in a lot of Indian dishes, you have to dry roast or quickly pan fry the spices before you cook them. That’s it. Don’t skip that step– it’s important.

Easy Vegetable Korma- Simple Directions with Easy to Find Ingredients

Vegetable Korma

Gathering Ingredients for vegetable korma

Vegan Navratan Vegetable Korma- Easy to Find Ingredients, Step by Step Directions

Navratan Vegetable Korma

This recipe is for Vegetable Korma– a creamy sweet Indian dish that I usually serve with rice.  It can be prepared as mild or as hot as you prefer– it all depends on what kind of peppers you use and how many.  If you haven’t tried many Indian dishes, this is a good one to start with.  The spices in this recipe are sold at most grocery stores, but if you can find a Middle Eastern or Indian grocery store (or a Jungle Jim’s), the spices will be much cheaper and in bulk.  If you don’t have whole spices, go ahead and use the ground versions, but don’t skip the roasting.

Making the korma takes about 30-40 minutes start to finish, and goes faster once you’ve done it a few times.  It can also be made the day before and reheated- this curry benefits from letting the flavors sit for a while.

Please note that coconut milk (used in a lot of my recipes as a cow’s milk substitute) is sold in both cans and cartons.  Coconut milk sold in refrigerated cartons tends to be a little thinner than canned coconut milk, and in general has more preservatives added than the canned kind.  Coconut milk is different from the solid coconut cream, which has a much thicker, more solid consistency, and is a nice substitute for whipping cream.  If you accidentally bought cream instead of milk, you can just add a little water.  I like Trader Joe’s canned coconut milk and cream.  To learn more about coconut milk vs. coconut cream, check out this article at The Kitchn.

Note: If you use whole spices you’ll need a way to grind them up.  You can use a spice grinder if you have one, or you can use a coffee grinder or small food processor.  To clean out the spice flavors from your coffee grinder / food processor, you can blend uncooked rice after the spices and it should absorb a lot of the scent and oils.  If you’re going to use it to grind spices on a regular basis, however, you may want a grinder dedicated to spices.  I use a coffee grinder that we no longer use for grinding coffee beans

Love Indian food? Want more? Try these recipes:

Love rice? Today's 'Cooking 101' post- How to Cook Basmati Rice in the Microwave!

How to Cook Basmati Rice in the Microwave


Easy Vegetable Korma- Simple Directions with Easy to Find Ingredients
5 from 4 votes

Vegetable Korma

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 469 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


Masala spice mix:

  • (ground spice measurements are approximate)
  • 1-4 dry green or red dried chilies of any variety. (I typically use chilies de arbol for less heat, and japones for more heat).
  • 2 TB coriander seeds (or 2 TB ground coriander)
  • 1 TB fennel seeds (If you don't have, add an extra clove)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick (or 1/2 TB ground cinnamon)
  • 2-3 cloves (1/2 tsp ground cloves)
  • 1 green cardamon (or 1/2 ts cardamon powder)
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds (skip if you don't have)

Ginger paste:

  • 5-10 cashews
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
  • 3/4 inch ginger, chopped (substitute 1 TB ginger powder if you don't have)
  • 1/2 cup water for grinding

Other Ingredients:

  • *veggies can be substituted for whatever you have on hand (ex- lima beans, peas etc), but I find this tastes best when broccoli and cauliflower are included
  • 1-2 TB coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes OR 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup brocolli florets
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • ~1/2 cup milk OR coconut milk
  • ~1/2 cup heavy whipping cream OR 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk OR 2-3 TB coconut cream
  • ~1 tsp salt (to taste, but don't omit)
  • 1 TB sugar (or more to taste- when using coconut milk and cream I usually omit sugar)
  • cilantro leaves (optional)
  • Basmati or Jasmine Rice to serve
  • 2 Bay leaves


  1. Prepare the rice according to package directions. Add 2 bay leaves with the rice while it's cooking, and then discard them when it's finished.

  2. While rice is cooking, put all ingredients for the masala spice mix on a small non-stick pan on very low heat to dry roast (about 5 minutes, or until the spices become fragrant).

  3. Heat oil or ghee in a large pan or wok until oil begins to shimmer. Add diced onions and saute 4-5 minutes. While onions are cooking, grind the spices that have been dry roasting. Add spice mixture to the onions. Add the tomatoes, and cook about 5 minutes. Add veggies and cover the pan to allow them to cook through.

  4. Meanwhile, put all ingredients for the garlic paste, including water, in a blender or food processor. Add the paste to the pan with onions, tomatoes etc. Add turmeric, milk, and cream. If the curry seems too dull, add more turmeric to brighten it.

  5. Season to taste with the salt and sugar. If it's too spicy for you, add more cream. If it isn't hot enough, add a few drops of hot sauce (don't try to add more spices to change the flavor at this point unless you want to wait on those to dry roast).

  6. Top with cilantro (optional). Serve with rice.

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal, and will vary depending on vegetables and substitutions used in this recipe.

Recipe adapted from: Veg Recipes of India

46 thoughts on “Vegetable Korma

  1. Meghan Arnold says:

    This looks delicious! I wish I could eat Indian food without dying, but my stupid, boring, Irish stomach craves nothing but bland foods and revolts every time I try to spice it up. 🙁

    • champagne-tastes says:

      thanks! It’s my favorite thing to order too.. It’s great for using leftover veggies (and not going broke ordering take out every day haha)!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      You could totally work that! I haven’t tried it without cardamom, but there’s only a little bit in this, so it’d be worth trying it without! I bet it’d still be awesome. You could add a little extra coriander

  2. Hanady says:

    Love this! My Indian neighbor used to make me the best Indian food. When she moved away she left me with all of her spices. Could I use a masala spice packet instead of making my own? Is your recipe for it more unique than the standard mix?

    • champagne-tastes says:

      You could probably use your spice mix, sure! Just make sure to dry roast them first. The flavors might be a little different than what I’ve got, but I’ve found that veggie korma tastes a little different everywhere I try it anyway!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Thanks Cindy! And it really is just as good with the coconut milk- I make it that way all the time!

  3. Elaina Newton says:

    I love the spices in Indian dishes but haven’t really ventured into homemade versions because it seems a bit intimidating. I have a maharajah curry blend that I LOVE for chicken, but that’s about it. I will have to bookmark this to try for later when I’m feeling adventurous. I totally appreciate all your thorough explanations and the tip about cleaning out the grinder with rice is great!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      It is soooo intimidating at first!! Once you get the hang of a couple things and build up a little spice collection though, it’s not too bad! Also there’s some really great spice blends at Whole Foods you could try to make it simpler at the beginning.

  4. Dahn says:

    I love the spices in Indian food. This looks so delicious and doesn’t look like it would take too long to make.. .. I have almost all of the ingredients. A quick shopping trip on my way home from work tomorrow and dinner is planned.

  5. Nico @ yumsome says:

    When I lived in Britain (and before I went vegan), veggie korma was one of my go-to restaurant choices, so when I moved to south India, on my first night there, I found a restaurant, and ordered korma…. y’know, to be on the safe side.

    Talk about shock! It was so spicy, it hurt! It wasn’t creamy, or sweet, and was nothing like what I’d had in Blighty!

    I soon discovered that korma in Kerala – no matter where you have it – is always really spicy (unless you ask for it to be toned down), and never has fruit, cream, yoghurt, sugar, etc. In my experience, it was the hottest dish around!

    It seems that korma in the west has evolved. A lot! To the point that it’s a completely different dish – wish I’d known that beforehand!

    When I visited Britain, after living in India for five months or so, I visited a restaurant for the sole purpose of trying a korma… it was like eating pudding for dinner! Ha ha ha!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Oh interesting!! It must depend on where you are in India too.. I’ve seen it with cream and fruit in Indian blogs and cookbooks! It’s a big country though lol. Their food is so fascinating. Totally my fav! This is vegan btw if you want to try 😉

  6. Sandhya Ramakrishnan says:

    You have made the recipe so well and I appreciate you taking time to make this recipe in detail. Love vegetable korma and I have gotten used to eating it creamy after having lived in US so long. Even I struggle with the spice when I go back to India on vacation and feel so bad about it!

  7. Lisa says:

    This sounds fantastic! Thank you for the tip on roasting the spices…I literally said AhHa!!! I remember going to Jungle Jim’s when my brother lived in Cincinnati…I could have spent hours in that place!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      You’re welcome!!! Yup they taste so much better that way!
      And oh man.. I’ve never gone inside and NOT spent hours in there! It’s amaaaaazing lol

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