This vegan-friendly Vegetable Korma is an easy, homemade curry that uses easy-to-find ingredients, and a simple step-by-step recipe.
Guys, I’m a little obsessed with Indian curries. When I go more than a week without eating it, I start craving curry 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.
This recipe is for Vegetable Korma– a creamy, sweet Indian dish that is often served with rice. If you haven’t tried many Indian dishes, this is a good one to start with.
Making Vegetable Korma: 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. At first, to ease my curry-obsessed woes, I tried pre-made jarred sauces. And some of them were okay, but they were never FABULOUS.
I knew there had to be a better solution– and there is! This easy vegetable korma is simple to make at home, and the flavors are more intense than in pre-made sauces. Why? Is there a secret to bring out extra flavor in Indian curry?
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. In this vegetable korma recipe, you sauté the spices along with the onions, and it helps bring out extra flavor.
Gathering Ingredients for Vegetable Korma
All the ingredients in this recipe should be easy to find. The only thing you might need to look for is the garam masala spice mixture. I get mine at Whole Foods, but I’ve also seen it at my regular grocery store in the spice aisle. (If you can’t find it pre-made, check the recipe notes to see how to make it yourself.)
Making Vegetable Korma
To make vegetable korma, start by blending the easy ginger and cashew paste in a food processor. Then, sauté onions with the spices. Add tomatoes, and simmer for a few more minutes. Add vegetables, and let everything simmer until the veggies are cooked through. Finally, stir in the ginger paste, a little milk and cream (or coconut milk), and turmeric. Salt to taste, and serve the curry with with rice!
Quick Tip: Do you like your curry spicy or mild? If you make it yourself, you’re in complete control of the spice level! In this recipe, we’re adding heat with red chili flakes– so simply add extra if you want to kick the heat up a level or two.
Want to Microwave Your Rice? Read this tutorial on How to Cook Jasmine Rice in the Microwave.
Indian Vegetarian Curry
- 2 cups Basmati or Jasmine Rice
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
Ginger + Cashew Paste:
- 10 cashews
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 inch fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1/2 cup water for grinding
- 1 TB olive oil OR substitute coconut oil or ghee
- 2 TB Garam Masala Spice Mix *(See Recipe Notes)
- 1 tsp red chili flakes (or more, depending on desired spice level)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes OR 2 tomatoes, diced
- 3 cups mixture of fresh or frozen vegetables (such as cauliflower, broccoli, & green beans)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup milk OR coconut milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream OR first-press canned coconut milk
- 2 tsp salt (to taste)
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.
Ginger + Cashew Paste:
Meanwhile, put all ingredients for the garlic paste, including water, in a food processor. Blend until creamy.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan or wok until oil begins to shimmer. Add diced onions, garam masala spice mixture, and red pepper flakes. Sauté 3-4 minutes, until the spices are fragrant and the onions are translucent.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, and simmer about 5 minutes. Add veggies and cover the pan to allow them to cook through (about 15 minutes, depending on the vegetables used).
Add the ginger and cashew paste to the pan with onions, tomatoes etc. Add turmeric, milk, and cream. If you prefer the korma to be a brighter yellow, add more turmeric.
Season to taste with the salt. If it's too spicy for you, add more cream. If it isn't hot enough, add more chili flakes.
Serve while still warm with rice on the side.
To make Homemade Garam Masala: grind together: 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp cloves, 1/3 tsp ground ginger, 2 cardamom pods. (Alternatively, use 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and ground versions of the other spices and mix together.)
Recipe adapted from: Veg Recipes of India