Make some tasty vegetable curry

I love to tell the story of how I went from hating on veggies to eating a mostly plant-based diet.  Part of that drastic progression involved eating plenty of curries–Indian and Thai especially.  I’ll save the rest of the story for another day, because today it’s all about how you need to make some tasty vegetable curry.

mixed vegetable curry

I kind of go crazy when I go to the produce section or farm stands.  Everything looks so beautiful, I can’t wait to buy a bunch of veggies and then I get home and don’t know what I was thinking.  So, if you are like me in that regard, or you have a prolific garden, this curry is for you.  It’s delicious to be sure, but it also is a good way to use up those excess veggies you went crazy buying last week or for when the inevitable “I’ve-got-more-zucchini-than-I-know-what-to-do-with” hits.

make some tasty vegetable curry

I adapted this from a recipe I like in a cookbook I found in the bargain bin at Borders years ago.  This was about the time I decided that I might as well figure out how to make my own curries or keep spending all of my pocket money at Indian restaurants.  Anyway, I made this with coconut milk because I like it and it’s non-dairy.  If you aren’t off dairy, I recommend still using the coconut milk because it’s coconut milk and it’s nature’s most delicious nectar.  (IMHO)  Or you could use light whipping cream.  (USE THE COCONUT MILK.)Use whatever veggies you have on hand.  Bell peppers, sweet potatoes, butternut or other kinds of winter squash, green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, or even kale or cabbage would be welcome additions to this curry.  Use what you like.  (And use the coconut milk.)

mixed vegetable curry recipe


  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2-4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 large zucchini, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 large eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 oz. package button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. onion seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 dried red chili (or about 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Hot cooked Basmati rice, for serving
tasty vegetable curry

In a very large (4-quart) saucepan, heat a little of the canola oil.  Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to soften and becomes transparent.  Add the garlic, cumin seeds, mustard and onion seeds, and the turmeric.  Stir-fry until fragrant.  Add the zucchini and eggplant.  Continue cooking until they start to soften a bit.  Add the potatoes, carrots, coconut milk, curry leaves and red chili.  Cook on a low simmer until the veggies are just tender.  Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and mushrooms.  Add the sugar and salt, to taste.  Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Makes enough for 6-8 good-sized servings

Cafe Johnsonia  – article + photos: Lindsey Johnson of Cafe Johnsonia

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Sarah :

    Looks Delicious! i love curry, now I have to make this for dinner, soon!

    do you ever cook with coconut oil? you should, its amazing!

    • Allison :

      It looks amazing doesn’t it?

  2. Rhea :

    I am LOVING Curry’s lately, too! Thanks for this recipe since I’m new to curry I need all the inspiration I can get. I didn’t even know curry was a leaf! I just have been buying the red paste. Anyhow…LOVE coconut milk and coconut oil, too. Thanks!

    • Lindsey Johnson (Cafe Johnsonia) :

      Rhea–if you wanted to, you could totally sub the curry paste for all of the spices. It would be more of a Thai curry, but would be FABULOUS!

  3. ms13 :

    delicious! this is a very popular indian recipe. we eat it with rice and flatbreads a lot! the only thing is with the mustard seeds, they are used for tempering the dish. so for them to give the maximum flavor, you should always drop them in first…heat the oil you are using to high and right as it begins to smoke slightly, drop the mustard seeds first and cover the top – it will sputter in the oil for about 30 seconds. then add the cumin seeds and then add everything else.

  4. Basia :

    Thank you! I made a variant of this tonight (it became Fridge Dump with Style) and the kiddos LOVED it!! Thank you!!!

  5. Kalli :

    Lindsey what about using curry powder? I’ve never made curry at home but I want to because YUM. I love Thai curries because of the coconut milk so maybe I should do curry paste?

  6. Kalli :

    And on that note where does one buy curry paste?

  7. Kate :

    Did this recipe not work out for anybody else? I’m a frequent cook (and of Indian food especially) and there wasn’t nearly enough liquid for the vegetables to cook to match the photo above. Since there was no quantity specified for the “can of coconut milk” I guessed it would be the larger size (comes in 5.5 oz and 14 oz) so I used it but still had to add about 1 cup of liquid for the vegetables to cook.

    The potatoes should have been added in an earlier step – after 20 minutes mine were still raw. I’d say about 30 minutes total from the time you drop in the first vegetable.

    Also it’s much easier to follow a recipe when the ingredients are listed in the order they’re used. I was eager to try this recipe as the photos look delicious but mine did not turn out as anticipated at all :(:(