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Vegan Curry

by Sophie

Vegan Curry – spiced and fragrant, delicately flavored and oh-so-flavorful. And, it comes together in less than 30 minutes. Bonus: this instant pot vegan curry is easily customizable and versatile.

While making a vegan curry doesn’t really require much effort, balancing the flavor does needs some. I have seen most vegan curries are loaded with vegan or chicken broth paste and curry powder, which certainly doesn’t create the right flavor. A curry, when made the right way, unquestionably becomes the best-ever comforting meal – at least for a person like me.

My vegan curry has Fresh vegetables – sweet potatoes and spinach, protein from cooked chickpeas and curry spices. I haven’t used any curry paste in this recipe. But if you really want to add some, go for the easy Indian curry paste recipe(link in recipe card). Because this curry is Indian curry inspired, I highly recommend not using a Thai curry paste here.

Adding the right amount of spices is necessary when you are making a curry. We Indians often don’t use curry powder but make our own concoction of curry masala or mix with an equal amount of coriander and cumin, chili and turmeric. A dash of garam masala always adds a spicy and robust kick to the curry. If you want to make some homemade Indian curry powder, check out my recipe(link in recipe card).

Sautéing onions and tomatoes do add a richness to the curry. But I have made this curry nearly oil-free, considering I have baked/sautéed the sweet potatoes with a teaspoon of oil. The colors and richness of my vegan curry are from spices, tomatoes, and herbs. And when simmered in coconut milk, the curry explodes in flavor with the right amount of heat balanced by the sweetness of the milk and aftertaste of the pungent Indian garam masala powder.

As I said before, my vegan curry is totally customizable. If you just want chickpeas, then do it or add a few cauliflower florets with potatoes for a heavier curry. Lighter versions can be achieved with a thinner sauce by adding a cup of extra water. If you want more veggies, feel free to add carrots, broccoli, peas and green beans or any vegetable of your choice.
If you are avoiding beans or chickpeas for some reason, then add a few cubes of tofu and your curry will be equally delicious and protein-packed.

Here is how to cook tofu the right way.

It’s not necessary to cook this everyday vegan curry in the instant pot only. If you don’t have one or don’t want to cook a curry in your pot, then do it in a saucepan. Heavy bottom pans work best for this recipe.

How to make vegan curry?

To simplify the process, I am breaking down the recipe into a step-by-step guide so that you can follow it and make this totally customizable and Flavorful meal for your entire family.

Prep The Veggies:

  • I am using sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and spices in this recipe. (Check the ingredients in the recipe card)
  • To start with the process, peel and dice the sweet potatoes.
  • Add a teaspoon of oil in the inner pot of the IP and sauté sweet potatoes for a minute or two.
  • For oil-free versions, skip this step. Just divide the sweet potatoes into two portions and roast one portion in the oven at 350 F for 12 minutes.
Curry ingredients for vegan curry
Pinit

Prep The Curry Base and Pressure Cook:

  • Purée tomatoes with onion flakes, half of the spices and herbs/aromatics.
  • Put the instant pot into the sauté mode.
  • Add the purée once the inner pot is hot. After two minutes, when the mixture starts to bubble, add remaining spices, salt and chickpeas and half of the raw, diced sweet potatoes.
  • Close the lid and seal the vent. Cover and set the instant pot to pressure cook for 10-minutes. After the cooking time, allow for NPR for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Then quick release the pressure and open the vent. Now add frozen or fresh spinach, garam masala and remaining baked or sautéed sweet potatoes and set the instant pot to the sauté mode.
  • Add 1/2 cup water, and allow the mixture to boil. Once the sauce thickens a bit, add coconut milk and mix well.
  • After the spinach are wilted and the sauce looks semi-thick, switch off the instant pot.
  • The vegan curry is ready. Garnish the curry with freshly chopped cilantro and lime juice.
  • Serve with hot rice, cauliflower rice or Indian flatbread. Enjoy!
Vegan chickpeas curry

Stovetop Method for Vegan Curry:

  • If cooking in a pan or saucepan on the stovetop, add the purée to a hot pan and cover the mixture and cook for ten minutes. Once the mixture thickens, add sweet potatoes(all roasted or sautéed) chickpeas and spices.
  • Add 1 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add spinach and adjust salt. Once the consistency of the curry suits your preference, add coconut milk.
  • Mix well and turn the heat off. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice before serving.

NOTE: If using other vegetables, cook them according to your preference of doneness.

Some of my favorite vegan curry combinations are:

  • Broccoli+yellow curry paste+tofu+coconut milk.
  • Potato+Cauliflower+tikka masala sauce
  • Tofu+mushrooms+broccoli+carrots and snow peas+red curry paste and coconut milk
  • Tofu+pumpkin purée+red curry paste and coconut milk
  • Seitan+Indian curry paste+cashew cream
  • Roasted Cauliflower+Indian curry paste+cashew cream

As I said before, this curry is super customizable and can be done just the way you want.

vegan curry with sweet potatoes and chickpeas

Vegan Curry

Vegan Curry – spiced and fragrant, delicately flavored and oh-so-flavorful. And, it comes together in less than 30 minutes. Bonus: this instant pot vegan curry is easily customizable and versatile.
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, curry recipe, easy curry, how to make curry, indian curry, instant pot curry, instant pot recipes, instantpot curry, Vegan curry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet potato Cubed
  • 3 tbsp Dried onion flakes or fried onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • Salt to taste

Optional

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper (for a hot curry)
  • 1 cup Fresh spinach or half cup cooked spinach (I have used)
  • Lime juice and cilantro to garnish and serve
  • 1-2 tsp oil to sauté or oil spray for baking

Instructions

Prep The Veggies:

  • I am using sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and spices in this recipe. To start with the process, peel and dice the sweet potatoes.
    Diced sweet potatoes for the curry
  • Add a teaspoon of oil in the inner pot and sauté sweet potatoes for a minute or two. For an oil-free versions, skip this step. Just divide the sweet potatoes into two portions and roast one portion in the oven at 350 F for 12 minutes. (I am using baked sweet potatoes)

Prep The Curry Base & Pressure Cook:

  • Purée tomatoes with onion flakes, half of the spices and herbs/aromatics.
    Ingredients for easy Vegan curry
  • Put the instant pot into the sauté mode. Add the purée once the inner pot is hot. After two minutes, when the mixture starts to bubble, add remaining spices, salt and chickpeas and half of the raw, diced sweet potatoes. Add 1/2 cup water is needed.(see if the mixture is very thick or if the tomatoes were not juicy enough for a watery purée)
    Instant pot curry
  • Close the lid and seal the vent.
  • Cover and set the instant pot to pressure cook for 10-minutes.
    Pressure cooking in instant pot
  • After the cooking time, allow for NPR for about 5-8 minutes. Then quick release the pressure and open the vent.
  • Now add frozen or fresh spinach, garam masala and remaining baked or sautéed sweet potatoes and set the instant pot to the sauté mode again.
  • Add 1/2 cup water, and allow the mixture to boil. Once the sauce thickens a bit, add coconut milk and mix well.
    Cooked vegan curry with chickpeas and sweet potatoes
  • After the spinach are wilted and the sauce looks semi-thick, switch off the instant pot. The vegan curry is ready.
  • Garnish the curry with freshly chopped cilantro and lime juice.
  • Serve with hot rice, cauliflower rice or Indian flat bread. Enjoy!
    Vegan curry indian style

Stovetop Method:

  • If cooking in a pan or sauce pan on the stovetop, add the purée to a hot pan and cover the mixture and cook for ten minutes.
  • Once the mixture thickens, add sweet potatoes(all roasted or sautéed) chickpeas and spices. Add 1 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add spinach and adjust salt.Once the consistency of the curry suits your preference, add coconut milk.
  • Mix well and turn the heat off.
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime juice before serving.

Notes

Note:
If using other vegetables, cook them according to your preference of doneness.
Some of my favorite combinations are:
  • Broccoli+yellow curry paste+tofu+coconut milk.
  • Potato+Cauliflower+tikka masala sauce
  • Tofu+mushrooms+broccoli+carrots and snow peas+red curry paste and coconut milk
  • Tofu+pumpkin purée+red curry paste and coconut milk
  • Seitan+Indian curry paste+cashew cream
  • Roasted Cauliflower+Indian curry paste+cashew cream
To make the curry hot, I have added hot curry powder. However, you can always add 1/2 tsp chili powder as well.
Homemade curry masala powder
Indian Curry Paste

Nutrition

Serving: 240g | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.3g | Protein: 5.1g | Fat: 17.6g

Pin it for later! Click Pinit

Can Vegans Eat Curry?

Yes, a curry is vegan unless it is cooked with meat, dairy, and honey. Curry is perfect for vegans to eat as long as it contains no meat, dairy, or anything non-vegan.

What Curries Are Vegan?

Most Indian based curries that don’t have meat, egg or dairy are vegan. Thai curries can be made vegan when no fish sauce added to the paste. There are so many different varieties of curry that can be made vegan – here is my vegan seitan tikka masala, cauliflower tikka masala, and vegan paneer masala. And, today’s curry is also vegan.

How to Make Vegan Curry Paste From Scratch?

I love to make my Indian curry paste from scratch. Well, if you wish to make some, here is my easy Indian curry paste recipe. An easy shortcut to make a curry in a jiffy is by using store-bought curry paste. Just check if the curry paste has any shrimp paste or fish sauce before buying.

Can You Freeze the Vegan Curry?

Yes, you can freeze this homemade curry in air-tight containers and store them for a month. Reheat and use the curry whenever you crave for some.

What is in a Curry?

Indian curry paste

A curry is a concoction of spices, sauteed veggies, and herbs. Usually, an Indian curry has seven main ingredients – onion, garlic, ginger and a mixture of turmeric+corainder+cumin and garam masala. To learn more, read this article here.

What is the difference between Curry and Masala?

A curry is made with cooked or sauteed masala and thinned with water. Usually, a curry has a main or star ingredient, which can be a meat or vegetable or even dairy or plant-based protein. A masala is the sauteed mixture of onion, ginger-garlic paste and Indian spices. Indians also call common spices as “Masala” in their regional language.

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18 comments

Suzy September 25, 2019 - 11:40 pm

5 stars
Curry is one of those spices that I love to use in recipes! But this version was so, so good! Loved how you used the pressure cooker!

Reply
Sophie September 26, 2019 - 9:07 am

Thank you so much, Suzy!

Reply
Megan Ellam September 26, 2019 - 2:28 am

5 stars
Thanks Sophie for a delicious vegetarian curry. Its so good even the family members who love their meat will never notice there is none in it. x

Reply
Michelle September 26, 2019 - 2:50 am

You really can’t beat a good curry to soothe the soul! I love that this is vegan and it is perfect for this time of the year. Looking forward to trying it.

Reply
Tisha September 26, 2019 - 4:47 am

5 stars
The combo of flavors is amazing This looks like a great hearty meal to warm up with!

Reply
Jane Saunders September 26, 2019 - 8:20 am

5 stars
`this is so easy to put together, very nutritious and incredibly tasty. Thanks for the recipe and your suggestion for varying the protein in this dish.

Reply
Natalie September 26, 2019 - 12:14 pm

This looks so good. And it’s super delicious with all these spices inside. I must give this a try asap. I bet my family will enjoy this too. Thanks for recipe and instructions. So helpful.

Reply
Chef Dennis October 1, 2019 - 2:34 am

5 stars
Ooohh I love everything vegan. Your vegan curry looks really piquant! I would love to include this on my meal plan. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Analida Braeger October 1, 2019 - 7:42 am

5 stars
I love a warm spicy bowl of curry with veg for a healthy meatless option at time. I love all the Instant Pot tips! Thanks for sharing!

Reply
All That I'm Eating October 2, 2019 - 8:10 am

I bet this freezes really well so definitely worth making a big batch and keeping some leftovers. Perfect for this time of year!

Reply
Jess October 3, 2019 - 12:21 pm

5 stars
Mmmmm! The spices and flavors in this dish look and sound divine. What a wonderful recipe for dinner!

Reply
Kelly Anthony October 5, 2019 - 9:37 am

5 stars
I love how versatile and easy this vegan curry is. This will make a perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy.

Reply
Paula Montenegro October 5, 2019 - 4:42 pm

5 stars
This is a beautiful and tempting recipe, full of colors and flavors! The fact that you use a pressure cooker just took it up a lot of notches. A great idea to add to my weeknight planning!

Reply
Veronika October 6, 2019 - 7:07 pm

5 stars
This meal look so delicious! Perfect for a cold day! I like al the spices you put together, will try your recipe next week)

Reply
GUNJAN C Dudani October 6, 2019 - 9:16 pm

5 stars
Its a wonderful curry idea with all the healthy ingredients in it. I am absolutely making this tomorrow for my family.

Reply
Jo October 6, 2019 - 11:01 pm

5 stars
Anything to do with curry, makes me excited. I’m a huge curry fan and I can eat it all days of the week. This would be perfect curry for meatless Monday’s. It’s hearty, comforting and delicious!

Reply
Aline October 7, 2019 - 12:21 am

5 stars
I love curry but never dared to make it. Your instructions are so easy to follow I’m inspired to try it!! Thank you!!

Reply
Sophie October 7, 2019 - 11:30 am

Thank you so much, Amaya!

Reply

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