Sometimes recipes take an eternity to develop, and after many years of making one thing, you end up right back where you started. Let me explain. I’ve been making curry for a very long time. I’ve probably made it every possible way–homemade curry paste, store bought curry paste, simmer sauce, just spices. The list goes on. And I never ever feel like it’s just right. So the recipe evolves, and you begin to overcomplicate things until one day, the right recipe just kind of turns up where you least expect it. At the back of your spice rack on a weeknight when there’s really nothing in the pantry.
That’s how this vegan vegetable curry was born! It’s not made with curry paste at all. Just the right combination of spices and the right ratio of coconut milk to pureed tomatoes. And it all comes together in the most perfectly saucy, but not too thin curry. The potatoes break down perfectly into the sauce, giving it a lovely thick starchiness. And what’s vegetable curry without tender cauliflower and curried kale?
Sometimes the perfect storm happens, and you have the best vegan curry. Here’s how you make it!
First, chop all your vegetables. I used fresh ginger, a diced yellow onion, half a head of cauliflower, sliced red bell pepper, 4 yukon gold potatoes peeled and quartered, chopped lacinato kale, and a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas. Cover your potatoes in a small pot with water and then boil for 5 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork but have a teensy bit more cooking to do. Drain them and set aside.
In a large pot, drizzle some olive oil and heat over medium high heat. That’s my temperature always… I saute the ginger and onion until translucent and golden. Then add all your spices. Toss in the potatoes and coat before adding all the other vegetables except kale. The kale will go in at the end.
Add the canned tomatoes and fill up your tomato can with water and pour the water into the curry. Then add your coconut milk and give everything a stir. Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the kale and simmer another five minutes. Taste for salt. Then serve over basmati or white rice.
- olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, sliced
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ bunch lacinato kale chopped
- cooked white rice for serving
- Place the potatoes in a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside.
- In a large dutch oven or pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat to medium high heat. Add the onion and ginger and saute until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the cardamom, curry powder, salt, cayenne, cumin, and coriander. Stir in the potatoes and coat. Add teh cauliflower, potatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes and coconut milk. Fill the empty tomato can with water and pour into the pot. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. Simmer 20 minutes. Add the kale and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste to see if it needs salt. Serve over rice.