I’ve been working on this korma curry recipe for a while. Like the best curries, it’s been simmering in my head (and in my kitchen) for a bit. Sometimes recipe development takes me forever to get the flavor profile and composition of the dish. Other times, I know right off the bat what I’m looking for. This vegetable korma curry recipe was definitely the former, with the idea lingering incessantly every time I had Indian food.
The thing is, I love Indian food. Well, let’s be honest, I love all food. But Indian food is one cuisine that I don’t often make at home. Partially because there’s really good Indian food available where we are and partially because traditional curries can take days to make.
However, there was a really good reason I wanted to make korma curry at home. I was on a quest to make the best Indian pizza. You may notice a trend or a theme starting here. First there was Thai pizza, now a hankering for Indian pizza. What will come next? I don’t know. I’m totally open to suggestions.
But first, before Indian pizza, you must have Indian curry (as opposed to this equally delicious one pot Japanese curry). And my favorite kind is korma curry, a cashew based curry that’s a little sweet, really creamy, and really spicy if you’re me. If you’re not me, you can adjust the spices and leave the korma curry more mild.
Vegan Vegetable Korma Curry
Many korma recipes use ghee (clarified butter), but I wanted to focus on the creamy coconut flavors in this korma curry so I used coconut oil instead. I like that the recipe is vegan friendly because it keeps it versatile for whoever walks into my kitchen. It’s still really rich and delicious even without the ghee.
This vegetable korma curry recipe takes you from start to finish. From preparing the basmati rice, making the korma curry gravy (as is traditional with Punjabi curries), to finally making the korma curry to serve with the rice.
I love that you can customize your korma curry with whatever kind of protein option you’re looking for. Chickpeas or tofu for vegan friends; paneer or halloumi for vegetarians; chicken or lamb for omnivores. Check out the cooking notes below for additional ideas and substitutions!
Be sure to save leftovers or make extra for Indian pizza!
Vegetable Korma Curry Over Rice
Vegetable Korma Curry Over Rice
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
- 1 3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
- 1 recipe korma curry gravy (see below)
- 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced (about 12 ounces)
- 2 cups diced cauliflower
- 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 12 ounces your choice of protein (see notes)
Korma Curry Gravy
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 whole cardamom pods
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1- inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 14.5-ounce can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
In a small saucepan, add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil. Add basmati rice and stir to toast, about 3 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce to simmer, cover and let cook 40 minutes until water has been absorbed and rice is tender. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
While rice is cooking, make korma curry gravy. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the cardamom pods and gently fry for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
Remove cardamom pods and add onions to the pan and cook until translucent and lightly brown, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, cashews, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir to combine and let heat 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in coconut milk, add tomato paste, stir well, and reduce to simmer. Let simmer 10 minutes.
While korma curry gravy is simmering, add 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil to a large pan or pot. Heat over medium heat, then add potatoes. Let potatoes cook about 5 minutes, then add cauliflower, carrots and peas. Stir well to combine, cover, and let cook another 10 minutes until potatoes are almost tender.
As vegetables are cooking, remove korma curry gravy from heat. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour in pureed korma curry gravy when vegetables are almost tender. Add any vegan or vegetarian protein such as chickpeas, tofu, or paneer. If you need to thin the curry base, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and stir well to combine. Let simmer another 5 to 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Serve korma curry with rice.
If you don’t have cardamom pods, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom. Some recipes of garam masala may also have cardamom in then so be sure to taste your spices to determine if you want more cardamom flavor. This particular recipe is on the mild side as it's written. If you're looking to turn up the heat a little, increase the cayenne pepper to taste.
Please note that the nutrition facts below do not include the protein you select.
Firm or extra firm tofu cubes add extra protein to this korma curry and keeps it vegan. I also like to add Quorn mycoprotein. Cooked chickpeas are also a good addition to this dish.
Paneer is the traditional Indian cheese served with this dish for a vegetarian option. If you can find halloumi or frying cheese, those are great options too. Omnivores can add diced chicken or lamb to this korma curry or serve it grilled on the side. Cook the meat in a large pan or pot with coconut oil, then add the potatoes and vegetables.
Check the Fridge
Have other vegetables to make use of in the fridge? Broccoli, bell peppers, and cabbage are all good add ins or swaps in this vegetable korma curry recipe. The korma curry gravy is also nice to have on hand to use up leftover roasted vegetables!
Can't find paneer? Try your hand at making your own fresh cheese!