Dinner/ Ethnic Food/ Main Course/ Recipes

Vegetarian Yellow Curry

The other morning, I was once again seduced by the beautiful produce at Whole Foods.

I ended up buying quite a plethora of it….I’m a sucker for pretty vegetables it seems.

Then I drove home, unloaded my groceries and put everything away before staring idly in front of my open refrigerator, wondering just what in the heck I was going to do with them all.

I pondered for a few minutes, ate a piece of cheese, and then an idea took hold.

Tender, seasonal veggies tossed in a creamy, spicy coconut milk broth that’s spiked with coriander, cumin seeds and cayenne. No meat ’cause I didn’t have any (although chicken would be delicious in this), and lots of fresh ginger and garlic to help rid myself of this cold I’ve been battling for the past week.

It tasted absolutely delicious, especially when served with a generous heap of fluffy brown rice. I packed some up, tied it with a ribbon and put it in Almanzo’s fridge as a thankful gesture for all his hard work on last weekend’s videos (see here and here).

And if my meat and potatoes lovin’ Texas boy says it’s great…well, it must be a sign.

To make this, you first should prepare and chop all your veggies. I used broccoli, sweet potato, carrot, fennel, onion,Β  garlic, ginger and red bell pepper.

Chopping vegetables does take some time, but I honestly can’t think of a more relaxing activity.

Well, unless it’s a spa treatment.

Or walking on the beach.

But chopping carrots is up there, really!

Next, prepare your spices by toasting them over low heat for three to five minutes.

Toasting your spices really maximizes their flavor (see here for a great tutorial), thus creating a more authentic-tasting dish. For this curry, I used a mix of mustard seeds, coriander and cumin seeds. After those were toasted, I stirred in some cayenne and turmeric.

Add your toasted spices to large pot with some water, three tablespoons of fresh ginger and a can of diced tomatoes and let that simmer for twenty minutes while you saute all your vegetables, starting with your onions and then adding garlic, fennel, sweet potatoes, carrots and bell pepper.

You’re not trying to cook the vegetables in this step…you’re just adding flavor.

Stir a can of coconut milk into the tomato mixture and add your veggies. Let simmer for half an hour.

When the vegetables are tender, add a can of chickpeas and stir to combine everything.

That’s it! Don’t be deterred by the lengthy list of ingredients…..it’s really all veggies and spices!

Vegetarian Yellow Curry

serves 6

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups water

1 15-oz can coconut milk (light or regular)

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 fennel, sliced into 1/4th inch thick slices

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large garnet yam, peeled and chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 T fresh ginger, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups broccoli florets

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tsp salt

1 T canola oil

Prepare all vegetables and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium/low heat, toast the coriander, cumin seeds and mustard seeds gently for about four minutes to release maximum flavor. After toasting, add the cayenne, salt and turmeric and set aside.

In a large saucepot, combine the diced tomatoes, water, fresh ginger and spice mixture. Simmer for twenty minutes while you saute the vegetables.

Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add the onion and saute for about six minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, fennel, carrot and sweet potato and cook for another five minutes, stirring often.

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for thirty seconds (they will turn bright green). Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Add the coconut milk to the tomato mixture and then stir in the sauteed veggies, broccoli and bell pepper. Raise heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for thirty minutes, or until the carrots and sweet potato are tender. Stir in the chickpeas.

Serve curry on it’s own or with brown or jasmine rice. Cilantro is delicious on top!

You Might Also Like

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    November 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

    That looks AWESOME. I love what a difference toasting spices makes in their flavor. Same with nuts – toasted they are a million times better in my opinion!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    November 17, 2010 at 7:38 am

    I’m just jealous that Almanzo will even eat something without meat in it. My husband won’t even taste it!

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 7:41 am

      hah! sometimes I don’t give him the option.

  • karen t
    November 17, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I’m off today to look for a camera, since I love the color and clarity in your pictures was wondering what kind you have, I’ve been looking at a cannon IX30, but the more I read the more confused I’m becoming. Thanks…

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 7:52 am


      I have a canon rebel xsi…I use both a 17-70mm zoom lens and a 60mm macro lens. I love the camera and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

      • karen t
        November 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

        Thanks Jenna, that’s the one I shall get….after reading many reviews on this one sounds like you must have really researched it too. πŸ™‚

  • Steph@stephsbitebybite
    November 17, 2010 at 7:52 am

    This looks fantastic!! So warm and hearty!!

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    November 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I adore how you take us through your thought process, including your eating cheese πŸ™‚ I cannot wait to try this recipe. It looks delicious and I’ve never had India food before (I know.. right!?!)

  • Daisy
    November 17, 2010 at 8:16 am

    You are such a sweeet gf, rewarding for him for all his hard work. what a great looking dish!

  • Amber K
    November 17, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I have never heard of toasting spices before, but what a perfect way to add extra flavor!

  • tina
    November 17, 2010 at 8:24 am

    omg, looks delish, i have been falling in love with indian food lately, too! yummyyyyy! with some roti/your homemade na’an bread…. perfection!

  • Bits
    November 17, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Your recipes keep getting better and better. Loving the new blogging style. Keep it up!!

  • Alexia @ DimpleSnatcher
    November 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I’m absolutely going to make this!
    I love curry. Like violently.
    And I don’t eat meat. Hence…
    But hey, from the photo is looks more watery than thick? Huh?

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 8:34 am

      it’s not super thick..it’s like a stew!

  • Brenna [fabuleuxdestin]
    November 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I just made your garam masala and it was so good! Def want to try this as well πŸ™‚

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    November 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Yum, this looks absolutely delicious and oh-so perfect now that the weather is getting colder!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    November 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    My office is freeezing right now.. I need some of this!

  • Maria
    November 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I love all of the veggies involved!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    November 17, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I love all the flavors in this soup!!
    I wish my hubby would eat a vegetarian dish. He would make me put chicken in it.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations
    November 17, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Curry is a relatively new dish to me, and I find that I love it. You make seemingly difficult recipes seem easy for anyone. Thank you.

  • Angharad
    November 17, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Curry is my jam. I love Indian food so much – I just adore the use of so many spices to create a natural crazy-flavourful dish. Simple curries are the best!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    November 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Sounds & looks so healthy, cleansing & fortifying. I love chopping vegetables while listening to great (related) music, sipping wine, arranging flowers. Very primal true abundance feeling. Making this tonight, thanks!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
    November 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I love chopping veggies as a way to relax as well. It’s really the only part of cooking I actually enjoy. Well, besides baking…I like all parts of baking.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    November 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

    agh! seduced is such an appropriate word…i usually have to go in the other entrance just to steer clear of the stuff i don’t need because it’s so pretty!

  • Kat (My Fruity Life)
    November 17, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Looks wonderful..I know what I’m having for dinner tonight.

    Quick question to anyone who would know….can I substitue a regular curry powder for the majority of these spices?

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

      no–because this is more of a Thai style curry than an Indian curry. Garam masala or just plain curry powder is really used for more of an Indian-style dish…

      • jenna
        November 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

        well, I take that back. you COULD..but it would just have a different taste. I’m sure it would still be delicious though!

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
    November 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

    At first I thought this would be more of an authentic Thai curry and got excited, but this seems a lot simpler/cheaper to make. I’m not sure how I feel about fennel in it, though.

    I also have the problem of overloading on produce and then not really knowing what to do with it all.

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 10:13 am

      ooo the fennel is SO good in this..trust me!

      • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
        November 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

        I’m intrigued and trust your judgment, so I think I’ll experiment!

  • Rebecca
    November 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I’m definitely going to make this! I have a similar collection of veggies in my fridge and was not motivated to make another boring stir-fry. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • M
    November 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I didn’t realize one could make a curry without the old standby’s of curry powder or paste? Cool!

    Jenna, any chance you might consider adding a few yoga related posts in your recipe mix? I really miss hearing about your passion for yoga-and it really has inspired me. Pretty please ? πŸ˜‰

  • Oc2Seattle
    November 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I like that you eat cheese while you think – my kind of woman πŸ˜‰ Looks like great comfort food for one of our cold Seattle days, looking forward to trying it out.

  • jenna
    November 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

    mmm..this looks really yummy and satisfying. I’m not a huge curry fan…that I know of. but this recipe really appeals to me for some odd reason. bookmarking it! thanks!

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen
    November 17, 2010 at 10:20 am

    This looks awesome! I was just staring at some yellow curry in TJ’s…. didn’t purchase – now I’ll just have to make it.

  • Kristin
    November 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

    YUM! Can’t wait to try this! question: in the photo instructions you mention adding water to the pot with the spices before you add the tomatoes, etc, but it isn’t listed in the ingredient list. How much water do you use?
    or i guess i could just get in there and figure it out.. πŸ˜‰

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 11:15 am

      sorry about that! It’s a cup and a half. I thought I wrote that but I will edit it right now!

  • Dee
    November 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

    OMG! This sounds amazingly delicious!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    November 17, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I love how you used no actual curry powder in this curry. My hubs is not a fan and I am forbidden to cook with it (well, unless I want to eat an entire recipe on my own…and honestly not really a curry powder fan either)….so anyhooo I love the looks of this recipe.

    Anything with lots of veggies and coconut milk and spices…that’s a winner in my book!


  • Becky
    November 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

    It’s a crime to make Thai-style curry without Kaffir lime leaves but I’ll overlook it this one time… πŸ™‚ Looks tasty.

  • Maren
    November 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

    things like curry always seem so daunting to me. Your posts make them seem so much easier than I think.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

    This looks FANTASTIC! I really like how you showed a pic of all of the ingredients. It’s really easy/convenient to scan over them all. Thanks chica πŸ™‚

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    November 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve been craving curry all week… AND I have all of the ingredients πŸ˜€

  • Liana @ femme fraiche
    November 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Noooo, I spent a good amount of time yesterday morning looking for a good recipe with chickpeas, I had a sudden urge for them. This one is perfect but my meal planning is done for the day:( oh well, there’s always tomorrow!! So good! PS–I love your photos

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie
    November 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    That looks delicious! I am a huge fan of cayenne pepper. Except when it gets under my nails and burns for 12 hours. But, you know … the rest of the time.

    If there is no curry powder in it, does that mean your clothes don’t all smell like Indian food after you cook this?

  • Kris
    November 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I just made it and it’s AWESOME!!!

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      so glad!!

  • Kim Trick
    November 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Yum!! My boyfriend is Sri Lankan American and just taught me how to make authentic Sri Lankan curries. I’ve always been scared of attempting curries, but I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I made it for my Sociocultural Nutrition class a couple weeks ago, and now I’m totally hooked. Of course I’ve made it too many times since then, so this might be a great one to try next. Especially now that I’ve overcome my fear of foreign spices!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    November 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Curry’s on of my favorites! Thanks for this!

  • Jennifer
    November 18, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Hey Jenna! I really love your blog and seriously envy your lifestyle while I slave away at a desk all day yearning to be in the kitchen and experiment with burnt cookies and oversalted soups, however, I have a question for you. As much as I love to bake I tend to shy away from doing it frequently because of the cost!! How do you manage to make these so-called 55 trips to Whole Foods a week and not break the bank?? Any tips? Thanks!!

  • Lindsey
    November 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Jenna!
    I just made this recipe and it is so good. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Susan
    November 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I’m cooking this dish as I type – my house smells like heaven. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Vegetarian Yellow Curry
    December 1, 2011 at 6:41 am

    […] Adapted from Jenna’s recipe […]

  • Alex
    March 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

    hmmmmmm. i think i might try to make a slow cooker version of this…do you think that would work?

    • Alex
      March 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

      ooo also….i’ve never cooked with fennel and i’m excited to try it! What does it taste like? and do i chop up and use ALL the bits?

  • Vegetarian Yellow Curry » Caitlin Metzger
    November 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

    […] say, it was delicious. I don’t have any pictures at the moment, but check out Jenna’s postΒ over at eatliverun.com for the recipe and some pictures.  Posted by admin at 6:48 pm on […]

  • Julie
    March 6, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I love this recipe and my husband LOVES this recipe! He is always ready for me to make this and loves the curry so much he doesn’t even want rice. Since I found your blog we have enjoyed many of your recipes to the point that they are now in our normal cycle. Thank you!

  • Aqiyl Aniys
    February 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.