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vegetable & coconut curry

Vegetable and coconut curry, with a fragrant blend of herbs and spices. Delicious chunky vegetables bound in a creamy coconut curry that is quick to cook.

This vegetable and coconut curry is simple to prepare and doesn’t take too long to cook. For this reason it makes a great mid week family meal. Particularly on days where I’m short of time yet still want to put a tasty plate of food on the table. Laden with vegetables this curry ups the vegetable count, however, is in no way a heavy curry. Quite the opposite in fact, a great way at getting my children to eat vegetables.

Vegetable and coconut curry served with rice and limes.

The inspiration for this particular curry comes from a trip I had to the Indonesian island of Batam many years ago. It’s one of those memorable meals that have stayed with me.

I was sat on the balcony of the restaurant on a balmy evening, overlooking the sea. The curry was excellent, I know this because I ordered the same dish more than once during my short trip.

I love a vegetable curry above all other curries, they are so often my go to. This particular curry adds a creaminess with coconut milk and always brings a smile to my face, reminding me of carefree holidays in the sunshine. I love it when food does this, transports you somewhere and before you know it you’re sat happily reminiscing. I’ve tried to recreate that curry in this recipe here.

Two green bowls on matching plates filled with vegetable and coconut curry served with rice, limes and scattered green onions and fresh chillies.

Vegetables that work in this curry?

As with any vegetable curry, I suggest using the vegetables that you enjoy eating yourself.  For example: carrot; butternut squash; pumpkin; sweet potato; cauliflower; and broccoli would all work well in this dish.

That’s what I like about this particular vegetable coconut curry recipe, it’s versatile and easily adapted to suit individual tastes and also what vegetables you happen to have lying around in the fridge or freezer.

Add some fresh tomatoes; frozen peas; or spinach 5 minutes before the end of the cook if you would like.

In the past I’ve roasted cauliflower in the oven first to give is a nice char, adding it to the curry towards the end of the cook. In other words, use the recipe as a guide but make the curry your own.

A flat lay image of 2 green bowls on matching plates filled with vibrant vegetable and coconut curry served with portions of rice and some fresh coriander and chillies scattered around.

Can I use frozen vegetables?

I have used fresh vegetables in this particular vegetable curry as that is what I had in my store cupboards. However, I think frozen vegetables work equally well in a curry. There is such a great selection of frozen vegetables available to us now, including carrots; onions; leeks; cauliflower; and broccoli. If that’s what you have available then use it.

I always have frozen peas: spinach and broad beans in my freezer. In fact on these particular items I rarely use anything else. Not only are they convenient but they also keep a real freshness of taste. It’s far simpler to throw in a handful of frozen peas, than to stand and shell peas from the supermarket that are likely days old. They will also taste sweeter as they are frozen within hours of picking.

Can I adapt the chilli heat in this curry?

This recipe uses 2 whole chillies, and my children both enjoy this curry. When I make this curry for myself and my husband I add more chillies to increase the heat. However, if you would prefer to cut down on chillies, either de-seed them, or reduce the amount of chillies you add. This is entirely down to personal preference.

Like most recipes, chilli is easy to adapt to taste. If you want a milder curry reduce the amount of chilli, for a hotter add and extra 1 or 2 to the cook. I’m a chilli head, so the hotter the better for me!

Recipe steps:

How to make vegetable & coconut curry but starting with cooking the paste down.
Saute the curry paste in a hot pan, stirring continuously
How to make vegetable & coconut curry but starting with cooking the paste down then adding dried spices.
Next add the dry spices to the curry paste and cook for a further minute
How to make vegetable & coconut curry by coating the vegetables completely in the curry paste.
Add the vegetables and coat in the curry paste
A steaming pan of vegetable and coconut curry almost cooked and ready to serve.
Add the coconut milk, stir to combine and simmer until vegetables have softened

Substitutions that can be made to this curry:

This curry benefits from having a good balance of salt, sweet and sour in the dish. The balance of tastes makes a huge difference to the finished dish. Therefore, if you don’t have palm sugar then simply substitute with some light muscavado sugar or light soft brown sugar instead.

The tamarind paste adds a sourness to the curry. However, if you can’t find any tamarind paste, substitute with another sour flavour. I like to add the juice of a lemon or lime instead, as this will balance the sour acidity in the dish.

We have used rich and creamy coconut milk to this curry as it adds a lovely richness to the dish. However, if all you have to hand is light coconut milk then you can add that instead. Just be aware that this will result in a far looser curry sauce. Although I do find there is a lot of variation in thickness and richness across the various brands of coconut milk available to us in our supermarkets.

Vegetable and coconut curry served with rice and limes.

Is this curry suitable for a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet?

This curry is suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets as it contains no animal based produce. The creaminess of the curry comes from the coconut milk that has been added to the curry along with the other vegetables.

Packed full of tasty vegetables this curry also goes a long way to providing 2-3 portions of your 5-a-day!

I love vegetables in pretty much all their glorious forms and I like to eat meat free 2-3 times a week. This vegetable & coconut curry is great dish for anyone who wishes to add some meat free days to their weekly diet.

Pin the recipe:

Vibrant vegetable and coconut curry served with rice in a green bowl and overlaid with text.

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try our other curry recipes

If you are looking for other ideas for family dining, then check out our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners where you will find lots of useful hints, tips and recipe ideas for feeding your family.

Vegetable and coconut curry served with rice and limes.

Vegetable & Coconut Curry

Vegetable and coconut curry, with a fragrant blend of herbs and spices. Delicious chunky vegetables bound in a creamy coconut curry that is quick to cook.
5 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 281kcal


Curry Paste

  • 2 red chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 cm root ginger
  • 1 large bunch coriander leaf and stem
  • 20 ml water

Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 red onions (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 aubergine (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 courgette (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 red pepper (de-seeded and cut into large chunks)
  • 120 g baby sweetcorn (cut in half)
  • 100 g green beans (trimmed and cut in half)
  • 400 ml rich & creamy coconut milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 Knorr vegetable stock pots
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • salt & pepper

Garnish – optional

  • 2 red chillies (sliced)
  • 2 spring onions (sliced)
  • coriander leaf
  • 2 limes (cut into wedges)


Curry Paste

  • Place all the ingredients for the curry paste into a food processor and blitz to a smooth consistency.

Curry Sauce

  • Pour the sunflower oil into a large wok or non-stick frying pan and heat to medium high. Add the curry paste and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric to the curry paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the dried spices omit their fragrance.
  • Place all the vegetables to the wok and stir to ensure all the vegetables are covered with the paste. Stir gently for 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, water, vegetable stockpots, palm sugar and tamarind paste, stir to mix thoroughly and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Check for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately and garnish the top with chilli, spring onion and coriander leaf. If desired place a wedge of lime on the side.


If you don’t have palm sugar, soft brown sugar can be substituted. Likewise, if you don’t have tamarind paste, substitute this with the juice of a lemon or lime.
If you want to add less chilli heat, de-seed the chillies or reduce the number of chillies that you add to the curry paste.
We recommend using a thick and creamy coconut milk. However, if you want to use a lighter, thinner coconut milk, cut the water down a little.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetable & Coconut Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 281 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Sodium 257mg11%
Potassium 774mg22%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1228IU25%
Vitamin C 91mg110%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Asian
Keyword : Easy, Simple, vegan, vegetarian
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Recipe Rating

louise Gunstone

Wednesday 10th of June 2020

Sounds lovely. My veggie son will love learning this recipe for when he gets back to Uni.


Wednesday 10th of June 2020

Thank you Louise, it's such a simple recipe and great for your son to cook on his own once he's back at Uni. Lesley x

Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

Monday 8th of June 2020

Looks delicious! Gotta love an easy peasy midweek meal :-D Eb x


Monday 8th of June 2020

Thank you Eb, I love veggie curry midweek, it's full of flavour but doesn't require a lot of time to cook. Which, is essential in any mid week meal! Lesley x

Chloe Edges | Feast Glorious Feast

Sunday 7th of June 2020

Ooh this is absolutely my kind of curry. Can't wait to try your variation :)


Monday 8th of June 2020

Thank you Chloe, I love a good curry, this one is so simple and ready in no time. Lesley

Cat | Curly's Cooking

Friday 5th of June 2020

Thanks Cat, I love this curry for that reason! Still trying to get the kids to "love" it too!:-) Cheers, Michelle

Cat | Curly's Cooking

Friday 5th of June 2020

Sounds delicious and light and fresh which is perfect for this time of year. And also a great way of packing lots of vegetables into your dinner.