Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
vegetable coconut curry

"As an Ayurvedic cook the most important ingredient we have to offer while cooking a meal is our own loving intention. When we make something for someone we give something that is personal. Our love and care goes directly into the food we are preparing and becomes part of the person who consumes it."
~ V. Sandhya

After holidays with plenty of rich food served up, our bodies begin to crave more purifying foods to fend off illness and revitalize the body and mind. Craving an easy-to-digest cleansing dose of gently spiced vegetables, I flipped through some of my favorite books and was inspired to make this simple mixed vegetable curry with coconut. This dish is simplicity at its finest and a complete taste experience when paired with some mung bean savory pancakes and a bed of hot fresh cooked brown basmati rice. Any combination of vegetables can be used, although I must admit that I was particularly smitten by the combination that I offer up here. A doctor could not have ordered a better cure for the winter chills.

The book that was the catalyst for this recipe is Mysore Style Cooking: The Secret Yogic Recipes of Mysore, India by V. Sandhya. This gem is one of the most graceful and nourishing cookbooks in my extensive collection. I am eternally grateful to Yogi Kitchen for the recommendation. Beautifully illustrated, strictly vegetarian, and inspired by her family's well-guarded recipes, Sandhya has a home-based restaurant where she serves yogis. If you want to learn about the healing food that comes from the region of Mysore, this is the book to get. Contained with the covers are plenty of ideas for legumes, grains, salads, vegetables, spice powders, breads, raitas and chutneys, and sweets. The majority of the offerings are vegan friendly too. Though I wish I could visit her home, I am happy to have a chance to recreate some of her delicious and nourishing recipes in my own kitchen.

This rather soupy curry is my contribution to No Croutons Required. The challenge for January is to come up with a soup or salad employing the use of the leftovers. In this case, I was using up some excess vegetables I had on hand.

Mixed Vegetable Coconut CurryMixed Vegetable Coconut Curry
Recipe by
Adapted from Mysore Style Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 10, 2013

Warming, fragrant and nourishing curry made with assorted fresh vegetables simmered in a spicy coconut sauce

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 2 cups dried shredded coconut
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 to 3 fresh green or red chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • pinch of asafetida
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 3 whole cloves
  • water as needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups water, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Soak the coconut in 4 1/2 cups water for 30 minutes. Transfer the coconut and water to a blender or food processor and add the poppy seeds, chilies, ginger, ground spices, cinnamon stick and cloves. Process until you have a fairly thick and smooth paste, adding more water as needed. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot add the dill and stir for a few minutes or until fragrant and just wilted. Now add the cauliflower, potato, carrot, green beans and fresh peas if using. Add the paste and stir for a few minutes.

  • Add 2 1/2 cups of water and stir in the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened. Add the spinach leaves and frozen peas if using, stir, and cover and simmer for another few minutes, adding more water if necessary to achieve your desired consistency.

  • Remove from heat and serve hot with fresh cooked rice and your favorite Indian savory flatbread.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
mixed vegetable coconut curry

More vegetable curries you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Mixed Vegetable Curry ( Sabzi Bhaji )
Simple Spicy Bottle Gourd Dal
Roasted Beet and Coconut Curry
Indian-Style Roasted Squash Curry

On the top of the reading stack: Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris and Raghavan Iyer

Audio Accompaniment: Pete Namlook


hotpotcooking said...

Nice gravy with yum coconut paste.

Yogi Kitchen said...

Great photo, did you get a light box? Adam has left this post up for me so I have a feeling he will be making it soon!

Lisa Turner said...

Thank you. I do have a homemade light box, but I didn't use it this time. Surely a challenge to get decent pictures this time of year with poor lighting. It is such a nourishing dish and I hope Adam does make it for you.

AJ said...

Delicious!! SO tempting!!

Sheila said...

I'm loving all your recipes! Headed to the store to make this one today. I'm working on eating just fresh fruits and veggies and no processed foods, but it's a challenge for me. Your recipes all seem so tasteful and fresh and healthy. Thanks!

Claire said...

I am trying to get my partner to eat more vegetarian and healthy (read: vegetable-containing) side-dishes and meals, and this was one he picked out for tonight. His usual complaint is that what I eat looks boring, but with all these spices and that wonderful turmeric coloring simmering on the stove right now, I can't see how he can say that about this dish ... Wish me luck!

Lisa Turner said...

Hope it turned out well for you Claire.