indian vegetable curry

Indian Vegetable Curry

I learned to make curries years ago while working at the college cafeteria. During a summer seminar, an Indian group arrived. They sent their chef into the kitchen to teach my friend and I how to make food for them. When I had my restaurant, Indian Vegetable Curry was a staple, we served this dish frequently. Using fresh spices is one way to enhance the flavor of the curry.

vegetables on table

Here are vegetables from the garden that I used when making curry in late August.  I vary what I put into my curry depending on what’s in season. So feel free to make substitutes.

Indian Vegetable Curry


  • 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter – optional
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon corriander
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 medium red or yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 to 2 zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 bell pepper, green or red
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 1 to 2 cups brown rice
  • plain yogurt – optional
  • chutney as a side – optional


  1. Cook the brown rice, here is the recipe. While it is cooking, begin preparing vegetables and spices.
  2. Dice onion, set aside. Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces, keeping them separated from each other. Remove leaves from most of the stems of the cilantro. Discard stems. Mince leaves and set aside.
  3. Combine the cumin, corriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne in a small bowl. (Don’t add the mustard seed.) Set aside.
  4. In a medium sized pot (preferably with a heavy bottom) turn heat to medium. Add the oil and butter if you are using butter. Let the butter melt for about a minute, then add the black mustard seed. Stir until the mustard seed start to pop. This will take a few minutes, careful not to let the butter brown or burn.
  5. Once the seeds begin to pop, add the rest of the spices along with the garlic and ginger and stir well for about a minute.
    black mustard seed cooking  curry spices cooking
  6. Add the chopped onion. Stir and let cook about 2 minutes.
    onions cooking in curry
  7. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook another minute.
  8. Now add the carrots. Cook about 2 more minutes. Then add the potatoes and tomatoes. Cook another minute or two.
  9. Add the zucchini, cook 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and continue to cook until the vegetables are just done, adding the peas the last minute. You may place a lid on the pot for a few minutes if desired.
    indian vegetable curry
  10. Remove from heat, and stir in the fresh minced cilantro. Serve over brown rice with a side of chutney and/or plain yogurt.

indian vegetable curry

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