Creamy, fragrant and loaded with vegetables this creamy Vegetable Korma is the perfect Friday night curry. Mild enough so that the whole family can enjoy it, but still packed full of flavour. Vegan and gluten-free.
This vegetable korma is one of my family’s favourite curries. It’s full of rich fragrant flavours, and is one of the milder curries, which is great for the whole family! It does take a bit longer to make than some of my other curries but it is totally worth the time. The result is a deliciously creamy curry with very well developed flavours.
I make a lot of curries, they’re one of my favourite things to cook and eat! They’re great for packing in the veggies and perfect for leftovers too. You’ll find that there are a lot of curry recipes on this blog, from the very popular Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry to my quick and easy Chickpea and Lentil Curry or my rich and spicy Mushroom Curry.
What is Korma?
Korma or kurma is an Indian curry consisting of meat or vegetables braised with spices, yoghurt, cream or nuts, water or stock resulting in a thick sauce. Traditionally Korma was a noble dish that was often served in the imperial Mughal court, and the cooking of Korma was a slow process.
Here in the UK, korma is best known as one of the milder curries, a beginner curry if you will. It is one of the nations favourite curries. Though it is known to be a mild dish here in the UK a korma can be firey hot too.
For this vegetable korma recipe, I’m keeping to a mild version. This is a family-friendly curry that even young kids can enjoy. To keep this recipe vegan I use coconut milk instead of yoghurt. So this is not a traditional Korma, just my version of a great classic.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Spices – ground cumin, garam masala, and turmeric are the main spices here. All easily found in your local supermarket.
- Aromatics – onion, ginger, green chilli, cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks add the big flavours to this curry.
- The Sauce – cashews soaked then blended add a creamy nutty flavour to this curry. Full fat coconut milk is the base for which everything is cooked.
- Vegetables – cauliflower, green bell pepper and potatoes bulk up this curry and add some texture. This is a very versatile dish so most vegetables will work well in this recipe. I have added peas, cauliflower and mushrooms to this and they all work really well.
- Sultanas – also known as golden raisins these add a little sweetness to the curry.
How To Make Vegetable Korma
This is just a quick visual step by step guide, please find the full instructions and ingredient list in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Start by soaking the cashews in warm water, they’ll need at least half an hour. Then blend until smooth.
Step 2: Blanch the chopped potatoes in a pan of hot water until almost tender. I leave the skins on, but you can remove them if you wish.
Step 3: Heat the oil in a pan then add the cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks. Cook until the pods open. Add the chopped onion and cook this until it is almost golden. Next add the spices, garlic, ginger and chilli pepper. Cook for a minute or two.
Step 4: Add the green bell pepper to the pan then stir in the cashew paste to the pan.
Step 5: Add the cauliflower and stir well. Make sure the cauliflower is coated in the spices.
Step 6: Finally, add the balanced potato and slowly stir in the coconut milk. Give everything a good stir, then pop the lid on and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir often so the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The curry is done when the sauce is thick and the potato and cauliflower are cooked through.
- Start the right way – cooking the onions for longer at the beginning of the dish is really important. Cooking them slowly on a low heat means they lose all of their astringent qualities. They will become completely browned, tender, and sweet. Cooked this way means they will also bring a deeper flavour to your korma.
- Don’t burn the spices – be careful when cooking the spices, they really only need a minute. If they burn it will ruin the curry.
- Use a pan with a tight-fitting lid – this will help to cook the vegetables in the curry.
- Stir often – you will need to check on this curry often, stir it often so that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Leave the cinnamon sticks in – don’t be tempted to remove the cinnamon sticks, they need to stay in right until the end. Just remember to remove them when serving and check the sauce for any broken bark.
- Cardamom pods – if you’re serving this dish to children then I would remove the cardamom pods before serving, most kids won’t appreciate that fragrant surprise!
How To Serve Vegetable Korma
If we’re having this during the week I will usually serve this with plain basmati rice. If we want to have more of an Indian feast I’ll serve this with basmati or pilau rice, naan or chapati, popadoms, and chutneys.
How long will this last in the fridge? Like all good curries, this is really good the next day. It will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. I usually reheat it on the hob, you may need to add more water to loosen up the sauce a bit.
Can I make this ahead? You can make the complete recipe a day or two in advance, just keep it covered in the fridge and reheat it as above. You can soak the cashews the day before and blanch the potato the day before too if you want.
Can I freeze this? Yes! This curry freezes really well. You can freeze the whole dish in freezer bags. I usually freeze this in individual portion containers, this is really handy for busy days when everyone is having dinner at different times! I defrost this in the fridge the night before I want to use it and reheat it on the hob. It may need a little water to loosen it up though.
What can I use instead of coconut milk? Vegan coconut yoghurt will work very well instead of coconut milk. If you are not vegan then you can replace the coconut milk with plain natural yoghurt.
If You Loved This Korma, Try These Curries Next
- Butternut Squash & Chickpea Curry – This vegan butternut squash curry is delicious! It’s easy to make and is perfect for a tasty weeknight dinner.
- Vegan Massaman Curry – a deliciously rich and decadent Thai curry. It’s sweet and spicy, creamy and nutty. Packed with aubergine and potatoes this is such a great date night dinner.
- Aubergine and Chickpea Curry – A mildly spiced curry, that’s easy to make and healthy, even the kids will love this one.
Did you make this recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
- ⅓ cup cashews (50g)
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 medium brown onion finely chopped
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 green chilli pepper deseeded, pith removed then finely chopped
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ⅛ cup sultanas/golden raisins (25g)
- 225 g of small waxy potatoes (1cup) cut into small chunks
- 1 large green bell pepper deseeded, pith removed then cut into large chunks
- 1 small head of cauliflower (380g/3 cups) broken into medium florets
- 1 x 400g can of coconut milk (1 x 13.66 FL OZ can)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Cilantro/coriander leaves
- Toasted cashews optional
- Basmati rice
- Naan or chapati
- Before you start, soak the cashews in a small bowl with 5 or 6 tbsp of warm water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, blend the cashews in the water they were soaking in. Blend until smooth.Blanch the potatoes in salted water until almost tender.
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Use a pan with a tight-fitting lid.Add the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks, cook until the pods pop open. Reduce the heat to low heat and add the onion and a small pinch of salt. Cook the onion until it is golden brown and soft, making sure to stir often so the onion doesn't burn. At least 20 minutes if you can.
- As soon as the onion is golden and soft add the spices. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and ½ a teaspoon of turmeric then add the chopped chilli, ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until they release their fragrance.
- Now turn down the heat to low then stir in the cashew paste, add the cauliflower and stir well.Slowly pour in the coconut milk stirring all the time then add the potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper.Stir the sauce then cover the pan with the lid and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the sauce doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The korma is ready when the sauce is thick and creamy and the vegetables are cooked. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving.Serve straight away with basmati rice, toasted cashews and some coriander leaves.
- Cardamoms - If you are not keen on biting down on a cardamom pod then remove them before you add the cashew paste. I would also remove these if you are serving this dish to children.
- Coconut milk- I use full-fat coconut milk for this dish, you can use low fat if you wish however this may result in a thinner sauce.
- Storing - Any leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the hob, you may need to add a little more water to loosen up the sauce.
- Freezing - You can freeze this once cooled. It will keep in the freezer for 3 months. I freeze this in freezer bags. Defrost it in the fridge overnight then reheat on the hob until piping hot. You may need to add a little water to loosen it up a bit.
- Nutrition - Nutritional information is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. The nutritional information listed does not include rice, naan or extra cashews.
- Recipe Inspiration - This recipe is roughly adapted from Felicity Cloake's Chicken K0rma.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for measuring liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.
*Update Notes: This recipe was first published in February 2018, updated in November 2019 with step by step guide and more nutritional information. Updated April 2021 with new photos and for housekeeping.