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Vegetarian curry recipes

I am volunteering as a nutritionist in a local seniors program helping to plan the menus for their group lunches. As it is South Asian month here, we have decided for May to do a vegetarian curry. I dont have a lot of experience cooking curries so Im looking for your best vegetarian curry recipes with the following requirements:
-Healthy and low fat ( I am their nutritionist, after all)
-Low cost (no high end specialty items, we're on a really tight budget)
-vegetarian (not necessarily vegan) but I would like some source of protein in it (as legumes or tofu, for example)

Thanks so much!

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  1. Matar Paneer (peas with cheese or tofu) might fill the bill.

    1. A spinach potato curry is really yummy, a dash of ground fenugreek completes the flavour.

      1. You could do a dal (lentil curry) or chana (chickpea curry) or eggplant curry. If you are interested in any of the recipes, let me know!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Paula76

          I am! I think chickpea curry would be great if you have a good recipe!

          1. re: hungryabbey

            Here's a good one from Camellia Panjabi:

            Ingredients for 6 people:
            250 g dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
            3 large onions
            15 g fresh ginger
            250 g tomatoes, skinned ad de-seeded
            2 black cardamoms
            8 cloves
            2 cinammon leaves or bay leaves
            15 peppercorns
            1 tsp cumin seeds
            salt
            pinch asafoetida
            65 ml oil
            1 tsp turmeric powder
            1/2 tsp garam masala
            1 tsp coriander powder
            1/2 tsp ground black pepper
            3/4 tsp dried mango powder

            Method:
            Chop 2 of the onions and reserve. In a food processor, pureé another onion with the ginger and garlic. Pureé the tomatoes separately.
            Place the chickpeas with their soaking water in a pressure cooker or cooking pot with the last chopped onion, black cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon or bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin seeds, salt and asafoetida. Bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes in a pressure cooker or 50 minutes in an ordinary pot. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.

            In a separate cooking pot, heat the oil. Add the reserved chopped onion and sauté for 25 minutes or until brown. Add the pureéd onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for another 10 minutes.

            Add the turmeric, garam masala and coriander powders, pepper and mango powder and stir thoroughly. (Don't worry if you don't have mango powder. It works just as well).

            Add the cooked chickpeas and stir gently. Add the water inw hich the chickpeas were cooked and cook until tender. Add salt to taste.

            Hope they'll all enjoy it!

            1. re: Paula76

              As wonderful as that looks, I fear that some of the ingredients are too expensive for our budget (the fewer spices that need to be purchased, the better).. any ideas on how to simplify this to use less spices/ premixed indian spices?

              1. re: hungryabbey

                Here is a simple version:

                >>>>> PUNJABI CHOLE <<<<<

                4 TBS MARGARINE
                1 TSP CUMIN SEED
                1 TSP BLACK MUSTARD SEED
                1/4 TSP BLACK CARDAMOM SEEDS

                1 ONION, SLICED THIN
                1 INCH PIECE OF GINGER, PEELED AND MINCED
                2 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED

                1/2 KNORR’S CHICKEN BOUILLON CUBE
                1/2 TSP TURMERIC
                1/2 - 3/4 TSP CHILI POWDER (INDIAN RED CHILI)
                1 1/2 TSP CHANA MASALA (MDH BRAND)
                2 TBS TOMATO PUREE

                2 CANS (19 OZ) CHICK PEAS, DRAINED - RESERVING LIQUID

                1 TBS YOGURT

                4 TBS CHOPPED CILANTRO

                SAUTE CUMIN, MUSTARD AND CARDAMOM IN MARGARINE UNTIL SEEDS POP

                SAUTE ONION, GINGER AND GARLIC UNTIL ONION IS GOLDEN BROWN

                ADD BOUILLON CUBE, TURMERIC, CHILI POWDER, CHANA MASALA AND TOMATO AND COOK 2 MINUTES

                ADD CHICK PEAS AND MIX WELL
                COOK FOR 5 MINUTES
                ADD RESERVED LIQUID AS REQUIRED FOR DESIRED AMOUNT OF SAUCE

                OFF THE HEAT ADD YOGURT AND COMBINE

                ADD CILANTRO AND COMBINE

        2. Do you have an Indian mkt you can get to?

          Web up recipes for these Indian "standards:"
          Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower)
          Saag Aloo (spinach and potato)
          Chana Masala (chickpeas in spice mix)
          Dal Makhani (lentils in butter/cream/tomato sauce.) - seen it spelled makhni, makni, mahkni etc.

          If you have an Indian mkt, you can start with pre-packaged spice mixes (masalas) to ease the task. I can recommend "shan" brand chana masala - but only use about 1/2 of the powder the recipe calls for. It's pretty salty. An Indian mkt will also have frozen paneer (cheese) and pretty much anything else you will need like curry leaf, fresh methi (fenugreek for your saag aloo,) garam masalas etc.

          3 Replies
          1. re: gordeaux

            I am currently eating a vegetable/tofu curry that isn't great because it's got that nutty tofu flavour. My local Indian grocer sells frozen paneer- could you quickly fill me in on how to prepare it in recipes that call for "regular" paneer? Thaw it in the fridge? On the counter? Cook from frozen? Steam it?

            1. re: Jetgirly

              frozen paneer you simply need to put it in at the end of your recipe frozen or defrosted to let it heat thru and absorb the flavors for the last five minutes of cooking your dish.

            2. re: gordeaux

              Spices are usually Much cheaper at South Asian markets than supermarkets, however the minimum quantities might be more than you can handle.

              Many spices used in curries are available in inexpensive small cellophane packets at Latino markets. Supers may carry the same packets but often hide them because they are pushing expensive national brands.

              If you buy whole seeds they will last much longer than the powdered version.

              I don't like mixes because that limits my options too much AND they can be absurdly salty. OTOH I do premix a little garam masala and 'curry' powder ingredients, then grind them just before use.

              Still searching for my fav recipes for you.....

            3. Buy the japanese style curry mixes. Either S&B Golden Curry Mix or Vermont curry mix. Pereferable the mild one. Japanese curry is a green type of curry.
              Cut up any type of vegetables you want, carrots, celery, potato, onion, bell peppers, etc..
              Add firm tofu just before serving, so it doesn't melt or break up to much.
              I usually use cubed pork or chicken.
              Serve over rice...
              Even add cutup vegan burger patties.
              Just follow packaged directions...takes less than 20 mins to cook.

              1 Reply