Vegan curry doesn’t get much easier than this butternut squash aloo gobi. Made with a few vegetables and a small selection of spices, this delicious vegetable curry is packed with flavour.
Of course, you can make quick curry with a jar of sauce, but this isn’t a lot more effort. In fact, this recipe can be made in about the time it takes to boil some water and cook the rice. However, it has so much more flavour than anything from a packet.
The secret to its deep flavour is cooking the onions and spices until rich and savoury.
Spices are fascinating
I always want to encourage people to explore spices. They come in so many flavours, and then you can cook them and combine them to bring out even more flavours. It’s like mixing colours, and the more I try the more I discover.
This simple curry doesn’t require a cupboard full of spices. The major spice is garam masala – an easy to find spice mix I’ve enjoyed for many years. Normally I use it as a sweet, bright addition that’s stirred into curries right at the end of cooking. However, this aloo gobi recipe has shown me a whole other side of it. Cook garam masala until it’s well toasted and the flavour inverts into something rich, deep and intensely savoury.
Contrast is a huge part of a my favourite Indian meals, so I like to enjoy this very savoury curry with sweet chutneys and pickles.
I’m using a fairly generous amount of oil, but if you’re looking for a low-fat curry, that’s an easy adjustment. Just reduce the oil to one tablespoon and toast the spices in a separate saucepan. Add them to the main pan when the tomatoes and water go in. Don’t, however, attempt to cook the spices in the main pan with less oil – it usually just clumps, sticks and burns. I’ve found that cooking spices works best with either plenty of oil or no oil at all.
Butternut Squash Aloo Gobi (easy vegan curry)
- 3 tablespoons oil (neutral flavour, eg. light olive, sunflower)
- 2 large red onions (thinly sliced)
- 4-6 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
- 30 g root ginger (finely grated)
- 4 tablespoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 green chilli (discard stalk, cut in to thin slices) (alternatively, 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes)
- 300 g cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 300 g water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium butternut squash (discard peel and seeds, cut in to chunks) (an 800g squash is ideal)
- 1 medium cauliflower (discard leaves and stalk, separate in to florets)
- 100 g green beans (cut in half)
- 1 lime (zest of 1/2, juice of all)
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves (chopped up)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions and fry with regular stirring for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and they smell savoury. Add the spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and fry with constant stirring until aromatic (around 4 minutes).
- Add the tomatoes, water, butternut squash and salt to the pan. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the lime juice and zest, garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
Tried this curry or have some questions? Join in the conversation in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more Indian vegan recipes, I also have this lentil dal recipe.