This lemon grass and coconut yellow curry is the perfect summer curry. It is vibrant, flavor packed from the curry paste and lemongrass and full of cauliflower and tofu bites throughout. Plus, it’s only 10 ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes or less! Great for busy weeknights and even more delicious leftovers!
After going vegan in 2016, curry became one of my favorite foods, particularly coconut curries. They’re not only easy, but they’re so versatile, often 1 pot recipes, budget friendly, and you can use pretty much any vegetables you have on hand. The leftovers are also almost always tastier too because the longer it sits, the stronger the flavors get and meld together! Nothing is better than a dinner that doubles as the next day’s lunch!
With curry, I also love making some white rice and vegan naan to go along with it. Everyone loves rice but is there anything better than homemade, fluffy naan?!
Get the recipe for my homemade naan bread here.I promise it’s easy and pretty hard to mess up! I’ve made it several times at this point and it never gets old! And bonus? It’s oil free and freezer friendly. Yes!
what makes this curry yellow?
The secret ingredient to making this curry the beautiful, bold yellow is turmeric. Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that has a very earthy, deep taste. It also has a mild bite to it. Not spicy, but the taste is strong and lingers! A little certainly goes a long way.
It’s naturally a very bright orange and is the ingredient in every yellow curry paste and yellow curry powder that gives it that rich yellow color. It’s also often found in mustard and more recently, turmeric lattes have become pretty popular.
is curry good for you?
Yes, curry can be very good for you! This one in particular is vegan, oil free, gluten free (if you don’t count the naan) and full of great plant-based foods. Turmeric is also known for being an incredible anti-oxidant, is anti-inflammatory and has many other health benefits!
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I did learn in Dr. Michael Greger’s book, How Not to Die that the more vibrant and brightly colored your food, the higher it is in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are the key to keeping us from aging too quickly and why it’s so important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables! Now, with that in mind, I’d say this brightly colored curry is pretty high in anti-oxidants!
A few notes for making your curry
This recipe is incredibly easy so there are not a lot of steps to walk through here. It’s 1 pot and practically impossible to mess up, but there are a few things I want to mention for the best success!
- Buy a good quality, fresh yellow curry paste. You should be able to buy a curry paste at any larger grocery store or at any local Asian grocery store, but if not, you can find pretty much anything you want on Amazon or Thrive Market these days. I used this curry paste by the brand Mekhala Living. I like it because it has no additives or preservatives and is Whole 30, Paleo and Vegan friendly! A lot of curry pastes will contain fish sauce, shrimp, or added oils but this one does not.
- The inclusion of fresh lemongrass is key! It’s what gives it a bright fresh flavor, similar to lime juice. If you’ve never used lemongrass before, I recommend checking out this post. It details how to cut lemon grass, what it tastes like, and how to use it in cooking!
- Use a full fat canned coconut milk. I do not recommend using a low fat coconut milk or a regular plant-based milk because it is not rich enough. Your curry will be a lot more watered down and not as flavorful. Full fat is essential!
Oh, and final note: Naan bread is a must! Did I already say that?
I hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do. It doesn’t really get more simple and delicious than this! If you love curry type dishes, check out my Vegan Butter Chicken. Not exactly a curry but also very, very good.
30 minute Lemongrass and Coconut Yellow Curry
- 3 cups cauliflower - broken into florets
- 1 (16 ounce) block extra firm tofu - or substitute an additional 1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
- 3 shallots - diced
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass - minced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 20 ounces full fat coconut milk - about 1 ½ cans
- sea salt and black pepper - to taste
- white rice
- naan bread
- Sautee the shallots and lemon grass in a splash of vegetable broth over medium high heat in a large pot (at least 5 qt) until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
- Next, add in the curry powder, turmeric powder, ground pepper, yellow curry paste and another splash of vegetable broth and stir until a thick paste forms.
- Then, add in the rest of the vegetable broth, coconut milk, cauliflower florets, and tofu, and stir until fully combined. You should have a nice yellow color at this point, but it will get darker and more vibrant as it simmers.
- Once combined, lower the heat and add the lid. Allow curry to simmer for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is easily pierced with a knife.
- Serve with cilantro, rice and homemade naan.
- Storage: Store the curry and rice separately. Curry with last up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- This is a great meal prep recipe. The flavor gets richer overtime.
- I do not recommend using low fat coconut milk.
- I have not tried freezing this curry, but I think it would freeze well!
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
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