Quick Dinner Ideas: 25-Min Vegetarian Curry

Vegetarian Coconut Milk Curry | Maple and Marigold

It was 4:05 pm. I had just walked in after picking the kids up from school. My younger one was sick and the older one cranky. It was crunch time – snacks, homework, multiplication tables, baths, dishwasher waiting to be unloaded, a long list, I know. I work from home so I could have checked the dishwasher off my list. What had I been doing all day? Well for one I went to the supermarket. Thankfully, my fridge and pantry were full of options, starting with fresh coconut milk. How amazing that my local supermarket has started to stock fresh, cross-cultural foods! Quick dinner ideas are limitless with such variety, and this vegetarian curry is a weekday life-saver.

Vegetarian Coconut Milk Curry Made Easy

25 minutes and 7 ingredients later I have this delicious, aromatic and nutritious coconut milk curry.

Mommy guilt-0 Me-1, at least for today.

Since that day I have made a number of variations of this vegetarian coconut curry, with fresh coconut milk or canned, switched out veggies that are hiding in my fridge and with canned chickpeas instead of tofu. Whatever the version, the flavour is fabulous.

There’s an even bigger advantage when I use canned coconut milk and pantry chickpeas. This humble vegetarian coconut curry can be made even when groceries are low and I’m left with just just a few pantry staples.

Real-Life Kitchen Tips

  1. Cut vegetables all the same size so that they cook evenly.
  2. You can swap out different vegetables with what you have. I choose mine based on what’s in my refrigerator. Just keep in mind the texture and cooking time. For example: if you replace carrots for sweet potato like I often do,keep in mind that it may take longer to cook so give the veggies a little more wok time.
  3. Don’t let the vegetables get soggy. The flavour and texture are far better when the veggies stay crunchy.
  4. If you eat meat, you can totally swap in sliced rotisserie chicken. I love the curry as is. My kids who are as carnivorous as you can get will eat this curry joyfully with tofu and chickpeas..

A healthy, flavourful, homemade dinner on the table in a snap, what could be better.

Pantry Staple Vegetarian Coconut Milk Curry

Vegetarian Coconut Milk Curry | Maple and Marigold

Here’s the recipe for Vegetarian Coconut Curry. I serve it with my other pantry staple dish, Coconut Steamed Rice.

Coconut milk curry with Indian flavours in 20 minutes | Main dish | Quick Meals | Weeknight dinners | Vegetarian | Vegan |

Quick Vegetarian Coconut Milk Curry

Print Recipe
Course Main Course
Cuisine International
Keyword Pantry Staples, Vegan, Vegetarian recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Puneeta


  • Oil
  • 1 in piece of Cinnamon optional
  • Ginger finely chopped - 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies finely chopped - 1 tsp (if you or your kids are sensitive to spice, cut this down to 1/4tsp. But don't skip them since the flavour that green chillies bring to the oil is unbeatable.)
  • 1 tsp powdered Turmeric
  • Carrots  chopped - 1 cup
  • Green Beans chopped - 1 cup
  • 1 can Chick Peas Drained and Rinsed
  • Coriander powder ground - 1 tsp
  • Coconut Milk - 2 cups If using Canned use the entire can
  • Tofu or Paneer  diced - 1 cup (Optional)
  • Fresh herbs like basil or coriander
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat a Wok on medium, add in a tbsp. of oil.
  • Toss in the cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and green chillies, in this order.
    Let them sputter for a minute.
  • Add the chopped carrots. Move them around and get coated in the oil.
  • Throw in drained chickpeas and beans and toss it around a bit.
  • Add in the coconut milk and then just a little bit of water to water down the consistency.
  • If you're adding tofu or paneer add them in now and let the curry come to boil.
  • Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Chop some herbs for garnish. Today I had basil on hand, otherwise it is usually coriander.
  • Revel in the aroma of the spices and coconut milk! I wasn't kidding  - the easiest Indian curry ever.
  • You can serve this with Coconut Rice that's so easy to make.

Ingredients for Coconut Rice

  • 2 cups rice (washed)
  • 1/2 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 1 tbsp of sugar


  • Add in 21/2 times water into the ingredients.
  • Heat through to a boil. Turn stove down to low-medium. Put the lid on.
  • Once all the water is soaked up, fluff it with a fork just a bit.
  • Leave the lid on and let it sit for 10 mins.

Questions + Comments

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7 years ago

The coconut milk that I see in the picture? Is that good to use for cooking? I asked my husband to bring coconut milk n he got this coconut beverage which I was planning to return back to Costco.

Indian Spinach and Chicken Curry {Saag Chicken} | Maple and Marigold
6 years ago

[…] fan of delicious, nourishing and FAST meals so much so that I’ve written about them here and here and here. I admit, that’s what most of us need on those fright nights during the week when […]

Whole Foods Santa Barbara
3 years ago

3 stars
Very valuable information, it’s not at all blogs that we find
this, congratulations I was looking for something like that and found it
Best regards,
Mead Valenzuela

2 years ago

5 stars
Your recipes are so well written and reliable. The dish had come wonderfully Recipes, Thanks for giving us this wonderful

About Puneeta

Author, Educator, Speaker

Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, Food Writer, Climate Advocate, New cookbook - Good Food, Healthy Planet - out April 2024
Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma
Photo by Diana Muresan
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