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Quick, Easy Vegetarian Yellow Curry

Updated on July 5, 2016
Jean Greer profile image

Jean is a 27 year old living and writing in Auckland, New Zealand. She's passionate about travel, cooking, wellness, and writing.

A Favourite Recipe

This is my absolute favourite thing to cook, because I can usually make it out of whatever I have in the cupboard, and I can also easily adjust the recipe to serve more people. It's quick, easy, creamy, and DELICIOUS. You can make it as below for a mild, moreish coconut flavour, or amp up the spices for the adventurous among you.

I once fed a film crew of 20 people with this recipe by simply multiplying the ingredients and adding lots of vegetables! I'm always asked for the recipe whenever I serve it, and it's my go to when faced with vegetarian dinner guests!

Do experiment with it - once you've nailed the curry sauce you can adjust this recipe in dozens of ways. It's particularly awesome with chicken breast for a meat-eaters option, but the vegetables you can add also help to bulk it out. I like to add spinach to up the nutritional value, though it does tend to turn it into a "green curry"!

Let me know in the comments what you'd add!

Chickpea Curry
Chickpea Curry

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves 2-4 People


  • 1/2 Cup Per Person Rice, Any
  • 440ml Can Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp or to taste Salt
  • 440g Can Chickpeas, Drained
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Chilli
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 2 Carrots, (Optional) Chopped
  • 1/4 Pumpkin, (Optional) Chopped
  • 1 Cauliflower, (Optional) Chopped

Cooking Instructions

  1. Put your rice on to boil. 1/2 cup per person you are feeding is perfect. If you're using brown rice, remember that it takes longer than white (50 minutes, versus 20-30 minutes), and allow more time before you begin cooking your curry.
  2. Chop your onion, garlic, and any of the optional vegetables you are adding (carrot, cauliflower, pumpkin, or whatever you have on hand if you'd like to bulk this recipe out). Drain a can of chickpeas.
  3. Using a saucepan on a high temperature, add half of your butter to the pan. Allow it to melt before adding your curry powder, salt, cumin, chilli, and turmeric. Once this has combined and the pan is very hot, add the entire can of coconut milk to this mix. (It should make a sizzling sound and immediately emit a strong aroma - if not your butter mix was not hot enough). Now turn down the heat
  4. In a separate pan, using the rest of the butter or oil, saute your onions and garlic. Once the onions are translucent add your chickpeas and fry until they are slightly golden.
  5. Pour your coconut milk mix into the pan, and add any extras you have prepared (carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, or whatever you have on hand). Heat the mixture, then turn the temperature down and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Mix fairly regularly, and salt to taste.
  6. Once rice has finished cooking, serve the curry over bowls of rice.


I've cooked this meal hundreds of times in different combinations. Here are some things I've discovered in my experimentation:

Taste test throughout

Spices can vary depending on if they're newly opened or have been sitting on your shelf for a while. If your curry powder is old, you might need to add more if it's tasting bland. Similarly, if it's brand new, then err on the side of caution at first and add more as needed.

Salt first

That said - if it's tasting bland, try to add salt before you add more spice. Salt helps to lift the flavours out, so it might fix the issue rather than risking it becoming too spicy!

Quality Coconut Milk

This is a cheap meal, so don't skimp on the coconut milk. Get a quality brand - a good one should have a layer of 'cream' at the top (if you don't shake it first) when you open it. 'Lite' coconut milks or lower quality brands will mean this curry will be very thin and liquidy instead of creamy and delicious. I'll occasionally add a small can of coconut cream to the recipe to make it taste even better.

5 stars from 1 rating of Quick, Easy Vegetarian Yellow Curry


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