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Vegan Stew with Indian Spices

Updated on November 22, 2014
All photos by Valerie Bloom
All photos by Valerie Bloom

This easy-to-prepare stew hits the spot

This delicious stew is both vegan and gluten-free. It will satisfy your hunger and make your house smell magnificent!

The spice used in this recipe is garam masala, a combination of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, coriander, and pepper that is common in dishes from India.

This recipe utilizes a 6-quart slow cooker, but it can certainly be made on a conventional stovetop.

As with many stew recipes, this one can be adapted to your personal tastes and to use whatever vegetables you happen to have on-hand. Feel free to throw in fresh or frozen veggies such as spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or potatoes.

Any kind of bean will work with this recipe. You can use canned or prepared dried beans. The best choices for this recipe would probably be pinto, garbanzo, or great northern. Since the recipe calls for two cans of beans, you can can mix or match!

Also, if you prefer a spicier flavor, you can add hot peppers or use curry powder instead of garam masala - though you may want to use less than two tablespoons.

Here's What You'll Need

These are the basic ingredients for this Vegan Stew with Indian Spices.

Once the vegetables are chopped, the recipe comes together very quickly. Although it simmers for hours in the slow cooker, the actual preparation time is just about 20 minutes.

Remember to prepare the rice separately before serving. I recommend using either jasmine rice, which cooks in about 20 minutes, or brown basmati rice, which takes about 50 minutes. These are both delicious, fragrant rices.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 5.5-7 hours

Serves: 6


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 3 carrots - sliced
  • 2 yams or white potatoes - cut into bite-size chunks
  • (1) 15-oz can diced tomatoes - (fire roasted tomatoes are THE BEST!)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsps garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (may omit or add more to taste)
  • (2) 15-oz cans of beans
  • (1) 14-oz can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro - chopped - for garnish (if desired)


  1. Prepare the ingredients. Peel and chop veggies as needed. Drain and rinse the beans. The tomatoes should NOT be drained, as the juice will be part of the cooking liquid. Make the vegetable broth, if necessary.
  2. Place oil in the slow cooker and set temperature to high. Add the garlic and onion and cook for several minutes, until fragrant. (Some slow cookers are designed to be placed directly on a stovetop to fry veggies. Only do this if your slow cooker manual specifically says you can.)
  3. Add the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peas and any other vegetables that you are including to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the garam masala and red pepper flakes, if using. Coat the vegetables with the spices. Add the beans, coconut milk, and vegetable broth.
  5. Reduce the heat setting to low, cover, and cook for 5-7 hours. (Veggies will be soft in 5 hours, but they can continue to cook longer.) Adjust seasonings to taste.
  6. Serve over rice. Try jasmine or brown basmati rice for this dish!
  7. Cilantro is an excellent garnish for this dish, so please add it if you enjoy the flavor!
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Getting started

Add the other veggies, garam masala, and beans

Interested in a Slow Cooker?

Slow cookers, sometimes referred to by the brand name Crockpot, are electric appliances that gently heat foods like soups and stews. You can place the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and come home from work to a hot meal!

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Digital Timer, Stainless Steel , SCCPVL610-S
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Digital Timer, Stainless Steel , SCCPVL610-S

This is a good quality, programmable 6-quart slow cooker. Free Shipping from Amazon!


Stir in the coconut milk and vegetable broth

Quick-fix Vegetarian

This recipe was inspired by a delicious stew recipe in "The Quick-fix Vegetarian" by Robin Robertson.

Quick-Fix Vegetarian
Quick-Fix Vegetarian

This is a great vegan cookbook with lots of fantastic recipes that can be made quickly. There are a number of recipes in this book that I use on a regular basis.


Your home will smell amazing as the stew simmers! (Here's a peek under the lid!)

Serve over rice and enjoy!

Don't Just Sit and Stew - Leave Me a Message!

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    • Valerie Bloom profile image

      Valerie Bloom 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @evawrites1: Oh, thank you so much! I am truly delighted!

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 3 years ago

      I love all your recipes and this is no exception :)

    • Valerie Bloom profile image

      Valerie Bloom 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @JennAshton: Enjoy!

    • JennAshton profile image

      Jenn Ashton 3 years ago from Canada

      Awesome! Going to try this one this week - thanks for posting!!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Looks delicious, vegival!

    • Valerie Bloom profile image

      Valerie Bloom 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @evawrites1: Thank you so much! There are LOTS of great vegan recipes on Squidoo!

    • profile image

      Moviles-Baratos 3 years ago

      mmmmmmmmm i'm hangr, thanks for sharing this great indian reciepts

    • Trickytricks profile image

      Trickytricks 3 years ago

      Oh my, it looks delicious!

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 3 years ago

      I'm so excited when I see vegan recipes on the first page of Squidoo! Congrats!

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 3 years ago

      Mmm. I love recipes like this. Soups and stews and Indian spices/flavors are my favorites :).

    • Valerie Bloom profile image

      Valerie Bloom 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @kimjolson: I use one can of coconut milk for this recipe, and soup stock isn't necessary. The liquid comes from the coconut milk and the liquid from the canned tomatoes. Yum! Enjoy!

    • profile image

      kimjolson 4 years ago

      Excited to try this for dinner tomorrow! How much veg. stock and coconut milk do you add? 1 can each? Also, how long should you let it simmer on the stove? Thanks!! :)

    • profile image

      john9229 4 years ago

      I'm going to try it this weekend.!

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      I am going to try your vegan stew with spices, it sounds really delicious. Great lens by the way

    • profile image

      webmavern 4 years ago

      This recipe sounds delicious, I'll have to try it out. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Valerie Bloom profile image

      Valerie Bloom 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: Thanks, Tipi! I hope you do give jasmine rice a try -- it sweet and fragrant and gentle and fantastic! I'm glad you enjoyed the lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You sure have the surprises along the way in your recipes.....I'd never thought of using yams in a stew and it sounds so inviting and that coconut milk has to add a very special flavor. No one will be even thinking about meat with this yummy delight. I like how you encourage others to make their own adaptations....this has to smell amazing. I haven't tried jasmine rice, sounds alluring.

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      This does look good!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 4 years ago

      MMMmmmmm. Looks good. I can almost smell it cooking now!

    • Eighteen18 profile image

      Eighteen18 4 years ago

      Looks yummy! I didn't know some slow cookers could go on stove top.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I can smell this wonderful stew.

    • profile image

      Accounting-firm 4 years ago

      WOW i will try it.