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This 30-minute Indian-inspired vegan coconut curry is packed with tofu and vegetables in a curry powder and coconut milk curry sauce for a super simple yet flavor and nutrient-packed, low-budget, comforting, super satisfying meal!

completed Easy Tofu Vegetable Coconut Curry in a bowl against a white background

Creamy Tofu and Vegetable Curry with Coconut Milk

When there is a chill in the air, there’s nothing like cozying up with a big bowl of fragrant, warming curry. We’ve already shared plenty of vegan curry recipes, including a butternut squash curry, Brussel sprout curry, and crockpot Thai red curry. Now, though, it’s time for this super simple Indian-inspired vegan coconut curry.

While coconut milk is most often linked to Thai curries, we’re taking things a little west for this Indian vegetable curry with coconut milk. No, it’s not authentic—in fact, curry powder doesn’t even exist in India. But the spice blend hits Indian curry flavor notes, and we love an inexpensive recipe that doesn’t require a fully stocked spice cupboard!

With a mixture of tofu and (adaptable) vegetables in a creamy coconut milk curry sauce, this Indian coconut curry is packed with texture, flavor (spice adaptable), and plenty of plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fats.

Plus, you can prepare this one-pot dish on the stove or in a crockpot—and did we mention it’s naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan? All in all, this veggie coconut curry makes for a delicious, healthy meal any day of the week!

The Vegan Coconut Curry Ingredients and Substitutes

Unlike traditional Indian curries, this easy coconut curry recipe requires surprisingly few ingredients for a super flavorful sauce and your choice of protein and veggies!

ingredients for Easy Tofu Vegetable Coconut Curry measured out against a white surface

The Coconut Milk Curry Sauce

  • Aromatics: We use the curry trifecta of garlic, ginger, and onion (yellow) for a super aromatic Indian vegetable coconut curry.  
  • Vegetable broth: Pre-made, homemade, or a combination of vegetable bouillon. Use a low-sodium broth if preferred.
  • Coconut milk: For the creamiest and best results, we recommend full-fat canned coconut milk. You can use lite coconut milk in a pinch.
  • Seasonings: This Indian coconut curry relies on just: curry powder (mild, medium, or hot—it’s up to you), turmeric, and salt.
  • Oil: Coconut oil works great for this vegan coconut curry, but you can use your favorite neutral cooking oil.

The Tofu and Vegetables

  • Tofu: Use pressed extra-firm tofu, so it maintains its shape. Puffed fried tofu cubes will also work well. For a soy-free version, use chickpeas.
  • Vegetables: The veggies in this tofu coconut curry recipe are pretty versatile. This time, we’ve used:
    1. Carrots
    2. Potatoes (Yukon Gold or red potatoes are best. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or pumpkin would work too)
    3. Cauliflower
    4. Broccoli
    5. Snow peas (or green beans)

The Add-ins and Variations:

This Indian curry with coconut milk can be added to and adapted in several ways, including:

  • Soy sauce: For a salty, umami-rich depth, use either soy sauce (regular or reduced sodium) or tamari (if gluten-free).  
  • For more spice: Add red pepper flakes, chili powder, or cayenne powder to taste. Fresh chiles will also work, finely sliced or diced.
  • Spices: Add extra depth to the vegetable yellow curry recipe with a pinch (or more, to taste) of cumin, paprika, or cinnamon.
  • Garam masala: Add a small amount for a more robust flavor or use it instead of curry powder.
  • Tomatoes: For a tomatoey vegetable coconut curry, add a tin of crushed tomatoes (and reduce the amount of broth). You may also need a pinch of coconut sugar/maple to balance the acidity.
  • Other vegetables: Use what’s available to you, like
    1. Baby corn
    2. Peas
    3. Mushrooms
    4. Bell peppers
    5. Zucchini
    6. Eggplant
  • Leafy greens: Like spinach or kale, stirred in at the end to wilt.
  • Nuts: i.e., cashews, almonds, or peanuts.
  • Thai coconut curry: Swap the curry powder for Thai yellow curry paste.

How to Make Vegan Coconut Curry

All you need is one pot and about 30 minutes to prepare this tofu and vegetable curry with coconut milk in a handful of steps!

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

  • 1) First, if you haven’t already, press the tofu for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables by rinsing, peeling, and chopping the carrot into thin slices, cutting the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, and breaking the cauliflower and broccoli into small, even-sized florets. Also, dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger.
  • 2) Then, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pot. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the garlic, ginger, and spices— allowing them to bloom until fragrant. Stir frequently.
  • 3) Next, stir in the coconut milk, broth, potatoes, and tofu.

If you’d prefer crispy tofu, cook it separately and only add it when serving.

  • 4) When the potatoes soften around the edges, add the carrots and cauliflower.
  • 5) When the vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes), mix in the broccoli and snow peas, then turn off the heat, allowing it to sit for a few minutes with the lid on, before serving.

If you prefer more tender broccoli/ carrots, you can add them earlier in the cooking process.

FAQs

Can I use frozen vegetables?

When using frozen vegetables, use slightly less broth, as they’ll release more liquid into the coconut curry. More so, they’ll be par-cooked already, so won’t take as long to cook.  

Can I use coconut cream instead of coconut milk in curry?

Yes, though, it will be even creamier, richer, and more decadent, so you may want to add more vegetable broth.

Can I cook Indian coconut curry in a crockpot?

It should work. Start by completing the ‘sauté’ steps on the stovetop, then transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours, adding the carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli after an hour or two and the snow peas in the last 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • To cut down prep time: You can buy pre-chopped or frozen vegetables (i.e., diced onion, prepared broccoli/cauliflower florets, etc.).
  • Adjust the consistency: For a thinner curry, add more broth/water. To thicken it, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (in a slurry) and increase the heat, stirring until thickened. Repeat if needed.  
  • For richer flavor: Increase the amount of curry powder you add.
  • To adjust the spice level: First, select a mild, medium, or hot curry powder. For more spice, add cayenne/ chili powder or red pepper flakes.
  • Adjust the creaminess: By adjusting the ratio of coconut milk to vegetable broth, you can determine how light vs. creamy you’d prefer.
  • Swap out the veggies: Based on what’s in your kitchen, season, availability, etc. Adjust the cooking times accordingly.
completed Easy Tofu Vegetable Coconut Curry in a bowl against a white background

What To Serve With Indian Coconut Curry?

We love to serve this vegan coconut curry with a side of cooked rice or quinoa (for extra coconut flavor, cook it in coconut milk) and topped with fresh parsley and lemon or lime wedges. Alternatively, try cauliflower rice for lower carbs. You can also enjoy it with naan bread.

Storage Instructions

Allow the vegetable and tofu coconut curry to cool, and then store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

You can also freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight container or Ziplock/Stasher bag/s (spread flat and excess air squeezed out). However, note that the tofu texture changes slightly after freezing, and the veggies may be slightly mushier.

Reheat the vegetable coconut curry on the stovetop over low heat or in a microwave for 2-3 minutes.

More Vegan Curry Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Easy Tofu Vegetable Coconut Curry

5 from 38 votes
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
This 30-minute Indian-inspired vegan coconut curry is packed with tofu and vegetables in a curry powder and coconut milk curry sauce for a super simple yet flavor and nutrient-packed, low-budget, comforting, super satisfying meal!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 7 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger grated
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of curry powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 (13.5 ounces) cans of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of veggie broth
  • 2 small potatoes cut into bite sizes
  • ½ block of extra firm tofu cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 handful of snow peas

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large pot, then add in onion and cook for about 4 minutes then add in garlic, ginger, and all the spices.
  • When it becomes fragrant, add in coconut milk, broth, potatoes, and tofu.
  • When potatoes begin to soften, add in carrots and cauliflower.
  • When all veggies soft enough, mix in broccoli and snow peas and turn off heat. Let is sit a few minutes with the lid on. Serve with rice or quinoa

Notes

  • To cut down prep time: You can buy pre-chopped or frozen vegetables (i.e., diced onion, prepared broccoli/cauliflower florets, etc.).
  • Adjust the consistency: For a thinner curry, add more broth/water. To thicken it, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (in a slurry) and increase the heat, stirring until thickened. Repeat if needed.  
  • For richer flavor: Increase the amount of curry powder you add.
  • To adjust the spice level: First, select a mild, medium, or hot curry powder. For more spice, add cayenne/ chili powder or red pepper flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 264kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 6gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.02gSodium: 597mgPotassium: 640mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2194IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: coconut curry, curry, plant based on a budget, plant-based, thai, vegan, vegan curry, vegan dinner, vegan dinners, vegetarian, vegetarian dinner, yellow curry
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
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Stephanie Lundstrom

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  1. 5 stars
    Love that this dish comes together in 30 minutes. It’s so delicious, warm and comforting. Thanks for the great recipe!