When I made this, I thought it was pretty easy. But now that I’m writing out the directions I’m like “Oy gevault.” I hope you’re not deterred by the long directions, it makes so much food and it is so incredibly worth it. There are a few steps here but each one isn’t exactly complicated, try it out on a Sunday when you’ve got a potluck to go to. It will feed 16 people easily. And those 16 people will love you forever. If you’re not serving a small army then just halve the recipe.
I came up with this because I was invited to a Diwali party over the weekend and of course I wanted to bring something Indian inspired. I wasn’t sure what the rest of the meal was going to be, and I really wanted my dish to measure up. So I went for something super creamy! Korma is usually swimming in cream or yogurt, but just because food is vegan doesn’t mean that it can’t be creamy. I used a combo of cashews and coconut milk to achieve the perfect amount of rich, creaminess.
I also used a traditional method for curry, which is a puree of aromatics that’s sauteed for a good amount of time to bring out all the complex flavors and sugar. Both of these methods are really important foundations for a million other dishes, so work them into your repertoire if you haven’t already!
Anyway, when I got to the Diwali party I found out what else was on the menu…it was pizza! Conclusion: pizza and korma go together pretty darn well. But you can serve with some basmati rice, instead.
Notes: Tamarind concentrate is available in Indian markets or at Whole Foods kinda stores. If you don’t have it/can’t find it/don’t care, then just use lime for some tartness. I’d try juice from 2 and go from there.
You’ll need 2 really big pots to get this done kinda quickly, or you can boil the veggies and then rinse that pot out and use it again to make the base. You also need a food processor fit with a metal blade.
Oh and to crush coriander seeds, I place them in a plastic bag and steamroll them with a rolling pin. Works like a charm!
For the cream:
2 cups raw cashew pieces (plus water for soaking)
2 cups vegetable broth
Veggies to boil:
2.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 inch chunks)
2 lbs cauliflower in large florettes (don’t cut em too small or they will fall apart)
2 lbs carrots, sliced on a bias 1/2 inch thick
2 medium sized yellow onions
2 inch nub of ginger
8 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon coriander, crushed
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
Fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (see note)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
2 cups frozen peas
1 large caramelized red onion
Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
First, soak the cashews. This will get them really soft and make them easier to blend really smooth. Place them in a bowl and submerge in water. Set aside for at least an hour. In the meantime prep everything.
Boil the veggies. Place them in a big ass pot (8 quart is ideal), and cover them in cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer (so you don’t overcook the veggies), for about 15 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Next, puree the onion, ginger and garlic. It shouldn’t be completely smooth, some texture is good. No need to wash the processor bowl just yet, you’re going to puree the cashews in a bit.
Preheat another big pot over medium heat. Cook the puree in the peanut oil with a sprinkle of salt for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it’s nice and browned.
This is a good time to puree the cashews. Drain them and place them in the food processor along with 2 cups vegetable broth. Puree until smooth. This can take up to 5 minutes to get it as smooth as possible.
Back to the puree. Once it’s browned, add the coriander seed and the red pepper flakes and saute for about 3 minutes. Add curry powder, garam masala, several dashes fresh black pepper and salt and saute for another minute.
Add tamarind, tomato paste and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Now add the coconut milk and the cashew cream. Let cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, it should thicken a little and be really creamy.
In the meantime, saute the red onion in a little peanut oil in a separate pan with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes, it should be browned and slightly caramelized. This adds a really nice sweetness and some added texture to the finished dish.
You’re pretty much done. You can shut the heat off then mix in the peas. Now fold in the boiled veggies, put the lid on the pot and let it heat through. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve garnished with cilantro if you like.
This recipe flies out of the pot when I make it. Every time, it turns out fab.
I just made this and I want to eat it all.
I made this tonight and it was so good! I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t think I needed that much food and it was still a ton of food! Fine by me… some yummy leftovers for the week. Definitely worth making over and over again!
This looks complicated but was very easy. The dish was amazing and very fancy – great for guests who typically don’t eat vegan.
Prior to going vegan, my husband and I used to like to spend Valentine’s day at our favorite Indian restaurant gorging on giant servings of korma. Korma is one of the few things I really miss from those pre-vegan days. But, Isa, thanks to you, I miss korma NO MORE! With your incomparable culinary efforts, you have ONCE AGAIN graced us with an incredible, perfect, soul-satiating recipe. I made this to share with the hubby this Valentine’s Day, and it was PERFECT. So, Isa, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. Next year, I hope to complement it with naan – perhaps another Isa recipe?!
Terry has an AMAZING naan recipe in her book Vegan Eats World. Such a worthy purchase if you love to cook Indian foods.
Making this again tonight 🙂 and tomorrow its carefree curry burgers! Both are super yummy!
Hi I made this today it was amazing! Thanks for an awesome step by step authentic recipe! You rock! I love Indian food and this was spot on!
I made this for a pot luck…as suggested…and it was a big hit!! Another guest brought buttered chicken & naan. At the end of the evening I found 2 guys standing around the nearly empty korma platter scooping out the sauce with naan. They said it was so good the sauce couldn’t go to waste.
Dear Isa, back in the good old days this would have been ideal for me and the hubby, just enough for a dinner + one days worth of left overs. Now it’s only me. Would this recipe still worked divided in half?
Okay, I have just discovered Indian Food. CRAZY, I know. THIS, I have to make. It sounds delcious!!
It sounds wonderful. I just had some veggie korma for lunch and was upset when I looked at the ingredients, after I ate it (duhhhh) that it had dairy. I’m glad to have found this recitation for a vegan version and can’t wait to try it. BTW, you can find my food blog at Shitarayn! at blogspot.com
ok.. made this for a pot luck at work like 2 months ago… it was all gone… nothing but an empty crock pot! I am STILL getting requests for the recipe… from meat eaters! Also i have been accepted into the group of indian girls at work when it comes to food… lol…. Thanks
I CANNOT BELIEVE how long it took my to make this recipe. Not prep/cook time but I mean why didn’t I make it the second it was posted. SO good. SOOO good.
Wow. Deeeeelish. I roasted the veggies instead of boiling them and didn’t have tamarind or limes, but this was amazing. My picky eater 2 year old son had 2 bowls! I only made a half batch and still have enough to turn this into curry burgers tomorrow. Next time I will definitely make the army sized batch and freeze half. Can’t wait to try your curry burger recipe tomorrow!
I just made this and it was FABULOUS! Thank you so much. Aside from the spicy fumes wafting through my kitchen, this was a total success.
Super fantastic dish! Whipped it up last nigh – ended up bringing most of it into work because it does make a huge pot. Never the less, its great. Oh, and I found out that they do make Conconut Milk that is half the fat as well if you like. Enjoy – this one rocks.
This is wonderful! Heads up on Freezing: cooked white potatoes often thaw with a strange grainy texture. I’d sub them for more veggies in order to freeze this dish. Otherwise it freezes great.
A nice substitute for tamarind puree is HP Sauce. It’s tangy, and has tamarind in it. It’s also great for dipping (thin it if you want with a little water) for samosas and pakoras!
I would love to try this in a crock pot. I saw a few had tried it but no feedback on how it turned out. Anyone have any recommendations?
Isa, this is truly divine! I will be feeding it to my boyfriend as his “welcome home” dinner after enduring months apart (we’re long distance). We both have extensive food allergies, but this recipe suits them all. Thank you for this soy free, gluten free, dairy free, corn free masterpiece!!!
HOLY CRAP!!! This is SSOOOOOO GOOD, I’m so happy I found it!! Just made it today for my son and daughter-in-law – who is pregnant and NOT EATING!!!! She loves vegetable korma and has been disappointed in the dish at the Indian restaurant we usually go to. I’m delivering it to them soon. It is DELICIOUS!!!! Thank You, Thank You! I could kiss you!
FYI: I used the lime juice instead of tamarind and it worked very well!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will try to make this most delicious dish.
With love – Evleyn
My friend made this for me the other day and I have to say it was the most fantastic dish I have had in a long time. I will be making it for a friend very soon as a welcome back present. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!
This is yummy yummy yummy. I did mess up and overcook the vegees so ya definitely have to be careful not to forget about em while making the rest of the recipe.
What do you think about making up batches of the main part of the soup and freezing it, adding the vegetables later. Would this change the taste much?
Thank you soooo much for your website and recipes. 🙂 Every recipe has been so easy and so so good.
This is amazing! But it is super spicy! I didn’t read the directions super carefully but I did read the ingredient list. It looks like two teaspoons of red pepper are called for in both the puree and the ‘everything else’ but I think we should only really use two teaspoons in the ‘everything else’. I am excited to make this again
I’ve made this multiple times and it never fails to win people over. As it makes a large quantity, I now have started making just the curry sauce. I’ll make enough veggies for the meal I’m making, then add the amount of sauce needed for that number of servings. Then I pack off the remainder of the sauce in the fridge and freezer for dinners in the weeks ahead. Fast Korma for din din!
Amazon has lots of tamarind products. I really love this stuff – it’s great for using in marinades for tofu. There’s no real substitute.
Just made this tonight and it is sooooo great! Definitely used every pot and pan but it’s not THAT much work. Just a few different things to do. I halved the recipe and still have enough for a small army so I’m looking forward to leftovers. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Looks great! What book is this in? I have all of them, don’t want to print if I don’t have to. 🙂
I made this tonight–nearly 4 years to the date of your posting–and after discovering how delicious it was, all I could think of was, “what took me so long?!” I used limes, which I love–and cut back on the red pepper by about half because of the kids. Thanks, Isa!
My coworkers polished off the batch. A real crowd pleaser. I served it with basmati that I added charnushka seeds to (just like one of the local indian restaurants).
Surprised that 4 years later you’re still getting raves on this recipes? Good is good! Thanks a bunch!
was really yummy i think i over cooked my potatoes a bit but it still tasted great. I would maybe add one more can of coconut milk because I love it!
I’m so excited. Acquired all the ingredients and am making this for Christmas day for my husbands family. I’m finally ready to move into making Indian food which I love eating, but have rarely tried to prepare myself – a little fearful as this is the first time I’m making it, but I am a fairly competent cook so will try to suppress any concerns.
FANTASTIC curry!! Best I have ever made. Thank you Isa x
Looove this recipe! Already made it 5 or 6 times and everybody – vegan or not – loves it! I think you somewhere mentioned it is for 16 persons, well I would say a maximum of 12. It is soooo easy and filling. Thanks for this fabulous idea!
I don’t have a blender or any way to make cashew cream easily. Making puréed onions also sounds tricky. But this sounds delicious and I wonder if it would work if I just finely chopped the onions and garlic, and could I just add chopped cashews for a bit of texture and flavour? Worth a go?
Hi Isa, I made this last night and it was quite yummy! I completely failed to notice “Serves 16” and was just on brain-fog recipe-following autopilot so I was pretty shocked when I actually noticed what a giant pile of food I was making. It will feed me and my partner for many meals this week, which is terrific.
The recipe doesn’t say what to do with the caramelized onion at the end (unless I missed that? I was reading the recipe off my phone which meant I could only see a tiny piece at a time). I actually forgot to put it in the first time I served it, and when we went back for seconds we used a couple spoonfuls of caramelized onion as a topping. It turned out to be exactly the “can’t put my finger on it” flavor that I’d felt was missing from the first portion. So where does the caramelized onion come in? Should it have gotten mixed in to the entire curry or is it meant to be a garnish?
Loved this. I made a double batch (I know, I know…Each serving serves 16 LOL. We eat A LOT of veggies). Maybe we don’t need as much cream sauce as others but we ended up tripling the veggies in each batch. Used lots of zucchini from our garden. Enjoyed this with a Channa Daal, brown rice and naan. Froze 12 individual servings to enjoy later on. Takes a bit of time but this is an easy recipe. Thank you!
My family has been making this recipe for about 7 years. We increase the quantity of potatoes and carrots and add some broccoli and cauliflower which we roast first but we otherwise make the recipe exactly as written. We hosted an exchange student from a small rural village in India from 2019 to 2020 and who has returned to the USA for college. She has told us this is her favorite meal EVER! I can’t imagine higher praise ☺️