Vegan Root Vegetable Curry

Last weekend was Diwali. Now, I am neither South Asian, nor am I Hindu. But I live in an incredibly multi-cultural city, and I am a sucker for a “good triumphing over evil” story.

Diwali is a Hindu festival that takes place in the fall. The word “Diwali” means row of lamps, and small oil lamps are the symbol of Diwali. Lighting the lamps symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and, like many holidays, food is an important part of the celebration.

It’s probably no coincidence that this holiday takes place in the fall. It’s now November, and it’s getting colder. Root vegetables are very much in season right now, and I love the warming spices, like cloves, cinnamon, curry and ginger.

This is vegan comfort food. It’s a warming stew which you can make with pretty much whatever you have on hand, and the joy of this is that I can pretty much make it at the drop of a hat, as the ingredients are ones that my pantry is never without. In case you have an unexpected dinner guest…

I serve this with basmati rice (and I add a little coconut milk or some whole cumin seeds to the water) and crispy papadums. You could finish the meal with my Vegan Chai Creme Brûlées.

Vegan Root Vegetable Curry

Vegan Root Vegetable Curry


  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 thumb of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1-2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tumeric
  • 1-2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • root vegetables: carrots, yams, squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp apricot chutney
  • 1-2 cups water or vegetarian stock
  • handful of spinach, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro to garnish


  • In a large stew pot or dutch oven, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the onions and fry about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the ginger and garlic, stir, and sauté for another couple of minutes.
  • Now add the spices, mix well, and sauté for another few minutes, to get them to release their oils and fragrances.
  • Next add the vegetables and the can of tomatoes, the chickpeas, the chutney, and one cup of the stock or water. Stir well. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and you are able to pierce them with a fork. Add the coconut milk and stir well, and cook for 10 minutes more. Add the spinach and cilantro, and taste to adjust seasonings.
  • Serve over rice with crispy papadums.

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