Making vegan curries from pulses and legumes are great way to get some healthy dose of fiber and protein to my diet.
When I was following vegan diet, I truly enjoyed making curries out of pulses. It made going without meat actually pleasurable. That’s when I realized I can readily use lots of Sri Lankan vegetable recipes to make delicious vegan curry recipes and pair them with rice alternatives, bread and pasta to make delicious meals. I found making curries helped me follow and stick to my died because vegan curries are super convenient way store and meal plan.
I managed to loose over 20 pounds following vegan diet, before I made the mistake becoming over confident and introducing a cheat day to it. Since then, I have worked hard to really learn how the metabolism, insulin resistance and food works. I was on low carb and meat free when I was following vegan diet and I have since then switched to keto and low carb diet. I am learning this works for me better. while learning new recipes that I can make under keto umbrella, I still make lots of vegan curries with lots of vegetables. This lots of vegetable vegan curries help me keep my red meat intake and saturated fat intake in check.
Today I am sharing a collection of vegan curries that I made while following vegan diet. Even though I cant make them today for myself, they are truly delicious and I cant wait for the day I can eat them again.
Pulses pack lots of proteins and eating combination of them in various meals is really important for a person who is following this diet to take a complete balanced dose of protein. I did that by incorporating various vegan curries in array of meals. Apart from using strait as a curry, legume based vegan curries can double down as a soup, pasta sauce, making dips for pita, making sandwiches and making vegan pizza sauce.
I hope you will give one of my vegan curries a chance and make them a part of your recipe journal.
My most popular legume based vegan curries.
Green whole lentils curry in spinach sauce
- One cup of boiled green lentils (salt added)
- two bunches of Savoy spinach
- One tomato diced
- One medium red onion sliced
- Teaspoon of diced ginger
- Two garlic cloves crushed
- Five curry leaves, sliced
- Teaspoon of cumin powder
- Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of cumin seeds
- Half a cup of water
- Cup of thick coconut milk
- Two tablespoon of neutral tasting oil (canola or any other vegetable oil)
- One green chili (optional)
Heat oil in a deep pot on medium heat. Add cumin seeds let them fry for few seconds and then add onion, ginger, and garlic. Let them fry until fragrant and onions are translucent.
Add curry leaves and green chili and fry for few seconds
Add tomato and cook until juices are released.
Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
Add spinach and add a half a cup of water, cover and let the spinach and let it steam on medium for minute or two. Gently turn over and cover again and steam until leaves turn bright green and just starting to wilt. Do not walk away from pot because wilting will happen faster than you think. as soon as Spinach turn bright green and just starting to wilt turn the heat off. Keep the pot covered for another few seconds.
Transfer everything into a blender along with cup of coconut milk. Puree until smooth.
Transfer the pureed green sauce back to the pot and add boiled lentils. Gently heat until sauce start simmering, and flavors are combined.
Serve warm along side rice.
Spicy black beans curry
• Five Spicy Anaheim green peppers
• Two cups of soaked and boiled black beans
• 2-inch cinnamon stick
• Teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste
• Two medium red onions
• One can of coconut milk
• Teaspoon of Turmeric powder
• Three Cloves
• Pinch of Nutmeg
• One clove of Malabar tamarind
• Teaspoon of Sri Lankan black curry powder
• Two tablespoons of Roasted red curry powder
Soak dry black turtle beans for 12 to 24 hours change water after first 12 hours. Drain rinse and boil for an hour until just soft. I highly recommend starting out from dry beans when you are making curries. Flavor always better compared to canned black beans.
Wash and slice the green chilies diagonally. I chose to leave seeds in because I wanted to have all the heat from seeds too.
Slice the onions thin and caramelize until golden brown.
Make a seasoning blend by pureeing caramelized onions, red curry powder, black curry powder, salt, and turmeric powder.
Add all the remaining ingredients to a clay pot and add the coconut milk seasoning blend and cook for 15 or 20 minutes until sauce thickens and flavors are combined. Scrape the bottom of the pot time to time to prevent burning.
Sri Lankan red lentils curry from scratch
My moms trusted and true recipe
- Red lentils 2 cups
- Turmeric powder half a teaspoon
- Ground coriander one teaspoon
- Ground cumin one teaspoon
- Ground fennel seeds half a teaspoon
- Two sliced Thai hot peppers
- Four curry leaves
- Half an red onion finely diced
- Half an inch of ginger diced
- One clove of garlic
- Half a teaspoon of whole fenugreek seeds
- One cardamom
- One inch stick of cinnamon
- Cup of thick coconut milk
For tempering at the end, one sliced dry red hot chili, one teaspoon of finely diced onion, sliced curry leaf, half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, teaspoon of ginger and garlic crushed together
How to make the curry;
Wash and rinse lentils and place in a saucepan.
Add everything except coconut milk.
add enough water to cover the lentils and cook until lentils are cooked through.
Add coconut milk and simmer on low until oil separates.
Remove Lentils to a separate bowl and heat a tablespoon of coconut oil until very hot in the same saucepan
Add tempering ingredients at once. You will get the aroma of frying spices instantly. Immediately add the lentils back in and give it a stir. turn the heat off.
Whole Mung beans curry
- Boiled whole Mung beans 2 cups
- Teaspoon of Salt
- One piece of Malabar tamarind
- 2 teaspoon of roasted red curry powder
- One inch stick of Cinnamon
- Two pods of Cardamom
- One teaspoon of Sri Lankan black curry powder
- Half a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
- Tablespoon of coconut oil
- One inch piece of ginger
- One clove of Garlic
- 10 curry leaves
- Two green chilies
- One medium size red onion
- Teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon of Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- Half a cup thick coconut milk
- Half a teaspoon of crushed black pepper
Rinse and soak whole mung beans overnight. There are many recipes that skip this step, because if you are prepared to boil mung beans for longer time you can still make it work. However, I highly recommend presoaking the mung beans, because of the extra enzyme action and removing phytic acid.
Boil mung beans for 10 to 15 minutes with Malabar tamarind.
Puree red curry powder, onions, garlic, ginger, green chili, cumin powder, turmeric, cumin powder, salt, and pepper together, with little boiled mung bean water.
Heat coconut oil in the pan and add mustard seeds when it crackles add the pureed seasoning and sauté for a minute.
Add Malabar tamarind, curry leaves, cinnamon, bruised cardamom pod and a cup of the whole mung bean liquid.
Bring to boil and add boiled mung beans. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until flavors are absorbed and sauce is thick.
Red kidney beans curry
- 2 cups of boiled beans of your choice (I am using blend of red kidney beans and pinto beans)
- 2 and a half Tablespoons of curry seasoning blend
- One can of tomato + can of water
- One cup of thick coconut cream.
- One 2-inch piece of lemongrass
- Three cloves
- One diced red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 curry leaves
- Salt to taste
Add everything to curry clay pot. Stir couple of times to mix well. Cook on medium high for 35 minutes until beans absorb the flavor and soften up. use a wooden spoon and mash up the beans carefully. If you like smooth refried beans use an emersion blender or regular blender to mash up the beans. I however, like to leave mine quite chunky. Cook on low for another 20 to 30 minutes or to your desired consistency. Enjoy over rice, in a sandwich or as a dip.