This is a luscious vegan curry, inspired by the delicious Tomato and Coconut Fish Curry recipe in Monica Bhide’s lovely book, Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen. As an aside, I was thrilled to meet Monica in person this weekend at the Roger Smith Food Writer’s Conference.


The chutney is optional, but is super easy to make. Monica does have a mint-cilantro chutney recipe in the book, but I improvised the one here.

If you aren’t vegan, I think this is really nice alongside Amreen’s Biryani recipe that’s available on Food52. This curry also works well over any cooked grain and/or with warm Naan or another Indian-style bread.


Vegetarian Coconut Curry Recipe

adapted from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide
Serves 4


* 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil or ghee
* 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
* 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
* 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
* 1 Serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
* 1 globe eggplant
* 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
* one 14 oz. can organic whole coconut milk
* 1 zucchini, chopped into cubes
* 1 green pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
* 2 cups chopped collard greens
* 1 tomato, chopped
* 1 teaspoon tumeric
* 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder or other red chile powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
* fresh mint for the chutney- optional
* fresh cilantro for the chutney- optional
* fresh lime juice for the chutney- optional
* organic sugar for the chutney- optional


1. Cut the eggplant cross-wise into 1 1/2 inch thick slices. Sprinkle them all over with salt and allow to drain in a colander over the sink for 20-30 minutes. Rinse well to remove all the salt and chop into bite-sized pieces.

2. In a large skillet or wok, melt the coconut oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for a minute or two until they "pop", then add the ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. Stir everything around for a minute or so.

3. Add the chopped eggplant and sweet potato to the pan along with the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if the liquid seems too thick.

4. Add the zucchini, green pepper, collard greens and tomato, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender, again adding a little water if necessary.

5. Mix in the spices and salt. Cook for one minute more. Taste and adjust the spices, if necessary. Add a little more red chile powder and/or salt, if you like.

6. To make the simple mint-cilantro chutney, mix equal parts chopped mint and cilantro with fresh lime and a little organic sugar. Taste and adjust the lime and sugar to your liking. I used about 1/2 cup each of the herbs, the juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tsp. of sugar. You can make a little or a lot of this, but just know that it doesn't keep very well, so don't plan to refrigerate it longer than a day or two.


This post is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!



  1. 1

    Monica Bhide — February 16, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    OMG – That looks amazingly delicious! I will have to try it. Thanks for the kind words. I loved meeting you as well.


  2. 2

    drwinnie — February 16, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    Thanks so much Monica!

  3. 3

    Kat — February 16, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    This looks great! I love eating a big bowl of vegetables. :)

  4. 4

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    Joy Manning — February 17, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    I love a vegetable curry and this one looks terrific. How was the spice level with one seeded chili? I would probably opt to leave the seeds in because I want my vegetable curry to hurt. A little.

  7. 7

    drwinnie — February 17, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    Kat- thanks!

    Joy- it’s not that spicy. Leaving the seeds in would probably be a good plan, or just use more of the ground red chile…my son loves spicy foods but my daughter doesn’t, and I wanted them to at least taste it…

  8. 8

    Kathy — February 18, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    This looks amazing. Curry is one of my favorite things! Thanks

  9. 9

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