Vegan Spring Vegetable Coconut Curry with 10-minute Cilantro Rice

Curry bowls are one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables. I love how quick, comforting and delicious veggie bowls are. This spring vegetable coconut curry bowl has a colorful medley of asparagus, snow peas and carrots in a mild and fragrant coconut curry sauce. It is perfect served with rice, noodles or quinoa.

Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, peas and cooked sweet potato would all be great in this curry. For extra protein, throw in a handful of tofu cubes.

I enjoy my curries the traditional Indian way — with rice. This cilantro rice that accompanies the curry comes together in just 10 minutes.
Long grain basmati rice is great for this recipe because it is incredibly fragrant and pairs nicely with the spring vegetable curry. In fact, the word “Basmati” means “fragrant.” If you don’t have any basmati rice on hand, substitute jasmine rice or brown rice. Toasting the rice lightly in oil or butter first brings out the flavor of the rice and also helps keep it from getting mushy while cooking.

The curry recipe is dairy-free, but creamy at the same time. The secret ingredient here is nut butter. A few spoonfuls of almond or cashew butter make the curry deliciously rich and thick.

Spring Vegetable Coconut Curry Bowl with 10-Minute Cilantro Rice
Serves 3-4

Ingredients for the Curry
1 tablespoon cooking oil (feel free to use your favorite flavor)
1/2 small onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/4 tablespoons mild curry powder. I like Frontier curry powder.
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup of carrots, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
16 asparagus spears, tough ends removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
A handful of snow peas (about 12)
3 teaspoons almond or cashew butter

Ingredients for the Cilantro Rice
1/2 tablespoon oil or butter
1 cup basmati rice
1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juce, optional
1 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro. (If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute parsley.)
4 lemon wedges for garnish

For Curry
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until the onion is transcluscent.
2. Sprinkle curry powder over the onion, give it a quick stir and immediately pour in the coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil.
3. Once the curry comes to a boil, add the carrot chunks and continue boiling for one minute.
4. Add the snow peas and asparagus and boil one more minute or until the asparagus is cooked, but still bright green and crisp.
5. Stir in almond or cashew butter.
6. Serve hot over cilantro rice

For Cilantro Rice
1. Heat a small sauce pan with the oil. Add the basmati rice and toast on medium heat for about a minute. The rice should look glossy, but not browned.
2. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
3. Pour in 2 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and simmer for 9 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit undisturbed for 1 minute.
5. Remove lid and gently stir in chopped cilantro and lemon juice, if using.

To assemble the curry bowl, place a big scoop of rice in a bowl and ladle the curry over it. Tuck a lemon slice on the side for squeezing.

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Photo credits: Sala Kannan