Thai Massaman Vegetarian Curry

Vegetarian Thai Curry
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
610 Calories
27g Fat
77g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 610
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 878mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 17g 61%
Protein 25g
Calcium 252mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This deeply flavored dish is a beautiful example of Southern Thai cooking, which makes use of a broader array of spices and herbs than most Thai curries. It's the vegetarian equivalent of Massaman chicken and beef curry, which are hearty and robust with warm spices. Arab traders brought these fragrant spices, such as whole cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg, to Thailand several centuries ago. You'll find the flavors so lovely, and the textures of the vegetables so satisfying, there is no need or desire for meat. And because there are beans in this dish, the combination of curry and rice makes for a complete protein with all the amino acids you need to be healthy and happy. Vegetable curries are becoming more popular in Thailand now that vegan and vegetarian restaurants are springing up everywhere. It's a wonderful cuisine for veggie lovers.  


  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh galangal or ginger
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 whole cardamoms (Thai cardamom, or green cardamom)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
  • 3 to 4 cups chopped cauliflower (chopped into florets)
  • 2 cups pumpkin or squash (cut into large cubes)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 large carrot (sliced)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 can coconut milk
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • Generous handfuls of fresh coriander or basil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional: 1 red chile(minced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat a deep, medium-size pot over high heat. Drizzle in oil and add garlic, galangal or ginger, onion, and chile. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes.  

  2. Add stock plus bay leaves, turmeric, ground cardamom, cumin, cumin seed, ground coriander, cloves, and soy. For the whole cardamoms, use the flat side of a wide knife to smash them open (put pod the under the flat side of the knife, and come down hard on it with your fist). Then add both the shell and seeds to the curry pot.

  3. Add cauliflower, pumpkin, carrot, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium until you get a good simmer going. Cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until everything is cooked to your liking. 

  4. Add cherry tomato halves, and simmer another 5 minutes, or until soft. 

  5. Reduce heat to low, and add 1/4 can coconut milk. Taste-test for flavor and saltiness, Start by adding 1 tablespoon soy sauce. If more is needed, add sea salt, taste-testing until the desired flavor is reached. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.

  6. Top with sliced green onion and chopped fresh coriander or basil. Serve with Thai jasmine rice and enjoy.