Looking for a delicious and healthy vegan curry recipe? Look no further than this yellow tempeh curry! Packed with protein and flavor, this dish features hearty chunks of tempeh simmered in a fragrant blend of spices and coconut milk. Serve over rice or quinoa for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This tempeh curry is a rich and satisfying curry that doesn’t take very much time to make, making it one of the best weeknight meals.
- Tempeh is packed with protein (even more so than tofu), low in carbs, and rich in iron, vitamin B 12, magnesium, and manganese, to name a few.
- Due to tempeh’s nutritional content, this curry is nice and hearty, and filling as well.
- This tempeh coconut curry has a mild spice level making it suitable for most palates.
- This dish makes excellent leftovers and high protein meal prep food.
- This vegetarian yellow curry is naturally vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free.
🌿 Ingredients and Substitutes
Oil: Use a neutral flavored oil like avocado oil for the best results. Olive oil works well, too. If you are on an oil-free diet, simply omit it and use a splash of water instead.
Tempeh: You will chop the tempeh into cubes before cooking. If you are on a gluten-free diet, be certain to use straight, plain tempeh that is gluten-free, rather than the kind enriched with gluten-containing grains. Cubed tempeh seems to soak up the curry sauce best, but feel free to slice it any way you prefer. I like to use organic tempeh to avoid GMO soy. The tempeh in this curry has a nice firm texture. Alternatively, you can air fry tempeh instead of pan fry it if you are an air fryer fan.
Onion, ginger, garlic: Common in most curries, this trio forms a great flavor base to build from. You can use white, yellow, or red onion. If you do not have fresh ginger root or garlic, use 1 teaspoon of the dried variety for either.
Curry powder: Use a nice yellow curry powder for the best results. Alternatively, a spoonful of yellow curry paste will get the job done, too.
Coriander: Ground coriander adds brightness to this dish.
Cumin: Cumin seeds pack a better flavor punch than the ground variety, but if you only have ground, use 1/2 teaspoon instead.
Garam masala: Garam masala is a wonderful Indian spice blend that adds warmth and depth. I do not recommend any substitutions.
Red chili flakes: A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a subtle, mild heat.
Black pepper: Black pepper adds depth to this yellow curry recipe.
Coconut milk: A can of full-fat coconut milk works bests and results in a nice creamy curry. If you use light coconut milk, the results will be much thinner. Coconut cream works great as well. If you are not vegan or dairy free, you can use heavy cream for something a little different.
Mixed vegetables: This is a great recipe for using up those frozen veggies. I like to use a mix of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, but bell pepper, green beans, and spinach also make great additions. Fresh or frozen works. Use what you like best!
Sugar: A touch of sweetness balances the sharper flavors in the recipe and lends some complexity. I like to use coconut sugar, but any granulated sugar will work. If you are on a sugar-free diet, feel free to omit it instead.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro (aka fresh coriander) adds a nice fresh, bright flavor to this tempeh curry, but if you are not a fan of cilantro, you can omit it or use a different fresh herb like parsley or basil instead.
Lemon juice: A touch of acid adds balance. I like to use lemon juice, but lime juice or apple cider vinegar work wonderfully as well.
Salt: Salt to taste and at the end of the cooking time for best results.
🔪 How to Make Tempeh Curry
- Pan fry the tempeh until golden, then set aside.
- Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger.
- Add the spices, then saute a few minutes longer.
- Add coconut milk, water, and veggies.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the golden tempeh, cilantro, and lemon juice. Simmer for a few minutes longer.
- Salt to taste. Serve and enjoy this wholesome meal!
🥣 Serving Ideas
- Top this curry off with mint cilantro chutney or apple-pear chutney.
- Serve with naan or besan chilla as a great way to scoop it up.
- Serve with white or brown rice, quinoa, or even biryani.
- Garnish with more fresh cilantro or other fresh herbs.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Most tempeh is gluten-free, however, keep in mind that some tempeh products are enriched with grains, including gluten-containing grains, so always be certain to read labels.
While both are great sources of plant-based nutrients, tempeh does have a leg up when it comes to protein and mineral content.
🍛 More Delicious Curry Recipes
- 1 tablespoon oil of choice I like to use avocado oil
- 1 8-ounce package tempeh cubed
- 1 onion (red, yellow or white) chopped
- 1 1-inch knob fresh ginger root grated or minced
- 6 garlic cloves minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar I like to use coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk PLUS 1 can of water
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables I like to use a bag of frozen California-style veggies
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
- salt to taste
- In a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and tempeh cubes. Saute for 5 minutes, flipping the tempeh frequently, until golden on most sides. Set the tempeh aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium, then add the ginger, onion and garlic to the pan. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened and the garlic is beginning to turn golden.
- Add the curry powder, cumin, garam masala, sugar, coriander, red chili flakes and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until the spices smell fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk, then fill the coconut milk can with water and pour the water into the pan as well, followed by the vegetables.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced some.
- Add the browned tempeh to the pan, followed by the cilantro and lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
- Salt to taste before serving. Enjoy!