Thai-Style Vegetable Curry

by on January 15, 2006
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Thai-Style Vegetable Curry
We had a wonderful meal last night, and I found the recipe purely by accident. We hadn’t gone to the store in days, so our selection of produce was running low. Basically, all we had in the fridge was broccoli. I also had a partial can of coconut milk I wanted to use up (from when I made the Coconut Basmati Rice) and a pumpkin that has been sitting on my counter forever.

It was getting late and I was wondering if I could cook the pumpkin quickly in the pressure cooker, and as I was paging through Lorna Sass’ Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, I saw this recipe. It uses coconut milk and broccoli, and I thought briefly about subbing pumpkin for the sweet potatoes, but as fortune would have it, I had a couple of sweet potatoes in the pantry. I replaced the green beans the recipe called for with chickpeas, and served this Thai vegetable curry with red rice.

Thai-Style Vegetable Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Lorna Sass’ Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure
Serves: 6
  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk plus 1 cup soymilk (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground dried lemongrass (use fresh if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (omit if using fresh basil at the end)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, snipped (optional)
  1. Cut the florets from the broccoli stalks and cut each floret so that the top measures about 1 inch across. Set aside. Peel off the thick outer skin of the stalks and cut the stalks into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside separate from florets.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in the pressure cooker. Cook the garlic over medium- high heat, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, lemongrass and other seasonings, reserved broccoli stalks, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.
  3. Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce the pressure with a quick release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.
  5. Stir in the broccoli florets and chickpeas. Replace (but do not lock) the lid and cook over medium heat until broccoli is tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil (if using) just before serving.
Note about the coconut milk: The original recipe called for 2 cups, but I wouldn’t use that much even if I had it. I cut the fat by using the coconut milk I had, about 1 cup, and filling out the rest with soymilk, water, and a splash of coconut extract. You can make this recipe much less high in fat by omitting the coconut milk completely and using only soy milk and coconut extract.

Nutrition analysis uses 1 cup of Thai Kitchen lite coconut milk and 1 cup of regular soymilk. Nutrient amounts will vary if different brands or ingredients are used.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6 of recipe Calories: 223 Fat: 4.5g


I found the red brown rice in an Asian supermarket. You can serve it over any grain you want, or just eat it out of a soup bowl. The potatoes break down slightly and form a delicious sauce with the coconut milk.

We all three loved this dish. And it was quick, too. As my husband said, “Definitely a keeper!”

With a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, you could be enjoying this delicious vegan Thai vegetable curry in about 30 minutes.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Samantha P February 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm

i didn't have mushrooms but i wanted to get rid of the sad head of broccoli that was sitting in my fridge, and i just bought some coconut extract so i had no choice but to make it. So glad i did! every bite had me mmmmm-ing. I added a bit more of the spices and some lemon juice, and A LOT of crushed red peppers. Oh yeah! and i served it on top of barley (which has become my new brown rice, it's AWESOME!) and with a dollop of yogurt because i'm a yogurt junkie and i think it makes everything taste more awesome (which it did)

So instead of the shrooms i used zucchini and yellow squash (i read on that zucchini makes a good substitute) and didn't have lemongrass so i went with lemon zest (again, and instead of coconut milk just soymilk with the extract (that one's from you.) And i don't have a pressure cooker so i just cooked the vegetables and then added the soymilk until it thickened up a bit. Wheeew! haha, i can never seem to have all the ingredients, oh well!

With all that, it was still super yummy! And if i were one to make a recipe more than once it would definitely go in my recipe box (if i had a recipe box, i just have a book that i write them all down in.)

Oh Susuan, you will always keep me coming back for more, you're like some kind of really healthy drug that i need to go to rehab for.


2 Alesia February 24, 2010 at 2:54 pm

This recipe looks delicious and I would love to try it; would I be able to just cook it in a regular pot since I don't have a pressure cooker? Thanks!


3 SusanV February 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Alesia, you can cook it in a regular pot. Just allow enough time for the sweet potatoes to get done.


4 Angie August 30, 2010 at 11:48 pm

MMMM this was delicious. I made mine using red potato rather than sweet because my grocery store did not have any 🙁 I also think I might have put in too many, I ended up with less sauce than your image shows. However, it still turned out very well and the taste was WOW! I will most definitely make this again, but maybe make more sauce to compensate. I also added about 1 tsp of madras curry powder to mine for a little extra cause I love curry so much. MMMM thank you for this recipe!!


5 Simona December 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I used broccoli and cabbage and it was delicious. Your husband is right 🙂


6 Laura January 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I’ve tried it three times and loved it every time. I didn’t have lemongrass or cardamom… but I think it tasted good anyways 🙂


7 Karen January 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

This was delicious! I didn’t use a pressure cooker and my coconut sauce cooked down a lot by the time the sweet potatoes were cooked through. Next time I’ll cook the sweet potatoes separately, then add them. Also will be good with spinach.
Thanks for the super easy meal that my all of my kids ate!


8 Brenda February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

How do you keep the coconut milk from curdling?


9 Marina March 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Hi Susan
I dont have lemongrass can i make without or there is anything that I can substitute?


10 Susan Voisin March 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Add 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon peel near the end of cooking.


11 Jessica June 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I could only find a lemongrass paste in the refrigerated produce section, would the amount be the same for this recipe?


12 Laurel Wiirtanen October 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

If using lemongrass paste, would you use the same amount?


13 Susan Voisin October 12, 2013 at 9:17 am

I haven’t used it, but I assume the amounts would be the same.


14 VeganJ January 15, 2014 at 10:40 am

How could you adapt this recipe for an electric pressure cooker? I have a Fagor. Thanks!


15 Susan Voisin January 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I usually just add a couple of minutes to the cooking time with good results in my Fagor. Sometimes I have to go back and give it more time, but usually adding 2 minutes for every 8 of regular pressure cooker time works well.


16 Shalini February 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

If using fresh lemon grass, how much would you use and how? I’ve never cooked with lemon grass but I think I’ve read in other places that you smash the lemongrass and use it in the cooking process and then discard it. I have two stikcs of fresh lemongrass and want to make this tonight.

Thanks – I love ALL of your recipes that I have made.


17 Barbara September 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Found this because we bought some spices from a spice merchant on Cape Cod and Googled dried lemongrass since I never used it before. Don’t have a pressure cooker so cooked it all in a skillet. I used (for the 1st time) some coconut oil and sautéed the garlic and mushrooms. I blanched the broccoli stems, sweet potato and broccoli flowerets then added to the pan. Added the soy sauce, coconut and soy milks along with the spices and chickpeas and cooked it down until thick and creamy. Totally forgot the basil (and I love fresh basil) but didn’t miss it. Holy smokes! We couldn’t stop going back for seconds and thirds! I cannot wait to make this for my vegetarian/GF daughter. This was so good. Thanks every so much!!


18 Christie November 16, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I would like to make this dish but I have a lot of problems with my (homemade) soy milk curdling slightly when it boils. Have you had problems with this?


19 Susan Voisin November 16, 2015 at 12:39 pm

No, I haven’t had that problem but I don’t use homemade. That may make a difference.


20 Julie November 18, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Hi Susan,
I tried making this recipe tonight in my new Instant Pot. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks. I’m not sure what I did wrong but I tried to do the quick release after the first 2 minutes of cooking and the pot started spewing sauce all over the kitchen through the vent. I closed the vent to try and contain the mess. It took 10 minutes before I could finally open the vent again and release the pressure. When I opened the pot, the soy milk (I didn’t use coconut) had coagulated and the sweet potatoes had completely disintegrated. I finished off the recipe by adding in the chickpeas and broccoli, but it didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. It tasted okay but I was wondering if you have any ideas why this would have happened. The only substitution I made (other than soy milk) was lemon zest instead of lemongrass (couldn’t find any here). Any advice would be welcome. I really enjoy your site and make many of your recipes on a regular basis.


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