Vegetable Madras Curry

This is one of my favourite dishes, both to cook and to eat, and is a firm favourite with my friends. With just a few spices in the cupboard, you can make so many different curries, and with some practice, you will impress your family and friends with curries as good as any restaurant. This recipe is for a vegetarian madras, to make it a vegan madras, just use oil instead of butter.

Some of the ingredients you will need

To cook this vegetable madras for 4 people, you will need:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 green cardamon pods
  • 25g salted butter
  • 2 large white onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 15mm cubes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into discs
  • a handful of green beans, ends removed and cut into 20cm pieces
  • a handful of spinach
  • half a courgette, cut into 15mm cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp root ginger
  • 150g firm tofu cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fenungreek seeds or powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground corriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh or dried corriander
Some of the spices I use

Put the curry powder in a bowl and add the tofu cubes. Toss the tofu so every piece is covered with some curry powder.

Cubes of tofu coated in curry powder

Place the coated tofu pieces in a small pan over a medium heat, and brown them. Save any remaining curry powder in the bowl for later. Once browed, turn off the heat and leave the tofu in the pan.

Cubes of curried tofu

Take a large saucepan, and add the butter and oil, and melt the butter over a medium heat. Once melted, add the cloves, cardamon pods, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook them until they are black! Yes, black, burnt, however you want to describe it, the onions need to be black for this recipe. Once the onions are black, add the crushed garlic, chopped ginger, potatoes and carrots.

Half way towards burning the onions

In the bowl with the remaining curry powder, add the turmeric, ground corriander, fenungreek seeds and chilli powder and a cup of water. Mix thoroughly, and add to the pan of onions, potatoes and carrots. Add the salt and pepper, and stir well.

The remaining spices

Add the can of chopped tomatoes to the pan, and gently stir everything together. If you have thoroughly burnt your onions, this is when the red from the tomatoes starts to turn into the dark red/brown colour you expect with a madras curry.

The lovely rich and dark curry

Allow this to cook for 20 minutes on a low heat, and then add the courgette and green beans to the pan.

Chopped green beans and courgette

Using a small spoon, taste the sauce and add salt or pepper if you think it needs it. After 10 minutes, add the spinach and stir it into the curry. Continue cooking the curry, allowing the liquid to evaporate until you have the perfect consitency. For me, I like to be able to use a slotted spoon to life out a portion of curry and the sauce cling to the meat or vegatables with very little falling through the slots in the spoon.

Add the spinach

When the spinach has wilted and the consistency is to your liking, sprinkle the curry with garam masala, add the fresh chopped corriander and stir one last time before turning off the heat and preparing to serve.

Vegetable madras served with pilau rice

And that is how I cook my wonderful madras curry. I like to serve this with my pilau rice and garlic naan bread (recipe will appear here soon).

I hope you enjoyed following this recipe.



1 thought on “Vegetable Madras Curry”

  • I always used a jar of sauce/paste up until now – thanks for sharing the ‘secret’ to simple but yummy Indian cooking!

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