clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry with cilantro and toasted cashews

Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 1x


A beautifully spiced vegetarian curry of cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and green beans, topped with toasted cashews and cilantro.


Units Scale
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil or ghee, divided
  • 2 yellow onions, one roughly chopped (for the topping),one halved and thinly sliced (for the curry)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 large cloves), divided
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root (from a 2-inch piece), divided
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, one sliced thinly crosswise (for the topping), the other two cut in half lengthwise (for the curry)
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves or about 16 leaves.(see notes below for substitutions)
  • 2 tablespoons good Indian curry powder, such as Madras
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds yams or orange flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well before opening, divided
  • 6 cups of cauliflower florets (about 3/4 of a large cauliflower or a whole small cauliflower)
  • 3/4 pound green beans, stem end trimmed off
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons brown or black mustard seeds


  • 1 cup toasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Suggested Accompaniments

  • white rice or naan or roti


  1. To make the topping, in a small bowl combine the thinly sliced jalapeño pepper with the chopped onions, 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of the minced ginger. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, garlic, ginger and the 2 halved jalapeños, along with the cinnamon stick, cloves and one sprig of curry leaves (about 7 leaves). Sauté, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add curry powder (2 tablespoons), turmeric (1/2 teaspoon) and salt (1 teaspoon). Cook, stirring, for a minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, water (1 1/2 cups) and 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. When the pot comes to a simmer, add the cauliflower and green beans. Turn the heat up and when the pot begins to bubble turn the down to a simmer, cover the curry, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the remaining coconut milk, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the cinnamon sticks and any curry leaves that haven't dissolved into the sauce.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the topping ingredients that you set aside (chopped onion, thinly sliced jalapeño, garlic and ginger) along with mustard seeds (2 teaspoons), and 1 sprig of curry leaves (7-8 leaves). Sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or so, until the onion is soft and starting to brown.
  • Stir the topping mixture into the finished curry. Divide the curry among bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and toasted cashews. Serve the curry with a side of white or brown rice or naan or roti.


If you can't find Curry Leaves: You can substitute bay or lime zest. Use the zest of one lime per 8 curry leaves.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Lunch or Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan

Keywords: spicy vegan vegetable curry