This easy curry sauce made with coconut milk has just ten ingredients, including fragrant spices like curry powder, cumin, and garam masala. The creamy coconut milk base provides a luscious, silky texture that’s perfect for drizzling over white rice, vegetables, or your protein of choice.
Why You’ll Love this Easy Coconut Curry Sauce
This sauce delivers big flavor without overwhelming complexity. One of the many reasons we love it so much. This recipe will show you how to make a simple curry with curry powder, garam masala and cumin.
Here are a few more reasons we love it and you will too:
- Versatile sauce: it can be customized to your taste with add-ins like cayenne pepper or bell peppers, but it’s also delicious as is. Serve it with rice, vegetables, or your favorite protein (like chickpeas).
- Simple Recipe: this easy curry sauce recipe is a must-try for anyone looking for a creamy and flavorful sauce that’s easy and delicious. It’s ready in under an hour and most of the cooking time is completely passive.
- Creamy & Flavorful Sauce with Minimal Ingredients: it’s made with creamy coconut milk and a handful of flavor packed ingredients for an extra luscious texture with tons of flavor.
Curry is a dish that has its roots in South and Southeast Asia, but has been adapted and reinterpreted in various ways around the world.
Traditionally, curry is a combination of spices, herbs, and often a protein, served with rice or bread. It can be found in various forms across different regions, from coconut-based curries in Thailand and Indonesia, to spicy vindaloo in India. This simple recipe is an Indian-inspired yellow curry made with coconut milk and Madras curry powder.
This recipe uses 10 ingredients (including salt) and is completely vegan & dairy free! To make this easy curry sauce, you’ll need the following simple ingredients:
- Oil (like canola, coconut oil or olive oil)
- Yellow Onion
- Fresh Ginger
- Curry Powder, use Madras Curry Powder if you prefer heat
- Ground Cumin, or sub cumin seeds
- Garam Masala
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Full Fat Coconut Milk
A note about curry powder
Curry powder is a blend of spices that can vary widely depending on the region and cuisine it is used in. Different brands and blends of curry powder can also have varying levels of heat and flavor intensity.
Madras curry powder is a popular blend of spices that originated in southern India. It typically includes a combination of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, and red chili powder. Madras curry powder is known for its deep, rich and spicy flavor.
You can use Madras Curry Powder or another curry powder of choice in this recipe. Heat levels may need to be adjusted depending on your personal preference.
Substitutions & Add Ins
This curry sauce recipe is very versatile, and you can easily make substitutions or add-ins based on your taste preferences or what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas:
- Coconut Milk: swap half of the can of coconut milk for vegetable broth for a less rich curry. Use ¼-½ cup of coconut cream instead of coconut milk for an even creamier curry.
- Red Curry Paste: substitute red curry paste for the curry powder for a different flavor and a spicier sauce.
- Other veggies: add diced bell pepper or other vegetables for extra texture and flavor.
- Tomato Paste: use about ¼ cup of tomato paste in place of crushed tomatoes for a thicker sauce.
- Soy Sauce: you can add a splash of soy sauce for some umami flavor.
- Potatoes: use sweet potatoes or even cauliflower instead of potatoes.
- Grater or Microplane, for the ginger
- Medium Stock Pot
🎥 Video tutorial is above the recipe card below.
STEP 1: In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
STEP 2: Add the diced yellow onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
STEP 3: Add the curry powder, cumin, and garam masala and stir until the spices coat all the onions. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
STEP 4: Add the crushed tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir to combine.
STEP 5: At this point, you can add ingredients of choice to the simmer sauce. I recommend chickpeas and potatoes, as noted in the recipe below.
STEP 6: Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. Then, simmer uncovered for 15-20 more minutes to help thicken and further reduce the curry. (see notes below for more tips to thicken the sauce)
Tips for thickening the curry sauce:
- Reduce the liquid: continue simmering it uncovered on low heat for a longer period of time to reduce the liquid and thicken the sauce. This will also help intensify the flavors.
- Use a slurry: To make a slurry, mix equal parts cornstarch or flour with water or stock until it forms a smooth paste. Then, slowly pour the slurry into the simmering sauce while whisking continuously. Add this slowly, as too much slurry can make the sauce overly thick and gloopy.
- Add coconut cream: Adding a 1/4 cup of coconut cream to your curry sauce can help thicken it and give it a creamy, rich texture. Add a little at a time as it will also change the taste of the curry.
Serve this flavorful curry sauce with rice, cooked chickpeas, and diced potatoes for a hearty and flavorful meal. Basmati, jasmine, brown rice or even cauliflower rice go well with this curry. If you’re craving even more flavor, you could serve it with this yellow jasmine rice!
My favorite way to serve it is topped with lots of fresh cilantro, green onions, and a squeeze of lime juice for some brightness and acidity. Serve this curry with this creamy mango mousse for a sweet treat at the end of your meal!
📌 Feel free to adjust the level of heat to your liking! Add a dash of red chili pepper, cayenne powder or red pepper flakes to taste if you love spicy food.
Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The sauce will thicken in the fridge as it cools but will thin out once reheated.
Reheat in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave until warmed through. This curry sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
Follow these simple tips for the best results!
- For a smoother sauce: blend the onion, garlic, and ginger mixture in a food processor or blender before adding to the pan.
- Adjust the spice level: add more or less Madras Curry Powder and other spices like cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to your liking.
- If the sauce is too thick: add a splash of water or vegetable broth to thin it out.
- Simmer until the sauce reaches your desired thickness: simmer the sauce on low to reduce the amount of liquid. See the tips in the post above for other ways to thicken this curry sauce.
More Delicious Main Courses:
- Easy Vegan Pumpkin Curry
- Easy Pumpkin Carrot Soup
- Hearty 10 Vegetable Soup
- Lemon Herb Couscous Salad with Chickpeas
- Crispy Vegan Chickpea Patties
Did you make this easy, creamy curry sauce with coconut milk?
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