yellow curry guidelines

An empty glass pot sits on a counter, surrounded by a can of chickpeas, spices in bottles, a head of garlic, and a shallot.

One of my favourite dump and go dinners – a dinner you can dump into a pot and leave with minimal babysitting – is yellow curry. With the appropriately stocked pantry and freezer, you can make it in 30 minutes and have a nourishing meal ready when you are.

Like many of my recipes, this is more guidelines, with some suggestions for those pregnant or postpartum. The red lentils add protein and iron while also thickening the curry, and if using dubu instead of meat this is suitable for vegans. It’s also kosher l’pesach if you eat rice. This recipe relies on shelf-stable vegetables: canned, frozen, and root vegetables so you can make this even if you haven’t gone to the grocery in a month.

As always, add and adjust what works for you: your time, your family’s tastes, your budget. Curry is versatile enough to accommodate most savory vegetables and proteins, and I’m always a fan of going through the spice cabinet and adding pinches and spoonfuls until it smells right.

suggested ingredients

flavour and spices

  • yellow curry powder
  • garam masala (for extra curry spices)
  • msg (can substitute mushrooms and tomatoes)
  • cumin
  • turmeric
  • pepper or chili of choice (cayenne, hot pepper, chili flakes, paprika)
  • garlic (fresh or buy pre-minced)
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots, bite size pieces
  • 1 can heavy coconut milk or cream
  • broth


  • 1 can baby corn, drained
  • 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 medium golden potato (thin skin left on)
  • 1 medium sweet potato or yam (peeled)
  • 1 – 3 carrots
  • frozen or canned vegetable blend of choice
  • red lentils (I like this recipe for coconut lentils to be pre-cooked, otherwise, adjust liquid and cook time accordingly)


choose at least one

  • 2 cans chickpeas (cooks fastest)
  • 1 container dubu or tofu, extra firm, cubed to bite size (cooks second fastest)
  • chicken, raw and cut to bite size or shredded from market rotisserie
  • thin sliced beef

finishing vegetables

  • precooked eggplant or squash
  • diced tomato
  • mushrooms (buy pre-sliced)
  • thin sliced carrot
  • extra garlic
  • peanuts

cooking suggestions

Cut the onion into bite size pieces and mince the garlic. Add a little vegetable oil to the pot and brown alliums, spices, and if using raw meat, the meat until spices are toasted. While these toast, cut the root vegetables.

Drain and add all canned vegetables, add root vegetables, and if using, add red lentils and dubu or precooked meat. Pour in coconut milk. Use no more than half a can of water to rinse can and pour in. If not enough liquid, make up the rest with broth – see my post on broth if you don’t want to buy from the store. Stir and cover, bring pot to boil, stirring frequently enough to prevent sticking.

Start rice cooking in a cooker.

Cook curry until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork and meat is thoroughly cooked. Turn off heat, and if using frozen vegetables add now and stir in until defrosted, using low heat if needed. Taste and salt as needed.

If you wish to use some finishing vegetables, add either directly to the pot and stir or top individual bowls. If you’re doing a batch cook, I suggest adding to individual bowls so you can make each meal a little different.

Serve over rice.


Use red curry paste instead, and add bite-size chunks of precooked roasted kabocha squash for a red pumpkin curry.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close