If you're looking for a heart healthy recipe that's easy to make and good for you too, this vegetable curry could be just what you've been searching for.
Whether you are looking to make healthy changes to your diet or simply searching for new recipes to mix things up, this vegetarian- and vegan-friendly curry recipe is just the thing.
Filled with healthy ingredients and low in calories, it packs a flavoursome punch that will rival even your favourite takeaway curry.
Sure, you’ll have to put in a little more effort than ordering food on an app, but this is an easy recipe that takes just 30 minutes to cook.
What makes this a heart-healthy recipe?
A healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.1
We’ve built this easy veggie curry recipe around advice from the British Heart Foundation on how to optimise your diet to look after your heart. Some of the things that make this curry heart-healthy are:
It’s packed with vegetables
A balanced diet should include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, yet most people don’t get enough.
Studies have shown that people who eat more vegetables are less likely to develop heart disease as well as a host of other health issues.2
One portion of this curry contains between four and five of your 5 A Day.
It offers a mix of nutrients
Making sure you eat a balanced diet can really boost your heart health. This means eating a variety of healthy foods from all the major food groups so that you get all the nutrients you need.
This easy veggie curry is packed with a variety of vegetables that contain, among other things, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, lycopene and iron.
The chickpeas offer a decent portion of plant-based protein,3 while a recommended side of wholemeal bread or brown rice ups the fibre content.4 Both of these are thought to be particularly beneficial to heart health.
It’s low in calories
Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk of heart disease, reducing your chances of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.5
If you need to lose weight, you will need to eat and drink fewer calories. The portions of this recipe should fit into a calorie-controlled diet for most people, though you should always speak to your GP before making any dietary changes, including lowering your calorie intake.6
It’s low in salt
A diet high in salt can raise your blood pressure, which is one of the risk factors for heart disease.
We’ve used just one quarter of a teaspoon of salt for the whole recipe. Trust us, the spices add more than enough flavour.
It favours good fats over bad
We’ve used rapeseed oil, which is high in healthy monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. You could also use olive oil, which is thought to be one of the healthiest oils in the world, however it has a distinctive taste that doesn’t always work in curries.
Just remember, even when you’re using good fats you should be mindful of quantities. Two tablespoons are more than enough for this recipe (which serves four).
How to make this heart-healthy vegetable curry
Onions and garlic are the base of most good curries, and this recipe starts by gently cooking them in healthy oils until they’re softened and just starting to brown. You’ll want to use a large pan so that they cook evenly.
You can use the time while they cook to chop the peppers, and the cauliflower if you’re using fresh.
Next, mix together all the spices and add to the onions and garlic. Cook for two minutes – still on a medium heat – until they start to smell amazing.
Then, add the tomatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas, peppers and salt and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. The longer you cook this curry, the more the sauce will reduce and thicken and the more intense the flavours will become.
Then simply serve alongside a small portion of brown rice, or a wholemeal flatbread for dipping.
What if I can’t find all the ingredients?
We’ve a similar spice mix to the one in this creamy coconut milk vegan curry because, well, it’s delicious. But if you don’t have all these spices to hand and don’t want to buy them, use two tablespoons of garam masala or curry powder, or even one of each.
Don’t let the length of the ingredients list phase you. Take away the spices and this curry is largely made from common storecupboard ingredients.
Once you’re used to making this vegetable curry, try swapping around a few ingredients based on your favourite foods or simply what you have to hand.
You could swap the cauliflower for sweet potato or, if you’re not vegan, make it a vegetable and paneer curry with cubes of Indian cheese.
Heart-healthy vegetable curry recipe
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 large onions, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced or crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp chilli powder, depending on your heat tolerance
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
¼ tsp salt
2 orange or red peppers, chopped
500g frozen cauliflower (or one large head fresh cauliflower, cut into florets)
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
Brown basmati rice or wholemeal flatbreads
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook slowly for 10 minutes or so until the onions have softened and have just started to colour.
2. Mix together the cumin, chilli powder, ginger, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek and cayenne pepper. Add them to the pan with the onions and cook for two minutes or so until fragrant. Be careful not to let the spices catch and burn.
3. Add the tomatoes, salt, peppers, cauliflower and chickpeas. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced slightly and all the vegetables are cooked through.
4. Divide between four bowls and serve each with a small portion of brown rice or a wholemeal flatbread.
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