Carrot curry is a simple, healthy and delicious dish made with fresh carrots, spices, herbs, onions, tomatoes and coconut or nut milk. In India, we make curry with almost every vegetable including carrots and pumpkins. This carrot curry is a basic version and is made much the same way as any other curry. It goes well with rice, flavored rice, chapathi or with any Indian breads.
In Indian cuisine, there are 2 ways a curry is made. One is the dry version & the other is a gravy. The first one is called sabzi, podi kura, dry curry etc and this is a dry dish without any gravy. Most times the veggies are cooked in their own moisture or with a splash of water.
A lot of people still call this a curry. The second kind mostly uses water, yogurt or coconut milk to make the gravy. A few readers ask me why a dry dish is called a curry so I have just shared that here. For more info please check Wikipedia.
In this post I have shared both the ways. We personally like carrots with peas so I have used them here. You may replace peas with precooked chickpeas or soaked moong dal or skip them completely.
To make this curry, choose carrots that look, smell and taste fresh.
How to make
1.Pour oil to a hot pot. When the oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
2. When the spices splutter, add curry leaves and then fine chopped onions.
3. Stir and saute the onions until golden. Then add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute for a minute or until a nice aroma comes out.
4. Add chopped or pureed tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes turn mushy and soft.
5. Then add red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, salt and turmeric.
6. Saute for a few minutes till the masala turns aromatic.
7. Then saute carrots and green peas for 2 mins.
8. Pour water just as needed to partially cover the carrots. I used 1 cup water.
9. Cover and cook on a low heat until carrots turn tender but not mushy. I cooked for 8 mins.
10. Carrot curry is ready at this stage. But I prefer to add kasuri methi. You may skip it if you don’t like.
11. Mix well and pour coconut milk or nut milk. To make nut milk, soak 15 cashews in little hot water for 15 mins and blend with half cup water in a small grinder. Ensure there are no bits of nuts in the milk.
12. Give a good stir and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for 2 mins. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
Serve this delicious carrot curry with rice, roti or with any Indian breads.
Recipe 2 – Dry carrot curry
This nutritious flavorful carrot stir fry curry is healthy and flavorful. Serve it as a side in a South Indian meal with plain rice, rasam or sambar. This also goes very well as a side with flavored rice like pudina rice, pulihora, lemon rice or even with curd rice.
The unique flavors in this dish comes from my spice powder which I shared it below. If you do not want to make the spice powder, then use idli podi or coconut podi. I use various kinds of podis like curry leaves podi or flax seed podi to sprinkle on my stir fry veggies. You may do the same.
I also make this a lot of times with soaked moong dal instead of green peas.
2 cups carrots chopped small
½ cup green peas or ¼ cup moong dal (optional) (refer notes)
1 green chilies chopped or slit
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
Salt as needed
1 tablespoon oil
1 sprig curry leaves
¾ teaspoon ginger fine chopped
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ to ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch hing (asafetida) optional
¾ to 1 teaspoon urad dal (optional)
1 teaspoon channa dal (optional)
To roast and powder or use 3 tbsps fresh grated coconut
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chana dal
¾ to 1 teaspon urad dal
1 teaspoon dried coconut (copra)
1 dried red chili
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small garlic clove
1. To make the spice powder, dry roast chana dal and urad dal till slightly golden, off the stove and add coconut, sesame seeds, cumin, garlic and red chili to the hot pan. When the coconut turns aromatic. Transfer to a plate and cool.
2. Next to the same pan, add oil and heat up. Add mustard, cumin, and dal. When the dal turns slightly golden, add ginger and curry leaves. Sprinkle hing. Saute for a min. Do not burn ginger, it gives a bitter taste.
3. Lower the flame. Add carrots, peas, turmeric and salt. Fry for two minutes.
4. Cover and cook till the carrots become tender. Keep stirring in between and put back the lid. If your carrots are not juicy, sprinkle some water as needed.
5. While the carrots cook, powder the roasted ingredients in a blender jar. Sprinkle the spice powder. Adjust salt and stir well. Fry for two minutes till the aroma of the spice powder comes out. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with rice and rasam or sambar.
Notes: to use moong dal as a substitute to peas, rinse the dal well and soak it for 1 hour or 30 mins in hot water. Later drain the water and add it along with carrots.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 cups carrots (chopped) (2 medium, about 325 grams)
- ¾ cup green peas (or ¼ cup soaked moong dal)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon ginger (chopped finely)
- ¾ teaspoon garlic (chopped finely, 2 medium cloves)
- 1 green chilies chopped or slit (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 large onion (1¼ cup fine chopped)
- 3 medium tomatoes (¾ cup fine chopped or pureed)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- 1¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder as needed)
- 1¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
- ¾ to 1 cup water (I used 1 cup)
- ¾ cup coconut milk (read notes)
- Heat oil in a pot. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
- When they splutter add curry leaves and onions. Saute them until the onions turn golden in color and lose the raw flavor.
- Add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute for a minute until aromatic.
- Next stir in the tomatoes and cook until they breakdown and soften.
- Then stir in the spice powders – red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder and salt. Saute for 2 to 3 mins until it turns aromatic.
- Add carrots and peas. Saute for 2 mins.
- Pour water just enough to partially cover the carrots. I used 1 cup water. Mix and cook covered on a lot heat until carrots turn tender.
- Then add kasuri methi (optional) and coconut milk. Mix and cook covered on a low heat for 2 mins.
- Taste test and add more salt if needed. Serve carrot curry with rice or roti.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Carrot curry recipe originally published in Jan 2015. Republished in Oct 2020.