We eat a lot of curries in our house, especially during the week because everything goes into one pot, the flavors are bold, and sweet, and spicy, and it makes a lot so I can always count on leftovers. Sometimes these curries are tomato-based, other times they are coconut milk-based.
Today's curry is made with coconut milk and is based on my go-to weeknight curry formula I use to make curries year round. The ingredients change with the season; corn and zucchini in the summer, sweet potato or cauliflower in the winter, and Brussels sprouts as long as they are available because I can never get enough of them. And the proportion of coconut milk to water changes depending on how light I want it, but the curry formula holds steady and is what makes curries a quick, accessible meal for us anytime.
Sure, we can all go buy the red or green curry pastes, add some coconut milk and have our curry. In fact, these ready-made pastes have a place in my fridge too. But more often than not I want a curry to be super fresh tasting and clean, where I can control the ingredients 100%. And my quick and practical curry formula comes to the rescue every time.
The formula relies on staples so this can be pulled together last minute without having to run out for specialty items. The aromatics include an entire bunch of cilantro, including the tender stems, garlic, ginger, chili (fresh or dried), and mild yellow curry and chili powders. Water and coconut milk are added with chickpeas and vegetables of choice (I only add dried apricots with cruciferous vegetables), and lime juice is added at the end to round it out along with toppings. This curry is rich but you can use less coconut milk and more water or stock if you prefer it lighter, especially for summer months.
Let this become your go-to weeknight curry formula too and you'll have homemade, fresh, and super satisfying curries on your dinner table in no time.
Brussels Sprout Coconut Curry
Notes: Use less coconut milk and more water/vegetable stock if you want a lighter curry.
- Generous knob coconut oil
- 1 small bunch cilantro with tender stems
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 inch (5 cm) strip fresh ginger, peeled + grated
- 1 red chili, minced (or 1 tsp. chili flakes)
- 1 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 3 cups (705 ml) water, or vegetable stock
- 2 1/4 cups (500 ml) coconut milk
- 500 g Brussels sprouts, halved
- 1-1 1/2 tsp. salt (less if using veg stock)
- 2 1/2 cups (355 g or 2-15 oz cans, rinsed/drained) cooked chickpeas
- 5-6 sulphur-free dried apricots, cut in small dice
- Juice 1 Lime
- Remaining cilantro leaves + basil/Thai basil, torn or chopped
- Dry-roasted cashews
- Cooked quinoa, brown rice, or couscous
- Heat the coconut oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot. Gather the entire bunch of cilantro and finely chop the tender stems, leaving the leaves to be chopped and added to the curry at the end.
- Add cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, chili, and curry and chili powders to pot. Stir to coat in oil and cook until spices are fragrant (~ 1 minute).
- Add water, coconut milk, Brussels sprouts, and salt. Stir to combine, cover, raise heat to bring to a gentle bowl, then lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes (adding chickpeas and apricots after 8 minutes) or until Brussels sprouts are tender.
- Stir in lime juice and ladle curry into bowls over grain of choice; top with herbs and cashews.