One-pot Indian potato and broccoli curry is a vegan masala broccoli gravy recipe with fragrant, savory spices in a sumptuous, healthy besan (chickpea flour) sauce.
This broccoli curry recipe is an excellent example of the diversity of all things curry, especially the plant-based kind. A few ingredients with the right spices can make tasty, healthy weekday meals.
This post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you're successful in your first attempt. Below, you'll find a handy table of contents with links. But if you're in a rush, please use the link at the top to jump to the recipe card at the end!
⭐Why this recipe works
Suppose you struggle to find tempting broccoli recipes beyond stir fry. In that case, it's time to get familiar with Indian-style broccoli curry.
This simple recipe featuring potatoes and broccoli is all about gravy – yep, gravy. And this one is made with a slurry of (chickpea flour) and water, not coconut milk or coconut cream. That’s what makes this dish distinctive and savory. What’s more, it’s naturally low in fat and gluten-free. Winner!
You need just one pot or a large frying pan with a lid, and you can even prep the first parts, get the potatoes simmering, and prep the rest of the ingredients. That keeps the cooking time to around 30 minutes. With prep, you can make this in about the same time it takes to cook brown rice. Dinner is served!
📋 Key ingredients & notes
Broccoli: Fresh or frozen broccoli can be used for this recipe. You need 4 cups of small florets. If you use fresh broccoli, don’t forget about the stalk. Peel it, dice it, and add it with the rest of the broccoli. Even the stalks will give you healthy fiber and vitamin C. One reason broccoli is a superfood.
Diced potatoes: Use any white or red potato you like. I tend to stick with baby potatoes or thinner skins, so I don't need to peel them. If you use russets, peel them. Onion: A small onion diced, about 1 cup is all you need.
Garlic: Add a few minced or pressed garlic cloves for an aromatic hit. You can also use a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste if you happen to have an open jar.
Ground cumin: Ground cumin is convenient for adding sweet, warming flavor. If you want to use cumin seeds, use 2 teaspoons and toast them right before adding the onions.
Turmeric powder: Colorful ground turmeric adds an earthy, slightly peppery flavor, and it is one of our curry essentials. If you use curry powder, that's where the color comes from.
Red chili powder: This is Indian-style chili powder, not the Mexican-style chili powder we are attached to. It's used here to spice up the curry, so cayenne pepper or crushed red chili. You could also use dried green chili powder or even black pepper.
Garam masala: If you make Indian recipes, you've likely got garam masala on hand. Aromatic and spicy-sweet, it's the quintessential curry ingredient.
Bay leaf: Another layer of flavor courtesy of a few bay leaves. If you want to add another dimension (and you have them handy), you can also add 2 dried curry leaves.
Chickpea flour: Also known as besan or gram flour, this is what we’re using as our thickening agent. Chickpea flour is a great gluten-free option for making thick sauces.
Vegetable broth: You can use water, but vegetable broth (vegetable stock) enhances the flavor, so I recommend using it.
🔪 Pro tips & notes
Before adding any ingredients, let your pot warm up to medium heat. This helps keep the onions from sticking. Keep the onions moving and if they start to stick, add a little water to the pan. It's an essential step when you aren't using olive oil to sauté (and we never do).
Use the vegetable broth to deglaze and clear the bottom of the pot after adding the potatoes. Adjust the heat so that the potatoes are just simmering.
The time needed to cook the potatoes is determined by their size. Smaller cubes take less time. Don't let the potatoes overcook. They should be tender when pierced with a fork but not crumbly.
Cover the pot and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until it turns bright green and tender. When you add the broccoli, just layer it on the top. It makes for a nice texture contrast if the broccoli is crisp.
Resist adding chickpea flour directly to the curry. Mixing it with a cup of cool water first will keep your sauce lump-free. The sauce will thicken as the flour interacts with the starch in the potatoes.
💭 Common Questions
Garam masala has a distinctive flavor and spice composition. If you want to make a substitution for broccoli curry, consider adding curry powder and a teaspoon of ground coriander with a pinch of ground allspice. Sambar powder is also possible, depending on the spice profile.
Suppose you need a substitution for chickpea flour for thickening curry or stews. In that case, you can use regular flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot. Each ingredient thickens to different degrees, so it's best to start with a little combined with cold water. Add this to your curry, simmer it for a few minutes and add more if needed.
Add small frozen broccoli florets directly into the pot before the potatoes are done. To keep the ingredients simmering, you may need to adjust your burner to medium-high heat. If you have large florets, you may need to thaw or steam them first and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
🍽 Serving & storage
We usually serve potato and broccoli curry as a main course over plain rice (brown basmati is our preference). It also makes a tasty side dish or part of an Indian thali. Think Indian buffet.
Storage and reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe also freezes well.
Reheat curry in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may want to add more vegetable broth or water as the gravy can thicken as it settles.
📖 Related recipes
Indian Potato and Broccoli Curry
One-pot Indian potato and broccoli curry is a vegan masala broccoli gravy recipe with fragrant, savory spices in a sumptuous and healthy besan sauce.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Curries
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (2 teaspoons cumin seeds)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (½ teaspoon cayenne powder)
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of potatoes, cubed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups broccoli florets (1 medium broccoli head)
- 2 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
- 1 cup of water
- Sauté onions. Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and stir them for a few minutes until they soften. Add a little water if the onions start to stick.
- Add garlic and spices. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, and salt (if using). Stir the ingredients into the onions.
- Add the potatoes and deglaze. Add the potatoes and mix them with the rest of the ingredients. Let them start to cook by stirring them for a minute or 2. Add the vegetable broth. Use a wooden spoon or another non-abrasive utensil to clear the bottom of the pot. Bring the pot to simmer, cover it, and cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork. This should take about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potato cubes.
- Steam the broccoli. Add the broccoli to the top of the pot. Cover the pot and let the broccoli steam for 3-4 minutes. The broccoli should be tender but not mushy.
- Finish the gravy. Mix 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour with 1 cup of cool water. Stir with a whisk or fork to ensure that there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the curry, mix well, and continue simmering for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Taste, adjust, and serve. Taste the curry and add salt or a pinch of garam masala or cumin according to taste. Serve over rice or another grain if desired.
- Garam masala has a distinctive flavor and spice composition. If you want to make a substitution for broccoli curry, consider adding curry powder and a teaspoon of ground coriander with a pinch of ground allspice.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe also freezes well. Reheat curry in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may want to add more vegetable broth or water as the gravy can thicken as it settles.
- You can use frozen broccoli for this recipe too! If the florets are small, add them directly to the simmering potatoes. If the florets are large, you may want to thaw them or steam them and cut them into bite-sized florets before adding them to the curry.
Keywords: vegan; plant-based; broccoli gravy; gluten-free