Vegetable mango curry is a savory combination of the ultimate low-fat blender mango curry sauce featuring Thai red curry paste and your favorite vegetables. Add noodles, rice, or crispy baked tofu, and you’ve got a fresh and satisfying plant-based dinner that begs for seconds.
Vegetable curries are one of my favorite ways to load up on veggies. Thai-inspired sauces with a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. You won't need to be reminded to 'eat your vegetables.'
If you’ve never eaten mango curry before, you are in for a treat. It’s sweet, savory, spicy, and creamy. It also takes minutes to make. And if you follow my low-fat hack, it tastes rich without making you ‘live’ its richness later. If you know what I mean…
The first secret to the best mango curry is making a great curry sauce. You don’t need a lot of ingredients, but you do want to aim for quality.
Mangos – Ripe mangos make the sweetest curry. Use 2 medium-sized mangos, 3 if they are small, and if they are enormous, use 2 and make a giant curry or secure some coveted leftover sauce.
How to select a ripe mango
The folks at the National Mango Board advise that ripeness is judged by feel, not color. Selecting mangos is similar to avocados or peaches. If they are too hard, they can be tasteless, but you don’t want them so soft that they are mushy.
I used to think that mangos with more red color were naturally riper. That isn’t the case at all. You want to inspect the outside to ensure none of the skin is bruised or pierced. Sometimes, ripe mangos will have a sweet, fruity aroma about their stem.
If you are set on mango curry (as you should be), another solution is to check the freezer section of your local grocery store. Often you can find frozen mango. Just be sure to purchase fruit only – no added sugar or syrup.
How to peel and deseed a mango
Because the mangos are eventually getting pureed, you don’t need to worry about cutting pretty cubes or perfect slices.
The mission is to get the peeling off and leave the pit behind.
Personally, I find it just as easy to peel the entire mango with a paring knife and then cut away the sides from the pit, tossing mango stirps right into the blend as I go.
Alternatively, you can place the mango stem-side up and then cut down on either side of the stem. That leaves you with 3 pieces. Lay the pit side on its side and then cut away as much flesh as you can. Do the same, sans pit for the other 2 pieces. Remember, this is all going into the blender, so any little bits and juice and all go in.
I’ve run across a few mango slicing devices, do let me know if you have one or a method you swear by. I’m always learning, and I’d love to get a better handle on my mangos.
Thai red curry paste – We’re relying on curry paste to deliver all the spices. That’s why it’s critically important that you use a high-quality paste.
Ask me about a brand, and I’ll tell you homemade curry paste is the way to go. There is no debate in my head or mouth. But, sometimes, life dictates the need for convenience. That means purchasing curry paste. Look for curry paste that is vegan, oil-free, and relies on natural, not artificial flavorings.
Soy sauce or Tamari – Soy sauce or its gluten-free counterpoint, Tamari, adds complex umami flavor rather than just straight salt.
Date paste – If your mangos are super sweet, you may only want a drop of an additional sweetener. A teaspoon is about right. You can adjust flavor upwards after you make and taste the sauce.
Date paste is my preference because it is a pure and healthy sweetener. Seriously, it just blended dates. You can also use agave syrup or maple syrup if you prefer.
Plant milk – I know it’s traditional to add coconut milk, and you can make that substitution for this recipe. Lately, I've been looking into slimming down recipes, so I'm about to propose the fat hack reflected in the ingredients.
A word about coconut milk
Because I've mentioned it, let’s talk about coconut milk. Basically, it’s shredded coconut flesh purred with water and then strained.
Have you ever opened a can of coconut milk, and the top is just a solid mass of white? That’s coconut cream. It's rich and fat-filled. It will make your curry rich, but that what sticks to the hips. This is not the same as cream of coconut that is a condiment blended with loads of sugar. Run from that stuff.
If the idea of adding straight fat isn’t appealing, you can opt for lite coconut milk. You can get the coconut flavor with less fat. Be sure you carefully read the labels. Some 'lite' some brands add stabilizers, and other unpronounceable products are added to get it to behave more like full-fat coconut milk.
Coconut extract – Yep. Coconut extract lightens the day! Mix a few drops of coconut extract into the plant milk and taste it until you have the desired flavor.
What about thickness?
Before my coconut extract hack, I used to add an extra ½ to 1 cup of vegetable broth to thin the mango sauce. That’s when I was using coconut milk. We’re just eliminating that step.
You may want to add it back in if you want to thin out the sauce.
What if my sauce it too thin?
You are unlikely to run into this problem with mango sauce. If you use the 'coconut milk fat hack' and your sauce is too thin, you can thicken it using cornstarch or arrowroot. ½ - 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or arrowroot will do the trick. Mix that directly into the milk and extract before adding it to the pan. That helps to avoid the dreaded clumping impact of thickeners.
Putting it altogether
Making this recipe can be summed up in a few steps.
Make the mango sauce. Peel and de-pit the mango. Mix the plant milk and coconut extract before adding to control the flavor. Add all the ingredients and blend.
Sauté the veggies and add the sauce.
Add noodles or tofu if that’s the direction you’re heading. Or serve it over cooked rice.
1. Plan your curry – Decide if you want to add noodles or serve it over rice and plan the timing accordingly. Are you making red curry paste, raiding the freezer for your stash, or using it from the jar?
Tofu? Making crispy baked tofu will take longer than making mango curry. You can make it a day ahead if you like.
2. My mangos aren’t quite ripe – We've all been there. You peel a mango only to discover it's not quite as ripe or sweet as you'd like. What to do?
Obviously, you can just add more date paste and get on with it.
Or, you can add a couple of dried mangos or apricots. Dice them up and add them directly to the blender. Or make a paste using the same method for making date paste.
Use varieties of vegetables like onions, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, or cauliflower. You can also add bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, baby corn, or a prepackaged veggie mixture.
You can freeze mango curry sauce for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag. It’s best to freeze mango curry with vegetables without added noodles which can get mushy once thawed and recooked.
Technically, yes, you can replace fresh mangos with canned. However, it is challenging to find canned mangos that are packed in water. Many brands contain high fructose corn syrup, and you want to avoid this. A better option is to use frozen mangos.
In addition to tofu, you can add sauteed or marinated and baked tempeh cubes or any veggie meat alternatives such as beef or chicken. Soy curls or other dried soy products or cooked adzuki beans or chickpeas will add flavor and protein.
When mangos are in season, you find the motherload of a sale, or you have a few ripened mangoes, but you aren’t ready to use them, grab your paring knife and blender. A tub of purred mangoes in the freezer makes mango curry even quicker.
You can also make a batch (or a double batch) of mango sauce and put it in convenient freezer containers. When you want a quick lunch or dinner, grab your sauce and a bag of frozen or fresh veggies. In 15 minutes, you have a satisfying meal. That’s my kind of meal prep.
Other curry recipes to explorePrint
vegetable mango curry
Vegetable mango curry made is a savory combination of the ultimate low-fat blender mango curry sauce, vegetables, noodles, and crispy tofu.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: curries
- Cuisine: Thai
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 mangoes peeled and sliced
- 2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp. date paste or another liquid sweetener
- 1 ½ cups of plant milk (if you use coconut milk, skip the coconut extract)
- 2-3 drops of coconut extract
- 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced or medium diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-moons
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
- 2 cups of green beans, broken or cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced or diced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 1 batch of crispy baked tofu (optional)
- 125 gm. whole wheat or rice noodles
- Cooked rice
- Add the mango slices, soy sauce, and date paste to a blender or food processor.
- Measure the plant milk in a cup and add the coconut extract. Taste a little to adjust the flavor before adding it to the blender.
- Blend the sauce until smooth and set it aside.
- Heat a large skillet or wok and add the onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until they become soft.
- Mix in the garlic, then add the rest of the vegetables and allow them to cook until they become soft.
- Add the mango sauce and mix it into the vegetables. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes. Add additional plant milk if you want to thin it out.
- If you want a zestier curry, squeeze a few lime wedges or serve wedges on the side.
- Add cooked noodles or baked tofu if using, then serve immediately.
- You can also serve this over cooked rice.
- The nutritional information is for veggie mango curry with whole wheat noodles and baked tofu.
- Cooking time is for the curry only, you'll need extra time to make crispy baked tofu.
- To substitute frozen mango for fresh, allow it to thaw before a bit so that it's easier to blend.
- If your mangos are not quite ripe or aren’t as sweet as you’d like, add additional date paste or dice 2 dried apricots or mangos and add them to the blender. You can also use mango or apricot paste.
- Use 1 can of whole or lite coconut milk as a substitute. Be sure to check the labels for additives. The fat content will be higher if you use coconut milk.
- Mango sauce freezes for 3 months in a sealed container. If you freeze the curry, it’s best to avoid freezing it with noodles because they can get mushy when thawed.
Keywords: vegetable mango curry