This the last part of my Afro-Middle eastern inspired menu was a Swahili vegetable curry. Okra, green beans, tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, corn, cauliflower, baby potatoes, carrots….Nine total vegetables are featured in this all encompassing vegetable curry.


The vegetables are stewed in a coconut based sauce with a variety of spices, and I cracked my own fresh coconut to extract the coconut flesh.


The spices are first heated in a pan until fragrant, and then are finely ground in a spice or coffee grinder.


To make the spice paste, grated coconut flesh is sautéed with some olive oil until lightly browned,


The coconut is transferred to a blender along with the toasted spices and onions.


And blended until a paste forms. The paste is set aside until ready for use.


To start the curry, sliced onions and mustard seeds are cooked in a large casserole over high heat, until the onions are browned. Turmeric, mace, Garam masala and bay leaves are added to the casserole, and cooked until fragrant.


The coconut spice paste is added to the casserole and simmered over low heat for 10 minutes.


The coconut milk and water are added to the casserole and brought to a simmer.


Sliced carrots and potatoes are added to the pot, and simmered for 15 minutes.


All vegetables, except for the okra, are added to the pot with the tomato paste and simmered for 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.


At this point, the curry can be made ahead of time, cooled and refrigerated over night, which is what I did.
The next day, the dish is slowly brought to a simmer, and the okra is added to the pot, and cooked for about 5 minutes. Fresh curry leaves and cilantro are stirred into the curry, adjusting the seasoning to your taste.


I like to serve the curry with some hot sauce and basmati rice.

Swahili Vegetable Curry