Hot and Nutty Vegan Curry

Hot and Nutty Vegan Curry

This hot and nutty vegan curry is made with ground almonds, chickpeas, butternut squash, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, garlic, onions and coriander. It’s hot and bright. Perfect for these damp and dull evenings.

feast by Sabrina Ghayour
This recipe is an adaptation of one from Sabrina Ghayour’s Feasts

A few weeks ago I tried another recipe from Sabrina Ghayour’s Feasts, Chicken, Pistachio & Black Pepper Curry. It’s gorgeous. It’s very spicy but also very bright with flavour.

The first time i made it I couldn’t source any raw pistachios so I made do with the roasted ones. The taste is still very good but the roasted nuts give it a slightly biscuity quality.

You can buy raw pistachios online obviously. seems to have them. They’re not sponsoring this or anything – I’m just letting you know a place online that sells raw pistachios.

Anyway I wondered about making this with ingredients you could find in any supermarket, like cashew nuts. And I also wondered what would it be like if I replaced the chicken with mushrooms and cashews. That’s when I realised I could adapt this to be vegan.

So why am I using ground almond and not cashew nuts in this recipe? Because you make a paste with the curry and you need to have properly ground up the nuts in the paste. Otherwise the texture is going to be grainy.

And at the moment everything is going the very opposite of right. Everything is breaking down. I’ve lost keys. Sometimes through my usual forgetfulness but sometimes I’m just looking at my keys going wait where has that key gone? Seriously it’s ridiculous. Anything that could go wrong in the last two weeks has gone completely wrong…

On the plus side … this curry is really nice. The ground almonds work well as a substitute and I think the nuts are the only part of this recipe that could go wrong. That’s really tempting fate, isn’t it? Sorry. Many things could go wrong. The cooker could stop working. The cooker has not stopped working. Please don’t stop working cooker.

Anyways. What else did I add? I used tinned sweetcorn rather than baby sweetcorn. And I add golden sultanas to it because, just in case I wasn’t clear, this curry is hot. And I like to cut the heat with a little sweetness. Or a lot of sweetness if possible.

The original – Chicken, Pistachio & Black Pepper Curry

So the Hot and Nutty Vegan Curry is a simple vegan version of Chicken, Pistachio and Black Pepper Curry from Sabrina Ghayour’s Feasts made with easy to source ingredients. The pistachios are lovely in this. So if you can get them easily then do. But the ground almonds are a good substitute and kinda foolproof.

And the Protein?

Well, I was originally going to add just one can of chickpeas. Then I checked how much protein this would give me – not enough. So I added in two. The recipe makes 6 portions. It’s very filling. By itself one portion will give you about 15g of protein. But if you pair it with a 60g portion of brown rice you will get 20g of protein – which is perfectly respectable. And if you throw in a little wild rice into the mix you’ll get a couple grams more of protein. Which is pretty good really.

The rice I used here is a mix I bought from the Organic Supermarket in Rathgar. It’s really good. After trying it I mixed together a packet of brown rice (from Lidl I think) I had together with a half packet of wild rice I’d bought in Supervalu. It’s not as good as the Organic Supermarket one but honestly this is a really tasty way to mix rice – and it’s a more full of protein and fibre than the uncombined version. So, you know, give it a go.

Mushrooms, chickpeas, ground almonds, salt, cardamom, black peppercorns, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, onions, golden sultanans, sweetcorn, butternut squash

Hot and Nutty Vegan Curry

Serves 6

Hot and Nutty Vegan Curry


  • 1.5 tablespoons black peppercorn
  • seeds from 6 green cardamom pods
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 2 medium chillies
  • 50g fresh coriander
  • 2.5 in ginger root, peeled
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 onions, chopped roughly
  • 6 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt
  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes , reserve the seeds
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • fistful of golden sultanas


  1. Grind up the peppercorns and cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder or in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Add the ground almonds, garlic, ginger, four-fifths of the fresh coriander and the chillies into a blender. If you like a lot of heat in your curry leave the seeds in the chillies, just chop of their heads, if not remove the seeds before putting in the blender. Mix until everything is chopped up small. Add in 1/4 cup of water and mix around again. You want it to become a smooth paste. It will probably need another 1/4 cup of water before your curry paste has the right consistency.
  3. Fry the onions on a gentle to moderate heat until they start to brown. Add in the mushrooms. Turn up the heat and keep stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Cook the mushrooms until they've lost most of their moisture. Add in the chickpeas. Sprinkle over the ground pepper and cardamom and stir around till every is well coated.
  4. Add in the curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in a large pinch of salt. Add in the butternut squash and stir around well. Add in about a cup of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. While the curry is cooking roast the seeds from the butternut squash. Place in the a lightly greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C or until they turn golden brown. These taste great - like popcorn with a different texture.
  6. When the butternut squash has cooked, taste and add more salt if necessary. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sweetcorn and half the sultanas. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with brown or wild rice or a mix of both, and with with a sprinkle of fresh coriander, baked butternut squash seed and golden sultanas.

mix curry paste ingredients dry before adding water.
I find it best to mix the curry paste first before adding in the water. Because I tend to add to much water. It’s better to do this after rather than before.
add coriander if needs be
So I don’t like too much coriander. I like just enough to curry through the heat of the chilies. If you’re the same add in 25g to begin with 15g if it’s crazy hot.
added corn to the curry
Oh the corn. I like sweetcorn. And I like it in this. I don’t like the way it looks in the photos. … Didn’t actually notice it looked wrong until I saw it in the photos…
hot and nutty vegan curry
Hot and nutty vegan curry served with a mix of brown and wild rice. Topped with some roasted butternut squash seed, golden sultanas and fresh coriander.
Hot and Nutty Vegan Curry
It’s a good bright bite for a cold weeknight.