Summer Vegetable Curry Recipe

A summer vegetable curry punctuated with the citrusy pop of fresh coriander seeds.

Summer Vegetable Curry

Fresh coriander seeds have been showing up at the farmers' market these past few weeks. They're sold in bunches of long whispy limbs, dotted with bright green seeds and tiny pinprick white flowers. I bring them home, trim the ends, and place them in a big jar of water on my counter - directly in my line of sight, easy to reach for whenever I'm cooking. The seeds are incredibly aromatic, intensely flavored, vibrant and citrus-forward. And texturally, they deliver a bit of pop and punctuation.

Summer Vegetable Curry RecipeSummer Vegetable Curry RecipeSummer Vegetable Curry Recipe

In the cycle of a coriander/cilantro plant, you'll first see leaves develop, then flowers, followed by electric green seeds. I use them as an accent here in this summer vegetable curry (and if you're making your own curry paste, you can certainly add some there), we've also been working it into pesto, smashing them into pastes to top soba noodles, and I'd bet there's an excellent summer cocktail to be made with them - high on my list to experiment with...

I know it's an ingredient you rarely see at the grocers, but I suspect many of you actually grow coriander/cilantro in your gardens. The flavor is incredible, and I'm wondering if any of you have special uses, or favorite ways to use the seeds. I'm also going to buy a good amount in the coming weeks and freeze and/or dry the fresh seeds - see how they hold up.

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Summer Vegetable Curry

HS: You can use a store-bought green curry paste here, or make your own. I'll include a recipe for green curry paste I learned in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

1 14-ounce can coconut milk*
4 medium shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons green curry paste, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 pound waxy potatoes, washed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 pound yellow (or green) beans
1/4 pound Romanesco florets (or broccoli)
8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 lime, halved or quartered
fresh coriander seeds (or chopped cilantro)

Spoon a few tablespoons of thick coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk, place it in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

Add 2/3 of the shallots and saute until they soften a bit, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and salt, and cook for another minute or two. Have a taste, and decide if you want to adjust the flavor - adding more curry paste or salt if needed.

Squeeze some lime juice over remaining shallots and set aside.

Add the rest of the coconut milk to the pot along with the potatoes, cover, and simmer until they are just starting to get tender throughout - about 10-15 minutes. At this point add the yellow beans, romanesco, and tofu. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, the potatoes should be completely tender by this point. Add the corn and remove from heat.

Serve each bowl topped with a sprinkling of the remaining shallots, fresh coriander seeds and feathery sprigs (or chopped cilantro), and more lime juice, to taste.

Serves 4.

*You have some options here. I've cooked this with full-fat coconut milk, low-fat coconut milk, and another time with a blend of full-fat coconut milk + broth (half of each)....all are good. Full fat tastes quite decadent here, very rich. Although I normally don't buy lite coconut milk, I had a can on hand and used it - it was ok(!) for this curry. Or for a lighter broth without using "light" coconut milk, you can simply thin full-fat coconut milk to the consistency you like with some great-tasting broth - this also works great.

Thai Green Curry Paste

2 green hot chilies (Thai chilies)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1 teaspoon chopped galangal

1/2 teaspoon chopped lime rind
 (pref. makrut lime)
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass

1 tablespoon chopped krachai

1/4 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

If you have a good-sized mortar and pestle, put the green chilies in the mortar and pound, add the garlic and pound. Now add the shallots and pound - continue down the ingredient list pounding away. Alternately, give it all a whirl in a food processor.

Prep time: 30 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

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those florets are so cute! i will definitely save the recipe for warmer temperatures here in australia! 🙂


Hi Heidi!
I’ve been a silent follower for awhile. I love your blog, and books!
I’m a newbie to SF, having just moved here 2 months ago. Falling in love with it more every day! I was wondering, as you mention them often, which farmers’ market in the city is your favorite? Thanks! 🙂

HS: Hi Kara – the Saturday Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building is great, but there are other neighborhood markets in the city throughout the week as well. And the Marin Civic Center market (a 30 min drive) on Sunday mornings is always inspiring. Enjoy your visit!


This looks delicious – just perfect for the chilly SF “summer” weather. The coriander and shiso ice creams mentioned above sound incredible! Where do you guys find shiso in the city? I so badly want to try that now. 🙂

HS: We’ve been growing it out back Alanna – but, I see it sometimes in Japan Town.


hi heidi,
we’ve just started using green coriander seeds, too. we keep them in the freezer and use them whenever we want that bright cilantro flavor: in salad dressings, eggs, stir fries, etc. i hear they make a nice flavored vodka as well.
happy summer! xo


Heidi – This is a gorgeous dish. It is light for the summer months while maintaining the essential curry elements that we all love. Thank you for yet another inspired recipe!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

I love your blog Heidi. Thanks for the inspiration.


Heidi, dried coriander (dhania) seeds are commonly used in indian cooking. whole (“sabut dhania”) or ground (“pisa”).


This looks delicious – and great for the hot weather we’re having in the UK (not that it’ll last long!)
Charli X


As much as we really, really want cilantro’s growing season to coincide with the tomatoes and chili peppers of our salsa dreams ;), cilantro is actually a cool weather plant. Grown in spring or fall, it lasts quite a while, growing tall and lush, but the least bit of heat sends it to seed. I love coriander seeds, both green and mature. Just made a batch of pickles with a mixture of seeds from bolted plants, including dill, mustard and mature coriander seeds.


Just made this tonight and it was wonderful. I will make this again!


I used them in pickles this year and they were wonderful, salso and a southwest pesto too

Janet Smithson

Looks so yummy and wholesome!


Wow perfect recipe for summer…love green curry ! lovely pictures


The taste of fresh coriander has always reminded me of Fruity Pebbles. I bet that they would be great in a sweet treat. Maybe with strawberries or plums. Hmm..


Thank you so much for this recipie. I was trying to work out what to do for dinner tonight and this is the perfect solution. I wil be adding eggplant and some pak choi.


Wonderful, wonderful… thank you Heidi!

Kelly Turnbull

The seed bouquet looks incredibly pretty and ethereal. I forget how beautiful they look because I am obsessed with continuously harvesting the leaves so that the plant doesn’t go to seed. Even when it does seed though due to neglect, it is only a couple of wispy stalks but never in abundance. I must plant one of those coriander plants that says “for seed”. Have you ever tried growing it yourself?
I usually use the meagre amount of fresh seeds I get from my garden in a lassi or in Asian-inspired pestos.

Sneh | Cook Republic

My garden is just poping with goodies to try this. I was excited to see, and purchase as a gift, your latest book at the Santa Cruz, CA Costco. Placed right next to the organic foods they have showcased there.


I use bolted cilantro the same way I use fresh cilantro– in salsa all summer. The punchy little gems are delicious, and change the flavor profile without altering the character of the finished product.


I grow my own cilantro, so this is a great use for the seed. We live “at the edge of civlilization”, so I have no access to most of the ingredients to make my own green curry paste. I’ll check at the local health food stores and Safeway to see if they have it ready-made. If not, is there a substitute I could use in this recipe? Our garden is just beginning to produce-we live at 6800′ elevation-so we do have broccoli, potatoes, corn and green beans growing (some are re-growing after an elk invasion).


Hi Heidi! I also live in SF and I was wondering where you get all your curry ingredients. Does Rainbow usually have galangal
, makrut lime, and krachai? And I am in love with all of your bowls – the flat bottomed ones with straight sides – just gorgeous. I would love to know where they are from! Looking forward to making this curry – thanks for another unique recipe 🙂

HS: Hi Kendall – yes, some of those Thai ingredients are tough to find. I just do my best between the markets and Rainbow / Bi-Rite…and often I just wing it using whatever tastes best – but that is the recipe I learned in Chiang Mai…and I’m wondering which bowls you’re referring to!?


Have you ever seen the “Spice” cookbook by Ana Sortun? She is Chef/Owner of the Oleana restaurant in Cambridge Ma. She has a wonderful summer sangria recipe using coriander seeds!


I am smitten with the color palette of this dish. I wanted it in my kitchen before even looking at the ingredients.

Denise | Chez Danisse

I love green coriander seeds, they’re great! i usually grow them at my garden, it’s so easy! Just add them on a olive oil bottle and wait…the flavor of this oil is amazing!
But seeds have to be green and fresh.

Cristina San cayo

A few years ago I let cilantro go to seed in my garden…what a mistake! The next year I pulled out a full wheel-barrow (not kidding) of errant cilantro, and it’s still coming up as volunteers. However, your mention of welcoming the immature seeds as seasoning gives me a new reason to let them grow, I’ll just have to be careful not to allow them to ripen and drop.


Perfect timing for my stash of summer vegetables that are just starting to pop up. The seeds are good for making some Indian pickle.

Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

I have tons of summer veggies to use up, and this sounds great. I need to get some summer squash cooking, so hopefully this will go on the agenda sooner rather than later. Thanks for the recipe!

Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir

Curry is also very popular in our house. I never realized the extent of all the possible different types of vegetables. Just love the photos, because it paints such a lovely appetizing picture.

Jon Ward

looks amazing – beautiful photograph


This looks and sounds delicious. I’m a huge green curry fan.


I’ve not used the coriander seeds while they are so fresh and green before. I usually leave them on the plant until fully dried and then store them for planting later on or using in cooking. I’ll have to pick some earlier next summer (in Aussie) so I can play around with them. What a great idea! xx

Emma Galloway

Coriander seeds should be appearing in my garden very soon! Was planning to dry them for next year but will have to try cooking with some as well. As for krachai, do you have a local source? I can find galangal but not krachai – should I substitute ginger?


Oh oh ohhhhhh this is gawgeous. Why is my face not in it?

Bev @ Bev Cooks

The vegetables prepared this way are very reminiscent of boyhood days for me on our farm and it’s gigantic garden – out of which all good things from summer flowed. We never used coconut milk back then but I can only imagine the enhancement it would have provided. Thank you for sharing this wonderful summer post.

Dan from Platter Talk

so timely! as it happens, we have fresh coriander galore on our (gone to seed) plants, and have been experimenting, as well.
our first go at drying them was unsuccessful, but i think we picked them too soon, while still (as you so aptly describe) electric. as i watch, they are now turning brown, and we’ll try again. the secret, i suspect, is in letting them naturally give off most of their water on the plant, so that they don’t rot when they’re off it. will continue to watch.
in the meantime, this curry looks like a brilliant way to use the bright ones! punctuation, indeed. thank you.


How do you store the curry paste if you don’t use it all at once? I’d like to make some and give it as a gift. Do you know how long it would keep and how best to store it?


This is such a pretty curry with so many fun veggies. Love it!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Ooooo! Oooo! A gin gimlet with muddled cucumber and coriander. My drink of summer 2013. I use a modern (not juniper-heavy) gin. Cheers!!

Erin S

This looks like a delicious recipe my veggie husband would love, but I pinned the picture of the corner of your counter because the design is so lovely and light without being cold and modern. Love the blog! Love the recipes! Love the kitchen design. :-0

Amanda W.

great to see Romanesco in a curry! this looks like a great dish, I know what I am going to buy on the market tomorrow!

Iris @ the yummyblogsisters

I once tried pickling some cilantro seeds. I can’t remember if I brined them overnight. I poured hot spiced vinegar over them. They were delicious.


I’ve been eating quite a few curries this summer. I love how light and refreshing this one sounds with all those vibrant vegetables. I’ve never seen fresh coriander seeds before. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them!


thanks for mentioning what you do with the ever-going-to-seed-cilantro. I try to grow my own but in the height of summer it starts going to seed before i get to use it all. The way you use it here sounds lovely. I sometimes sprinkle it over salads, slightly crushed – and the I also dry them on the plant for dried coriander. Thanks for all the great recipes you come up with!


This looks so much more light and refreshing than the curry I am used to. I love your originality and use of fresh coriander!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

This is a summery bowl indeed. I just can’t resist all those pale verdant colours, and those coriander seeds sound lovely. I’m on the hunt for fresh, now!

Sarah | The Sugar Hit

In the garden cilantro does go to seed quite easily (frustratingly so). It is so nice you’ve found a use for the plant at this stage of it’s life. I will look for the seed heads at the market. BTW is the 101 library down? I don’t seem to be able to load the home page. The library is my go to source for the best recipes from the many cookbooks I borrow from the library. I miss it terribly when I can’t get on. Thanks

HS: Thanks Renee – I’ll check on the library – it has had “issues” lately, and has been going down a lot. Apologies for the frustration.


I love green curry, but I have never made it from scratch before! I’ll definitely have to head to the international market for these ingredients with list in hand!

Diane @ Vintage Zest

Thanks for sharing! Did you learn the curry paste recipe at one of the local cooking schools?

leaf (the indolent cook)

This recipe certainly packs in a big veggie/flavour/spice hit! I love these one-pot dinners – curry is always popular in our house. I especially love all the different types of vegetables.


Wow. What an unusual ingredient, in a beautiful light summer recipe to boot. Seems like a trend this summer for folks to use the flowering buds from herbs that have gotten a bit overgrown in the garden -one of my friends recently made a beautiful zucchini ribbon salad with dill flowers, and another used basil flowers to top a Thai curry. I’m curious how others are using coriander flowers and seeds, too!

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

My brother has a cilantro plant on our tiny apartment balcony and I was absolutely giddy when I saw green coriander seeds for the first time ever! I plucked a couple tablespoons worth, smashed them in a saucepan and infused in hot cream for about 30 minutes, then strained and made fresh coriander ice cream! Not my personal favorite but friends were blown away by the unusual flavor. Do you ever make ice cream, Heidi?

HS: Hi Michael – I do, on occasion! Wayne is actually more of the ice cream making enthusiast in our house – he made a shiso ice cream last week (with leaves from our plant)…as you said, unusual 😉


I love the look of Romanesco. I just love the bumpy irregularities in it and seeing it in your bowl makes me smile. And coconut milk, too. Yum!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

I love how veggie-packed this dish looks. In the summer it can be so hard to eat anything hot but it just looks so refreshing!

jaime @ asweetroad

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