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You Can’t Curry Love

vegetable curry broccoli cauliflower mushroom the supremes
“But mama said you can’t hurry love. No, you just have to wait.”

Theme song by The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love” from The Supremes A-Go-Go
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This title has been sitting in my notebook for a while, but I was never sure exactly which version I was going to use. There were dozens of choices though not once did I consider the ultra-80s pop-cheese of Phil Collins. In the end, I decided no one does it better than The Supremes. I grew up in Detroit in the ’60s and ’70s. I owe much of my formative pop listening to Motown. Their music is a blend of pop and Detroit soul with roots firmly in the gospel beat. A song where someone longing for love is told they “just have to wait” would usually be a heartbreaking track. Here it’s uplifting. A promise that good things come to those who wait.

As a counterpoint, this recipe requires little waiting and comes together in about half an hour. It actually took longer to cook the rice. It’s also a great recipe for freestyle. Use whatever vegetables are in season or suit your taste.  I prefer a veg heavy curry with bite-size pieces on cauliflower, broccoli, and mushroom. They take a fairly simple curry and turn it into a meal.

vegetable curry in the pot

I am a big fan of soup in any season, but I never make curry at home. It’s one of those foods I seek out when going to a restaurant under the “I can’t make this at home” excuse. I honestly don’t know how I reached that conclusion. It may have been due to my overall avoidance of making cream-based soups. It may stem from a couple of less than stellar attempts a few years back. Though it’s probably because somehow I thought it would be difficult.

In fact, this broth is very simple. A bit of onion, garlic, and ginger. Some full-fat coconut milk. Then whatever level of spice you want as determined by how much curry paste you add. I have lost my love of blazing curries over the years, and have dialed this into a level that makes the lips tingle but will not send you begging for milk. I initially thought about leaving the soy, sugar, and lime out, but, trust me, they really do add a nice finishing dimension to the dish. 

Serve this over brown or wild rice for a very filling meal. If you’re feeling fancy, add a bit of fresh basil. 


Red curry paste, coconut milk, onion, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and mushroom served over rice
Makes about 5-6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, medium chop
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 large carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 red pepper, sliced into 2” long strips
1 yellow or orange pepper, sliced into 2” long strips
3 ounces red curry paste
1 can (14oz) regular coconut milk (full fat – not light or reduced-fat)
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, quartered 
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tablespoon turbinado, brown sugar, or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice or rice wine vinegar
Brown or wild rice for serving

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and cook for 3 minutes, until translucent. Next, add the garlic and ginger and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. 

Add the carrots and peppers. Cook until the peppers are fork-tender about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry paste, combine thoroughly with the vegetables, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. 

Add the coconut milk and stock or water and bring to a boil. Stir in the broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Reduce to a simmer then cover and cook for about 7 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Stir in the soy sauce or tamari, sugar, and lime juice or rice wine vinegar. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Serve over warm rice.


Posted in bushwick, cooking, curry, food, foodmusic, music, musicfood, soup, spices, vaguely asian, vegetarian

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