A tasty mildly spiced vegetable curry recipe, suitable for those on a low histamine diet. It’s vibrant with healthy colourful vegetables and it’s vegan too. Serve with brown basmati rice topped with caramelised onions and roasted almonds for a complete delicious and nutritious meal.
Last week a couple of friends I haven’t seen in a very long time came to dinner. I was very much looking forward to the occasion. One of these friends is on a low histamine diet. So the question that exercised me for some time was what on earth could I cook?
I like to serve all inclusive meals if I possibly can, so I needed to come up with a dish we could all eat together. It was a steep learning curve for me, but I got there in the end. I created a mild vegetable curry that’s so good, it’s sure to become one of our staples. And without a single bit of chilli to be seen.
What Is A Low Histamine Diet?
A low histamine diet involves eliminating some foods for a limited period only. These foods are ones that are either high in histamine or cause the body to release histamine.
Once you’ve done a basic elimination diet, you can start to reintroduce certain foods which enables you to find out what’s right for you and what isn’t.
According to my friend, who has long covid, histamine intolerance may be one of the symptoms of long covid. For those with a histamine intolerance, the body is unable to properly break down histamine. This is, apparently, not a good thing.
Although I have consulted with my friend who is on a low histamine diet and conducted some research, I am not a dietician or in any other way medically qualified. Furthermore, it’s still uncertain as to whether some foods are high in histamine or not.
Like any diet, you should consult a medically trained practitioner before embarking on it. Every person is different and some people’s tolerance to certain foods will be higher or lower than others. What works for some people may not work for you.
For more information, head over to this page on the Association of UK Dieticians’ website.
What Can’t You Eat On A Low Histamine Diet?
Turns out that many of the basic ingredients I cook with are out. Oh no!
Although whole grains might be okay, my friend is unable to eat any form of gluten. So I couldn’t include any homemade bread, cakes or other carbs that I love so much.
Here’s a list of foods to eliminate from your diet:
pulses – that means no chickpeas, lentils, tofu, tempeh or soy sauce to name a few. Also includes green beans and peas.canned foodtomatoesmushroomsaubergines (eggplants)peppersspinachfermented foods – no yoghurt, kefir or misocitrus – along with other particularly acidic fruit such as kiwi and pineapple. Although bananas are not acidic, they’re out too.vinegarmature cheesesspices – some are fine, but most are out. Chilli is definitely out.wheat germchocolate – eek!green and black teaalcohol
What Can You Eat On A Low Histamine Diet?
The general advice is to eat as many fresh foods as possible and to steer clear of overly processed foods. There are many meat and fish products that are perfectly acceptable, but as this is a vegetarian site, I’ve not included any of these.
ricemost vegetables, including onions and garlic – phew! Although onions and garlic should be cooked and not eaten raw.some fruit – apples seem to be on everyone’s go ahead list.ginger and turmericcurry leavesfenugreek seed is particularly good as it may reduce histamine induced inflammation (ref: Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Trigonella Foenum-Graecum).fresh leafy herbscoconut in all its formscold pressed and unrefined seed and nut oils including extra virgin olive oil and coconut oileggsmilksoft cheeses, including mozzarellamost cooking oilssugar – surprisinglyherbal teas
What Might You Be Able To Eat On A Low Histamine Diet?
cinnamonsome nuts, with almonds being the most acceptable. My friend is able to eat almonds.wholegrain wheats, especially the older varieties such as spelt.
You’ll find many lists on the internet and many of them differ as to what you may or may not be able to eat. However, I trust The Weston A Price Foundation, who are long established in the field of food health and do their research really well. I also found a fairly comprehensive list which you might find useful. Just head over to The Histamine Intolerance Site.
Mild Vegetable Curry
Spices are limited on a low histamine diet and no chilli allowed, so I was a little concerned that there wouldn’t be enough flavour. I needn’t have worried. This mildly spiced curry, cooked in coconut milk, is really delicious.
It becomes a veritable feast if you serve it with brown basmati rice, caramelised onions and roasted almonds (if you can have them). Only I forgot the onions.
I’d prepared the curry ahead of time, but I couldn’t really cook the rice until my friends had arrived. I’m hopeless at chatting and cooking at the same time, so it was inevitable I’d forget something.
My top tip for this curry is don’t peel the veg. There’s really no need. Many of the nutrients reside in the skins of vegetables and this is especially true if they’re organic. Just give them a good scrub. This creates less food waste and saves on a lot of time and faff too.
I was led by the vegetables I happened to have in the house at the time. Carrots are particularly good as are sweet potatoes. Although everything reliable I read states that potatoes are absolutely fine, I was a little cautious.
Every other fruit and vegetable in the nightshade (Solanaceace) family seems to be out of the running, so I’m not quite sure why potatoes are okay. I included a potato, but only one medium one.
Our courgette plants are still producing. I can’t believe how many courgettes we’ve had this year from just two plants. A couple of those had to go in.
We also have perennial kale growing in the garden. Kale is meant to be fine for a low histamine diet, but some sources state that you shouldn’t have too much of it because of its oxalic acid content. I didn’t add as much as I might otherwise have done.
Vegetables To Use In A Low Histamine Vegetable Curry
Most fresh vegetables are fine, though there are a few to avoid. Sweet potato is one of the best, so do get hold of one or two of those if you can. Carrots are also good. In fact you can use most root vegetables including potatoes, beetroot and parsnips.
Cauliflower, cabbage and bok choi will all work well in this vegetable curry. As does fennel bulbs, celery and courgettes.
Pumpkin and winter squash are sadly out though as are the previously mentioned tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, aubergines and spinach.
Mild Vegetable Curry: Step-by-Step
Like most vegan and vegetarian curries, this one is really easy to make. The only difficult bit is in the chopping. There are quite a few vegetables to get through.
Step 1. Aromatics
Because there are relatively few spices in this vegetable curry, you want the flavours there are to work at their very best.
Start by heating the oil in a large pan. When it’s hot, throw in the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon bark, if using. I used a small piece of cinnamon bark, but there’s quite a lot of controversy about this spice. Some say it’s good, others say it’s bad. So please leave it out if you’re unsure.
Wait until the curry leaves go translucent, then finely grate in the ginger followed by the garlic. This flavours the oil, which then permeates the whole dish. I use a microplane* for this. It makes the process of grating, which I always used to hate, almost painless.
Stir briefly, then add the onion slices and salt. Turn down the heat so it’s on medium low. Fry, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent – about five minutes.
Use an oven to table type pan to cook the curry in. Then you can literally just place it on the table so that people can helps themselves. I use my cast iron shallow casserole dish*.
Step 2. Add Veg
Carrots usually take the longest time to cook, so add these as soon as the onions are ready. Turn the heat back up to medium. Give a quick stir to coat them in the oil, then add a splash of water (about 50 ml) and cover the pan with the lid. Leave to cook for a further five minutes.
Then add the sweet potatoes and potato and do the same as above. In other words, give a good stir and let them cook for five minutes with the lid on.
Do the same thing with the courgette slices. Give them five minutes too, then add the kale.
If the curry is looking too dry or starting to catch on the pan at any point, just add a little more water. Fifty millilitres at a time is a good bet.
Step 3. Add Coconut Milk
As soon as you’ve added the kale, pour in the coconut milk, making sure you scrape the tin out well. Sprinkle in the turmeric and give everything a good stir.
Clamp the lid back on, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about fifteen to twenty minutes or until the veg is done.
Take the lid off, give a good stir and check for seasoning. Add a little more salt if you think it needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves and serve with brown basmati rice topped with caramelised onions. If you can eat almonds, roasted almonds make a fine addition.
Test the carrots and potatoes with a knife. If the knife sinks in with little resistance, they’re done.
Other Vegetable Curries You Might Like
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Mild Vegetable Curry – The Recipe
Mild Vegetable Curry (suitable for a low histamine diet)
A tasty mildly spiced vegetable curry, suitable for those on a low histamine diet. It’s vibrant with healthy colourful vegetables and it’s vegan too. Serve with brown basmati rice topped with caramelised onions and roasted almonds (if able to eat) for a complete delicious and nutritious meal.Prep Time15 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time50 minsCourse: Main CourseCuisine: IndianKeyword: carrots, courgettes, curry, kale, low-histamine, sweet potatoesServings: 4 peopleCalories: 477kcalAuthor: Choclette @ Tin and ThymeIngredients2 tbsp coconut oil¼ cinnamon stick (optional)1 tsp fenugreek seeds15 curry leaves2 cloves garlic3 cm lump root ginger1 onion1 tsp sea salt4-6 carrots roughly chopped1 medium potato cubed to roughly 1 ½ cm1 large sweet potato cubed to roughly 1 ½ cm2 courgettes halved lengthwise then sliced2 handfuls of kale tough stalks removed and roughly chopped1 can coconut milk1 tsp turmericsmall bunch coriander leaves to serveInstructionsIn a large lidded pan, melt the coconut oil over a a medium heat. As soon as it’s hot, add the cinnamon stick (if using), fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Fry until the curry leaves go translucent.Finely grate in the ginger, followed by the garlic. Stir fry for a few seconds, then add the onion. Turn down the heat to medium low, add the salt then fry the onion for five minutes until translucent.Turn up the heat to medium and chuck in the carrots. Give them a good stir and leave for five minutes.Add the potato and sweet potato cubes and stir. Cook for a further five minutes.Add the courgettes, stir and cook for another five minutes.Add the kale, followed by the coconut milk and turmeric. Clamp the lid, bring to a boil and simmer gently for about fifteen minutes or until all of the veg is cooked through. Test the carrots and potatoes with a knife. If the knife sinks in with little resistance, they’re done.If the curry is looking too dry or starting to catch on the pan at any point, just add a little water.Roughly chop the coriander leaves and scatter over the top of the curry. Serve with brown basmati rice topped with fried onions and roasted almonds, if using.NotesPlease note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They’re approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.NutritionCalories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 705mg | Potassium: 1386mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 24306IU | Vitamin C: 134mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 4mg Tried this recipe?Please take a photo and mention @choclette8 or tag #nanorecetas on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Vegetable Curry Sharing
I’m sharing this recipe for a mild vegetable curry with Melissa Traub for #CookBlogShare.