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Next Steps Curry

Claire Wright

In season now


Cubed/sliced meat or fish or veggie alternative (about 50-80g per person - optional)

1-2 tbsp curry powder

1 tin coconut milk (or 1 tin chopped tomatoes)

1 tin of chickpeas (or beans/lentils if you prefer)

Added veggies - aim for 1-2 handfuls per person, suggestions below

Cooked rice/noodles or naan bread, to serve


We suggest you do this in stages, slowly, and go as far as works for your family, here’s how your final recipe might come together…


  1. Cook the meat/fish/veggie alternative, if using, according to packet instructions (for most meats/fish and veggie proteins, this will just be a case of cook in a little oil in a frying pan until browned and cooked through). Add any fresh veg that needs a bit of time to soften and cook at this stage and give it an extra 5-10 mins to soften, too. Try fresh veg like: sliced carrots, chopped cauliflower florets, diced butternut squash or sweet potato, diced courgette or aubergine, diced onion… Alternatively, stir through some fresh leafy greens at the end of cooking to wilt them before serving.
  2. Stir in the curry powder, allow to cook for a minute, then pour in the coconut milk or chopped tomatoes and any frozen veg and tinned chickpeas. Check package instructions for length of time to simmer the frozen veg. Great options include: peas, sweetcorn, mixed veg, stir fry veg mix, cubed sweet potato or butternut squash, chopped or whole leaf spinach, sliced peppers or mushrooms, green beans, edamame or broad beans, cauliflower florets…
  3. Serve with naan, cooked rice or noodles.
Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating. Find out more here.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Get younger kids stirring in veg and sauce, helping to serve it into bowl, filling a mug with rice and then twice with water to serve, and helping pick out which veg to add.

Older kids might be ready to learn how to chop some fresh veg to add at the start of the meal, stir everything together in the pan, and taking a bit more charge of preparing and cooking the rice!

Master these skills:

Washing hands,  Cleaning vegetables,  Tasting,  Mixing


Use arts & crafts as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. While you let your tagine simmer, why not set a child up with:

Carrot Face Mask

Carrot Veg Crown

Cut Out ‘n’ Colour Carrot

Carrot Launcher game

Get Over It puzzle

Find more arts & crafts and puzzles & games on our website.



Why not start with a whole butternut squash and explore the shape, colour and texture through sight and feel. Get your child to describe what they feel and see – maybe it’s hard or smooth, cold or bumpy, and maybe it looks like a big orange pear or a giant’s earring! Cut the squash in half lengthways and see what they think of the look and feel of the inside, too. See if they want to add some chopped squash into the tagine after having engaged with it.

Watch Ruth Platt’s video on sensory activities with butternut squash for more inspiration, or get more tips, games and videos over on our Sensory page.



Why not ask a child with a big imagination to come up with a silly story behind the curry? Perhaps the squash and chickpeas you chose to put in are in the midst of a centuries-long battle and they both need the family’s help to eat the other! Let them play with the veg as they create the story, perhaps adding it into the meal themselves. Make sure to praise them for any involvement, it may encourage them to eat more of the meal if they feel it is at least in part, theirs!

Get more ideas over on our Roles for Kids page.

Claire Wright

Editor: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, then Editor, looking after Veg Power's website, content, recipes and social media platforms.

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