Vegetarian Scottish Haggis Keema Curry

Updated on March 19, 2020
Kathryn Worthington profile image

What is life without good food? Inspired by home cooking and travel, I create easy recipes for the everyday.

Vegetarian Haggis Keema Curry
Vegetarian Haggis Keema Curry | Source

I decided to put vegetarian haggis together with hearty keema curry spices, thinking the finished dish would be a delicious, sweet, spicy and very nourishing main. You know what? I was right!

What Is Vegetarian Haggis?

In short, it is a vegetarian version of the classic Scottish dish served on Burns Night (the annual celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns). Most vegetarian haggis versions you can buy ready-made are also vegan, but make sure to check the label before purchasing.

In place of the animal heart, lungs and liver, the meat-free version makes use of mushrooms, lentils, pearl barley, oats and lashings of black pepper. While some think a vegetarian/vegan version of this Scottish delicacy is an abomination, many meat-eaters and plant-eaters alike find vegetarian haggis far more palatable. The finished product is wholesome, filling, sausagey, spicy and a little bit sweet.

As with the traditional meaty version, vegetarian haggis is typically served on Burns Night with 'neeps and tatties' (aka swedes and potatoes) along with a dram of whisky.

In the UK, ready-made vegetarian/vegan haggis is only really widely available in supermarkets on the run-up to Burns Night, but you can buy it online all year round.

What Is Keema Curry?

Keema translates as 'mince', and this curry is a quick Indian dish traditionally made with minced meat, tomatoes, peas, onions and spices.

It is usually lightly spiced, which makes it a great option for those who don't like a lot of spice in their food.

In this recipe, the vegetarian haggis stands in for the minced meat. That is the only way in which this version differs from a classic keema recipe, making this an unbelievably easy dish to get right. As with many other curries, it tastes even better if left for a day or two, as it gives the spices a chance to settle into the oats, lentils, barley and mushrooms.

The haggis takes on the flavours of this classic curry beautifully, while its lashings of black pepper complement the spices.

As with its meaty counterpart, this meat-free version is ready quickly if you use pre-made vegetarian haggis.

I have adapted this recipe from Nisha Katona's 'lamb keema' recipe, which can be found in her brilliant Mowgli Street Food recipe book. This dish makes a hearty, warming main on a dreary Saturday evening in January or February, or as a spicy alternative to the traditional Burns Night supper.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: Serves 4-6


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 500 grams/18 ounces vegetarian haggis (I use Macsween), broken up with a fork
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 5 centimeters/2 inch piece fresh root ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400 grams/14 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
  • 400 grams/14 ounces canned chickpeas
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 200 grams/7 ounces peas (frozen, fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 200 millileters water


  1. Place a large heavy pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the pan and the oil are hot, add the diced onions, ginger and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the vegetarian haggis. Stir to ensure the garlic, onion and ginger are mixed in. Fry for another few minutes until the haggis has heated through.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, chickpeas, ground turmeric, chilli flakes, ground cumin, garam masala, salt and sugar.
  4. Add 200ml of water and bring to the boil.
  5. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and gently cook for 50-60 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.
  6. Five minutes before the cooking time is finished, add the peas.
  7. Check the curry seasoning and add more salt or spices if necessary.
  8. Garnish your vegetarian haggis keema curry with freshly chopped coriander/cilantro.

Nisha Katona's original lamb keema recipe calls for a large green chilli that has been chopped and deseeded. I omitted it for this recipe, mainly because I didn't have one in the house!

If you would like to include the green chilli as per the original recipe, add it in with the peas and go a little easy on the chilli flakes—that is, unless you love spicy food of course!

There you have it - vegetarian haggis keema curry! It is comforting, spicy and nourishing, which makes it perfect for cold, dreary winter evenings.

I love it served with my fluffy basmati rice, naan and mango chutney. It also goes beautifully with 'tangled greens', another recipe from the Mowgli Street Food recipe book, which involves stir-frying cabbage with mustard and other spices.

Going with the Burns Night theme, I would also love to try this curry with spiced 'neeps and tatties' (aka swedes and potatoes), and a dram of firey whisky or hoppy scotch ale.

Vegetarian Haggis Sausage Rolls

If you liked this recipe, try my recipe for sausage rolls made with vegetarian haggis. They are a delicious vegan version of the classic British pub snack.

What do you think of this recipe?

Cast your vote for Vegetarian haggis keema curry

© 2019 Kathryn Worthington


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kathryn Worthington profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Worthington 

      5 months ago from Oxford, UK

      Thank you Linda! It can be tricky to find, but if you fancy cooking it from scratch, Felicity Cloake's recipe looks very good:

      Let me know how you get on!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm always happy to find vegetarian and vegan versions of traditional meat dishes. I've never heard of vegetarian haggis before, but I'd love to taste it. Your recipe sounds delicious!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)