Thai and Indian cuisine is the easiest way to cook plant based dishes that everyone will love. By plant based I mean with no animal produce and suitable for a vegan diet, but to reserve this for vegans only would be a crying shame. I can 100% guarantee there is 0% compromise in cooking this dish without a whiff of anything animal. We have dishes that are better with meat and dishes that aren’t and this is the latter.
As I’ve mentioned before, I struggle to write down recipes as I am a ‘chuck it together’ cook, so bear with me, if anything is unclear please message me and I’ll edit the post.
We love a rich, spicy Thai red or green curry so I’ve tried long and hard to replicate the taste and texture you get in a true Thai curry. Watching the chefs on the beach in Thailand chucking in handfuls of herbs and spices I realised our problem was the lack of ingredients, I have endeavoured to achieve similar depth of flavour from products that are available and affordable.
Ingredients marked in bold:
- Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, add 1 medium onion – finely chopped
- Add 1-2 fresh red or green chillies – chopped into four pieces ( I leave all seeds in but chop into large pieces so I can pick them out). 2 red chillies makes a fairly hot curry, so tune down to taste.
- Add 3-4 garlic cloves – crushed and chopped
- Cook until onion softened, watch that garlic doesn’t burn – add water if it dries too quickly.
- Bart has been a huge help to me in this see – http://bart-ingredients.co.uk. In simple terms it is preserved versions of the freshly chopped ingredients. You can use fresh but I prefer to have things in store and use whenever I need them
- Add 1.5 heaped teaspoons of each Bart Coriander, Galangal and Lemon grass paste
- Add a splash of water if it is dry or sticking, basically just keep it wet
- Add about a thumbs worth of peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
- Add 4-5 Kaffir lime leaves – Don’t sweat if you don’t have these
- Add 0.5 teaspoon of each ground Cumin and Cayenne pepper
- * secret ingredient – add a teaspoon of syrup from stem ginger. I keep stem ginger in the fridge as it adds amazing flavour to dishes but if you don’t have stem ginger add a good pinch of sugar. Wherever there is spice, sweet gives perfect balance. Thai would use Palm sugar.
- Add 1 medium/large sweet potato – peeled and chopped into approx 1cm2
- Add 1.5 teaspoon of Bouillon vegetable vegan stock
- I assume you’ve been stirring all of this as you’ve gone along!
- Add enough water to nearly cover the mix 2/3. Enough to cook the sweet potato, not too wet
- That is your curry base prepared
- Taste it at this point – it should be hotter than you want, you’ll be adding coconut milk so this is the intense version. Just check it has deep but balanced flavour, add any flavour you think is missing. If you’ve added the above I doubt that will be the case.
- Bring to the boil, turn down to simmer and cover for 15 mins ish – basically long enough until the potato has cooked and most of liquid has gone. You can’t really overcook, so go longer than less if you are not sure. Check occasionally, stir and add more water if needed
- Get the rice on it takes around 15-25 mins. We love sticky rice so use Jasmine. Follow the instructions on the packet. I cook rice to absorbs water rather than having to drain water off, you can achieve this by adding water as it cooks, then when it is 7/8ths cooked take it off the heat and leave with the lid on so it continues to absorb and cook but doesn’t stick and burn.
- With the rice cooking the last cooking job is the veg. I cook the main veg for the dish separately from the sauce. This prevents the veg going mushy and the sauce going runny.
- You can put in whatever veg you like but our favourite for this dish is aubergine and mushroom. Cut 1 large aubergine into quarters longwise, cut approx 0.75 cm triangle slice from the middle (to remove bitter pips bit), cut each quarter into four long slices length wise, then cut sidewards into thirds. You can cut into any shape really but this works for me.
- Cut loads of mushrooms, I used 6 medium closed cups into slices, again any shape works.
- In a large bowl, add oil ( I use cold pressed Rapeseed) and seasoning – either salt and pepper, 7 Thai spice or Seasons all – whatever you have. Toss veg well until coated
- Heat a pan on a high heat, I use an casted skillet for frying, add the veg in batches and fry quickly to cook it just enough to taste. (See pic 2)
- I also serve green veg with the curry. Green beans work well, but broccoli is just as good or peas work. I never show green veg water. Again I get the skillet really hot, add finely chopped veg dry, just as they brown I add a tablespoon of apple juice and cover for 2-3 mins. Check, stir and remove when done. This is super secret trick, veg tastes amazing
- So now you have your sauce prepared, your veg to add, greens ready and your rice cooked. Now bring it all together
- If your curry sauce is still quite wet I would cook it with the lid off until more water has evaporated. It should be wet but not with excess liquid otherwise your curry will be too watery. (See pic 3)
- Add the cooked aubergine and mushroom, stir well then add a 400ml can of coconut milk, give it a good stir and heat until ready to serve. I try not to boil coconut milk, just heat it to serve
- Serve the rice, curry and greens on the side. Add fresh coriander if you are really keen but no one will notice otherwise ( See pic 4)
- Watch the plates clear before your eyes (See pic 5)
*You could serve with fish if you have a mixed group for dinner, but I promise you won’t need to.