Sometimes its so nice to actually be able to make something like a sweet, tart Thai curry without having to search for all the ingredients you may or may not have in your pantry (or in my case, giant unorganized kitchen drawer). The only ingredient that is slightly exotic is the Thai red curry paste (and maybe the coconut oil, but with the current coconut oil trend, this is one item that is stocked in about every supermarket and drugstore I come across). As for the curry paste, rather than searching for your local Asian food store, this can be picked up in the Asian food section of many supermarkets (along with coconut milk). Or when you do come across it, stock up and buy a jar or couple of extra packages so you have them on hand for the next Thai curry craving attack.
The best thing about this vegetarian Thai red curry, besides bursting with flavors and being simple to make, is that you can use any type of vegetable on hand. It’s that flexible. It just all about a good base — a simple and tangy one at that. Loaded with vegetables, it’s fresh, light and healthy. Delicious goes without saying!
I like my curries with beta-carotene rich and fibre packed sweet potatoes — they have a deliciously sweet, rich flavor and tender texture that almost melts in your mouth. Together with carrots, green beans and broccoli this dish has a fantastic array of flavors and textures and it is filled with tons of good stuff that will keep you healthy and feeling energized!
Rather than serving this dish with traditional jasmine rice, I like to use wholegrain basmati rice. It’s simple to prepare — and perfect every time! All you need to do is put the rice in a pot of water (it’s cooked in lots of water just like potatoes), stir, then cover and turn the heat to low and simmer it for 25 minutes, then drain in a colander and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Couldn’t be easier!
Vegetarian Thai Red Curry
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt, to taste
4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
1 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large carrot, peeled, cut on a diagonal into pieces
150 g green beans, trimmed (about 2 handfuls)
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 fresh red chile, thinly sliced (optional)
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
cashew nuts, toasted, as garnish (50 g)
cilantro leaves, as garnish
steamed jasmine rice (for serving)
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; season with a pinch of salt. Add the curry and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and cook, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to heat to medium-low and add the sweet potatoes.
2. Cover, partially covered for 10 minutes, then add the sliced carrot. (The sweet potatoes should be still firm but slightly tender on the outside when you add the carrot – I usually test with a fork to check).
3. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until carrots are crisp-tender, then add the green beans, broccoli and red onion. Pour in a little water to cover and cook, partially covered, for about 5-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.
4. Add the chile and lime juice. Divide curry among bowls and top cilantro and toasted cashews; serve accompanied with lime wedges and steamed rice. Enjoy!
TIP: seeding and removing the pith and ribs of a fresh red chili pepper will make it less spicy.