Something happens to me when I eat curries. It’s like a journey to a different culture, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. With all those spices and ingredients that mingle together, it is no wonder why curries are considered to be special.
Today I have one exquisite recipe that is completely vegetarian and will blow your mind away. By the way, it will take you some 20 minutes to prepare it, which makes it a perfect choice for a busy day when your kids and husband gather at the table and wait for you to bring some food there.
The first thing I want you to do for this fabulous curry is prepare the ingredients for the paste – galangal ginger, garlic, red chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime berry (a lime can be used instead), shallots, coriander root, soaked dried red chilies, white peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and nutmeg. Since I want the paste to have a bit more colour, let’s add a red capsicum as well. Chop what you need to chop, peel the garlic and leave these aside.
What else do you need here? Coconut cream for the base and kaffir lime leaves that will give an amazing fragrance. You can buy coconut cream or prepare a fresh one. We teach this at our online cooking classes, so join us and learn how to make food from scratch. For this recipe, you will need two more special ingredients – palm sugar and umeboshi vinegar. The sugar I have is organic and quite amazing. You can use honey, maple syrup or rapadura sugar as a substitute. I will use this sugar to find that balance between hot and sweet, and the vinegar will give that depth I want this curry to have. In a typical curry, you would normally have fish sauce, but in this vegetarian version, we’ll use this vinegar as a great substitute. This vinegar is quite exquisite, so don’t buy it only for this recipe; use it in all your salad dressings and you will see why I love it so much.
Okay, so this is ready, what else do you need? You need to prepare the vegetables and you can use anything you like. At the moment when I was preparing this recipe, I had some mushrooms, asparagus, capsicum and broccoli. These are all veggies that are quite watery, so it will also affect the cooking time. If you have some starchy vegetables in your pantry that you would like to add to this curry, it is better to pre-cook them because they will not have to cook for long in the curry.
And the final thing to prepare is the toppings. I suggest Thai basil, sprouts, some chili slices, spring onion slices, halved fresh tomatoes, and some finely sliced kaffir lime leaves just for an additional fragrance.
Now I want you to just take a look at everything that you have prepared. Look at the colours, mixture of flavours and fragrances. Just imagine what explosion of flavours they can create together. I can start salivating only at looking at all these ingredients.
I’m telling you guys, it’s super simple to prepare this fabulous red curry. First, grab a pot and heat it on a very low heat. Add the paste ingredients to a blender and blend until you get a very fine red paste. Just smell it, it takes you to Asia, right? And this is a kind of a paste that you cannot find anywhere. Oh, and it freezes really well (just in case you will not use everything in the first go). So, the paste is ready, leave it there and go to the pot, it should be hot by now.
Add the coconut sugar and cook it for about a minute until it gets a bit thick. Now is the time to add that gorgeous paste you made. When it’s combined with the coconut cream, add the kaffir lime leaves and sugar. Once the sugar has melted, you can add the vegetables, some coconut milk and bring all of this to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes. The cooking time will depend on the veggies you use. If you use those with a high water content, then your curry will be ready in minutes.
This is the moment when you decide on the taste. Taste it, close your eyes and feel what it is missing and how much. Don’t forget a pinch of salt and of course that epic vinegar.
Your red curry is almost ready. Take the toppings and add some of them; I added fresh basil leaves, chili slices and tomato halves (I reserved some for serving). Give this a quick stir and that’s all. Serve this red curry to your loved ones topped with the remaining toppings and enjoy!
For the Curry Paste:
For the Curry:
To Prepare the Paste:
To Prepare the Curry:
I really hope you guys will give this Thai red curry a try. It’s fulfilling, warm and super healthy. I’ll wait for your comments and photos.
Chef Cynthia Louise xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.