Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Homemade Vegan Thai Green Curry with Vegetables

Curry.  What exactly is curry?  I mean there are curries upon curries out there.  The range from southern Asia to Southeast Asia, to New World Countries, such as Trinidad or Fiji.  A bit more food for thought; the term curry is the western world's term to describe the variety of dishes amongst these reasons.  Just a few countries that are known for curries:  India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Africa.....ok- you get the idea.  There are a butt load of curries out there!

I particularly love this homemade Thai green curry recipe!  The flavors of lemongrass, tamarind, turmeric, galangal and thai chilis make for a great balance of flavors!  If you are not familiar with some of these ingredients, I will explain.

Lemongrass is a stalky plant that has a lemony-lime flavor to it and is typically found at Asian markets.  A favorite lemongrass soup of mine is Tom Yum....so clean and healthy!  If you cannot find this plant, replace with lime or lemon juice.

Galangal is basically a Thai or Indonesian form of ginger.  Both are rhizomes.  The few differences are that galangal is larger in size, much harder to break down and has less juice than ginger.  If you are not able to find this, use the ginger we all know. 

Yeah, this seems like a lot of work, but trust me!  There is nothing like a real, homemade traditional Thai curry!  You may be surprised of how much you adore these exotic ingredients and may be inclined to use them in the future....heck, I sure am!!!

Homemade Vegan Thai Green Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

for the green curry paste:
4-5 green Thai chilies (if cannot find, use 2 jalapenos)
1 stalk lemongrass minced
1 piece turmeric root (the size of thumbnail)
1 piece galangal or fresh ginger root (the size of thumbnail)
1/2 c fresh coriander or cilantro chopped
1 tsp ground star anise
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/2 c thai basil
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar

for curry ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
1/2 large eggplant cubed
1 large zucchini sliced and halved 
 1 hefty handful pea pods
1 c cooked jasmine white rice

To make the curry paste, use a mortal and pestle and ground until completely combined.  Or, an easier method is to place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree.
Transfer curry paste puree to sauce pan and add coconut milk.  Bring to slight boil.  Add in vegetables, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until soft.  Add in additional seasoning to taste.  You may have to add a bit more coconut milk if you have it on hand.  If not, simply add in your go-to non dairy milk.   If the dish is not salty enough, add more tamari or soy sauce.  There should be a perfect balance of heat, salt, sour and sweet.  Adjust accordingly...

Serve with steamed jasmine white rice.  

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