How can I explain my love for all thing Thai? I suppose this love story began on my visit to Bangkok when I got besotted with their street food. Strolling along the streets of Bangkok, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of vendors hustling, getting their fresh ingredients ready and delicious aromas wafting in the air, drawing me close to each stall, while I stopped to admire the way they swiftly cook and serve each hungry customer.
The Thai curry I actually tasted in Bangkok, was Paleo (with chicken) and most Thai recipes require the mandatory 'fish sauce'. My version here has nothing remotely fishy in it. This particular recipe is so easy to make at home and turns out more flavorful than takeout and naturally its healthier too. I am yet to get down to making my own vegan curry paste, the one I source out from the store is purely vegan, with no traces of fish or shrimp paste in it. I sometimes make this curry when I need to clear up my refrigerator, so feel free to try all sorts of veggies, as long as you cut them so they’re all about the same size. Even a basic veggie combination like carrots, onions and broccoli works out delicious.
That feeling of Umami perfectly comes together with this curry, despite the fact that it's pure vegetarian. What's important is that, with this one dish I can get a veggie overload with lots of nutritional value, besides the various benefits of coconut milk. And the best part is the dish in itself is vegan, glutenfree and grain free! And I'm pretty sure it will comply with those of you on a Gaps diet too.
Do give this recipe a try and tag your creations #saffronbowl
2 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Thai Red curry paste (vegan version)
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter (mixed with a bit of coconut milk)
2 cups (or more if desired) assorted diced veggies (you can use any of these- carrots, string beans, broccoli, snowpeas, bokchoy, mung bean sprouts, pumpkin, bell peppers, cubed eggplant, button mushrooms quartered )
Salt as per taste
Chopped Spring onions, cilantro, sliced up fresh chillies
Warm a deep pan and add the sesame oil. Stir-fry the Eggplant and mushrooms with a pinch of salt to get them slightly soft and tender, but don't overcook this. Keep this aside for later. In the same pan, add more sesame oil and once the oil is hot, add the curry paste and stir it until a lovely aroma comes. Mix this well and pour in 1 cup coconut milk, now give it a good stir. Make sure the paste blends into the coconut milk. Now add the remaining veggies and salt into the pan and let it come to a boil, you can add a bit of water if needed. Bring down the flame to a simmer for another 15 minutes.
Once the veggies are just about tender (I personally prefer a firm bite), add the eggplant, mushrooms and peanut butter paste and mix this gently into the simmering curry, let this cook for another 10 minutes. After this, add the remaining coconut milk, and turn off the flame just before the curry comes to a boil. Have a taste check to adjust the salt as the red curry paste will have some salt of its own. I sometimes add a bit more curry paste towards the end if I need more spice to it.
Garnish the curry with some cilantro and sliced up spring onions and serve it hot with plain steamed rice or gluten-free noodles (these are available as Mungbean, rice or cornstarch variety, avoid the pure yellow looking corn/maize version, as we need a neutral to bland tasting noodles).
Tip- Avoid the ginger-garlic paste and peanut butter if your kids don't prefer this (or are allergic), these are ingredients just to enhance the flavor and purely optional. The peanut butter is my special touch, it also helps thicken the curry sauce. In case you need a milder curry for the kids, add more thick coconut milk. For adults, feel free to add more curry paste if you can take the heat.
Below is the same curry with Tofu, Bokchoy, carrots and bell peppers served with mungbean noodles.