Note: I’m not from Thailand, so please excuse any horrible things I did to your (sort of) national dish 🙂
I had a horrible day/week, and was really upset by various things that had happened, so I decided the best way to leave that behind me was to focus on cooking something comforting.
Somehow I thought of green curry, but I had not cooked this in a very long time—would I still remember how to do it?
For extra challenge, I decided to try and make it vegan, which is not very hard as the only ingredient from animal source is the chicken. I replaced it with tofu instead. Done!
- 1 aubergine
- 1 onion
- 1 sweet red pepper
- Optional: 1 small potato
- Optional: cashew nuts
- Optional: fresh basil leaves
- A block of unseasoned tofu
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 packet of green curry paste
- Basmati or jasmine rice
Preparation (~1 hour total)
- Start by opening the coconut milk can, pour about half of its content on a deep pot, and let it melt on a medium heat. Stir sort of frequently, so it dissolves well
- When the coconut milk is dissolved, add the green curry paste. I used the “Blue Dragon” brand, which comes in a package like this:
It’s a bit more “solid” than “paste” when you open it, possibly because it wasn’t very warm that day:
Add it to the melted coconut milk, and stir around to mix it. It will melt too…
- It will look like this when it’s melted (except for the lump because I was impatient and wanted to be done, but pretend it’s not there, ok? ?)
- Add some water so we can start cooking vegetables here:
- Also add a tea spoon of salt. Stir.
- Now we’re going to start chopping and adding vegetables to the pot. We’ll add the “sturdier” ones first, so they spend more time cooking, and so that more delicate ones don’t end up mushy and disgusting. We’re not making a mash here!
Every time we chop a vegetable, we add it to the pot, stir and cover with the lid.
It’s also possible that you need to add some more water so it is still “soupy”; in that case it’s better if you either add hot water, or add cold water but in small increments, to avoid the temperature in the pot suddenly dropping down and interrupting the cooking process.
- The small potato:
- The onion:
- The red pepper:
- Add the diced tofu:
Tofu doesn’t really need to be cooked but hopefully it might absorb some of the flavours!
- Let everything simmer for a while, about 10-15 minutes, but do check occasionally: if the vegetables look cooked or almost cooked (i.e. they’re softening) we’re almost done. Remember that we don’t want a mash!
- Add a table spoon of sugar.
- Optional: add a generous handful of cashew nuts halfway (if you add them too soon they’ll swell and become bland and disgusting—gross!):
- Looking pretty good!
- Time to add the remaining coconut milk (we kept it for the end to make the result creamier)
- Gently stir—the vegetables are pretty soft now; you don’t want to stir so vigorously that you destroy them!
- And it’s time to serve! I like placing steamed rice in a deep bowl, then covering with the curry, and placing a few leaves of fresh basil on top so it infuses the dish with a nice aroma:
- Another option is to serve the curry in the bowl, and add rice to it as desired.
Alternatives and tips
- If you’re going to serve this with rice (and I really recommend it), I suggest you wash and start cooking the rice in parallel while you prepare the curry, to avoid having to wait for rice to be done when the kitchen is smelling beautifully of green curry ?
- As mentioned, I used to cook this with chicken instead of tofu. If you want to do that, you should cook the chicken in the pot at the very beginning, by stirring it with the coconut milk, before adding the green paste and vegetables.
- You can also add a cubed carrot. Since it’s a somehow hardy vegetable, add it after the potato.
- Or you can omit the potato. I just added it because I had it handy.
- Maybe it works nicely with some mushrooms? Or other vegetables?
I believe this is a very versatile dish as the green curry will warmly hug and embrace anything you give it. All hail the green curry benevolence!
One day I’ll learn how to make green curry paste and I’ll have no need to go buy it. Until then, this will suffice.