This recipe is dedicated to Louise, a very special friend of mine, who has dedicated her life to raising awareness for elephant welfare around the world.
Lovely Lou established two sanctuaries in Phuket; now home to successfully rescued and retired Asian elephants. The on-site restaurants served plant-based, Thai dishes and so in honour of that, I hope you enjoy my vegan yellow Thai curry with its very own, make-ahead paste!Jump to Recipe Jump to Video
As a nod to the eles and to the banana trees that they love to eat too, I’ve souped this recipe up with the addition of banana blossom – it’s such a cool ingredient! You can find it tinned and brined at your local Asian grocery store and so you don’t have to set about finding a ladder and a banana tree.
While fresh blossoms need to be soaked to soften, the tinned stuff can be strained and cooked like artichoke – plus they look super alien which is always fun to freak people out with in its raw form!!
Looking to expand your meat-free eating options? Curries really are a superb way to do this. In fact, Mr. dB, World’s Greatest Carnivore, LOVES plant-based curries. You get so much flavour and texture from mixed veggies you don’t even think of meat, let alone miss it!
Tips and Tricks:
When picking vegetables for a curry, it’s easy to get carried away. Go with the KISS method, keep it simple, silly! There is no science in the least to this however I try to pick one round, one long/thin and one chunky shape. Regular mixes I use for various Thai curries are:
Thai (green eggplant), mixed greens, and carrot. New potato, eggplant and butternut squash/pumpkin (it can be better to pre- or par-cook your potatoes so you don’t end up with little rocks!) Mushroom, baby corn, sugar snap peas.
The opportunities really are endless.
Curries can be the most easy throw-together recipes for pure and simple comfort. But they can also be incredibly complex, with a huge variety of extra toppings to add even more texture and flavour. However they come, they are always a joy to cook.
Regardless of whether you’re going for a quick cook or a slower date-night-ready dish, prep all of your ingredients first – this cook moves pretty quickly so you don’t want to be chopping onions mid-curry!
I always serve a Thai curry with a rice/cauliflower rice and a whole stack of flaky roti!
Vegan Yellow Thai Curry
- Wok or large frying pan with lid.
- 2-4 Tbsp. Yellow Thai curry paste Find our recipe in the notes above; or if you're cooking in a hurry, store-bought works just fine!
- 3 Tbsp. Peanut or sunflower oil
- 2-4 Shallots
- 6-8 Thai green eggplants
- 8-10 Baby sweetcorn
- 1 Brown onion
- 400 Ml. Can coconut cream/milk If you use cream you may need to add a splash or two of water to loosen the curry.
- 1 Tsp. Tamarind paste You can loosen this with a little water if it is a bit thick and difficult to pour.
- 1 Tbsp. Vegan fish sauce Or 1 tsp. soy sauce
- Banana blossom (1 flower) Either a 400g/14.5oz can or bought fresh and soaked.
- Bunch cilantro, thoroughly rinsed Or flat-leaf parsley if you find the green stuff repulsive!
- 2-4 Calamansi limes Or 2 regular limes
- Fried shallots
- Desiccated coconut
- Chopped, toasted cashews or peanuts
- Rice / cauliflower rice I prefer a mix of brown and red rice but any will do!
- Rotis You can prepare these at the last minute while your curry is brewing and wrap in a tea towel to keep them warm.
- Lime quarters, for squeezing at the table
Prepare your ingredients.
- Peel and halve your shallots, slicing them into 1/2 cm semi-circles. Repeat with the brown onion, setting aside separately.
- Wash eggplants and sweetcorn. Remove the eggplant stems/leaves; if using the small, green Thai eggplants, quarter them. If using another variety, roughly chop into 1-2 inch cubes.
- Trim the ends of the sweetcorn and leave whole or halve them horizontally – don't slice vertically as they will just fall apart.
- Drain banana blossom, discarding the brine and roughly chop it.
- Quarter and deseed the limes.
Let's make a curry!
- Heat your oil over a medium-high heat; add in your chopped shallots and toss for 30 seconds; you don't want to get too much colour on them.
- Stir in the curry paste for approximately 1 minute, keeping it moving. Reduce the heat to medium; add in your eggplants until they've covered in the curry paste and the skins are starting to brown in places.
- Add in the sweetcorn and onions, again ensuring they've fully covered in curry paste. Toss/stir for around 1 more minute and add in all of your coconut cream (and a splash of water) or milk.
- Cover the curry base with a lid and brew it for at least 10 minutes.
Add some depth
- Now you've brewed the base down, we need to add some extra flavour – add in the fish sauce, tamarind and the juice of 1 calamansi lime or 1/2 a regular lime.
- Add in your banana blossom, if using, or any other last minute, soft vegetables.
- Put the lid back in place and let the curry stew for at least another 10 minutes.
- Make sure your toppings, rice and rotis or any other side dishes are ready and raring to go!
- I love to serve curry family style but feel free to plate up individual portions, covering any and all bowls in a beautiful smattering of crunchy, fresh bonus toppings.
- And, go!!!
We would love to hear what you think of our dish.