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 now runs Tree Tops Elephant Reserve in Phuket, the most beautiful project, which is now home to seven successfully rescued and retired Asian elephants. Naturally, the on-site restaurant is plant-based 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.