I don’t have to confess my love for Thai or Indo-Chinese anymore on this blog anymore I guess. A good Thai curry is super comforting and tastes so great. When I was looking through my archives, I was pleasantly surprised that it has almost been a year since I made Thai Green Curry. Tell me, where is all the time vanishing?! I know I am bringing this up quite frequently, but really isn't time flying too fast? Anyway, I digress.
Thai cuisine is all about the beautiful spices and flavorful ingredients that make it really special. When I made my Thai Green Curry, I remember struggling a lot to find Lemon Grass in Bangalore. I could make do with Galangal, replacing it with Indian ginger. I replaced Kaffir Lime Leaf with ordinary Indian Lemon. Instead of Thai Basil, I used Italian Basil. However, there simply was no substitute for Lemon Grass. I kept putting off the idea of making the curry without lemon grass but thankfully found it in the store right in time. The perfectionists might not agree that my curry is authentic but what I know is, it tasted delicious. In spite of the substitutions.
Fast forward to present – I have my own lemon grass plant. Tada!!! 😀 My joy knew no bounds when I could lay my hands on a beautiful lemon grass plant. We don’t have much scope for gardening and have very few plants. My lemon grass along with a couple of other herb plants is doing well. As soon as it started growing, I was quick to make up my mind to try the Thai Red Curry. Luckily, I had a few bird’s eye red chillies too and with my usual substitutions, made this Thai Red Curry.
It was a wonderful change from the highly fragrant, mildly spicy Thai Green Curry. With the addition of coconut milk, we felt that the heat was just appropriate and of course, how can I not talk about the beautiful red color. I served it up with some Basmati Rice cooked along with lemon grass (haha, I am obsessed with the herb) and it was delicious. The rice was not too overpowering all the while being fragrant of the lemon grass and made a wonderful combination with the Thai Red Curry.
To make Thai Vegetable Red Curry
What I used –
For the Thai Red Curry Paste -
- Lemon Grass Strands, a handful
- Garlic Pods, 6-8
- Ginger Piece, 2" piece
- Shallots, 6-8
- Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
- Coriander Seeds, 1.5 tsp
- Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp
- Lime Wedge, a small piece (along with the skin)
- Bird’s Eye Chillies, 6-8
- Dried Red Chillies, 2-3
For the Thai Vegetable Red Curry -
- Onion, 1 medium
- Green/Yellow Zucchini, 1 large
- Carrot, 1 large
- French Beans, 5-6
- Mushrooms, 10-12
- Oil, 1 tbsp
- Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp
- Thick Coconut Milk, 2 cups
- Salt, as required
- Fresh Basil Leaves, a few
Prep Work –
1. Chop vegetables – Zucchini, Carrots, Beans and Mushrooms length wise. Parboil carrot and French beans in water with little salt. Set aside.
2. Chop onions required for the red curry finely. Set aside.
3. Blend all the ingredients under the “Thai Red Curry Paste” smooth in a mixer. Set aside.
How I made –
1. In a pan, heat oil. Add finely chopped onions and fry until translucent. Add the prepared red curry paste and stir fry on low flame until the raw smell is gone. The mixture should look concentrated and thick.
2. Add chopped mushrooms and zucchini. Add salt required for these vegetables. Stir fry on a low flame and soon, these vegetables would leave water. Within 5-6 mins, both mushroom and zucchini would be half cooked. Add parboiled carrots and beans. Add some water and continue to cook for 3-4 mins.
3. Add soy sauce and cook for a couple of minutes. Add thick coconut milk and if required, more salt. Let the curry come to a boil. Switch off from heat and add fresh basil.
4. Serve hot with ant fragrant rice like Basmati Rice/Jasmine Rice. I served it up with Basmati Rice flavored with Lemon Grass.
- Adjust the spice levels as per your preference. Bird’s eye red chillies are very spicy.
- Before frying the onion, a bay leaf can be added to the hot oil. The bay leaf can also be substituted with kaffir lime leaf if available. Similarly, ginger can be substituted with galangal or Thai ginger.
- To make coconut milk at home, add 1 cups of warm water to 1 cup of fresh coconut and blend until smooth. Strain the coconut from the milk – 1 cup of thick coconut milk would be ready. Alternatively, one can use packaged coconut milk as well.
- Additional to the added vegetables, other vegetables like Broccoli, colored bell peppers or baby corn can be used too.
- Do not boil the curry too much after adding the coconut milk – it can curdle easily.
- Always cook the curry on low flame.
- Make sure that the vegetables have a crunch to them – especially zucchini. When too overcooked, it can become mushy and tasteless.
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Bringing this yumm curry to Fiesta Friday #132. The co-hosts for this week are Sandhya @ Indfused and Nancy @ Feasting With Friends ?
Love birds eyed red chillies. Tell me about finding Thai ingredients.. Sighhh. Yaay for the alternatives n lemon grass. I need to plant them soon. I love them in my tea. 🙂 I m just drafting a recipe that I tried with my backyard harvest n saw your post. Couldn't resist myself from commenting after seeing a Thai recipe. ???
Thanks a lot Sri 🙂 🙂
I can't remember where, but I was reading some food photography advice on photographing curries and other saucy sort of foods. The article talked about how these foods can be quite dull and can required some livening up. This curry, with all its firey bright colour and fresh vegetables peeking through is so far from boring--it's beautiful! That aside, this sounds delicious CH. I love the sound of the delicious curry paste and all the vegetables that must become so flavourful.
Your comment really made my day T 🙂 Thank you so so much 🙂
My sister in law is Thai ... And this is a wonderful take on Red Curry. I'm so glad you have s lemon grass plant - there really is n substitute 🙂
Oh wow! Thats so nice, Osyth 🙂 Yeah, I know there really is no substitute for lemon grass.
This is lovely. I love veggie Thai Curries 🙂
Thanks dear Lynne 🙂
I’ve always felt that it’s the substitution of ingredients that help make a recipe “our own”…giving it unique flavors. I think you may have substituted to perfection, because this curry looks wonderful! I can almost taste the delicious flavors. Thanks for sharing your fabulous recipe with this week’s party at Fiesta Friday!
That is so nice of you to say so, Nancy 🙂 Thanks a lot for dropping by!
The Girl Next Door
This looks and sounds delish! I am so going to try this out soon. 🙂
I have a lemongrass plant at home, but am clueless about how to use it. Do you use the leaves or the roots? Could you please share a picture of the lemongrass that you used? Where did you buy it?
Thanks TGND 🙂 Would love to know how you liked it!
My lemongrass plant has leaves and I used a few strands of those leaves for this recipe. The root part is pretty thin as of now and I dont want to kill the plant by cutting out the stem. Last time when I got lemon grass from store, there were only leaves. I felt that the leaves from my plant were more fragrant and fresh 🙂
You can see the cut up strands in the picture from step 3 under Prep Work.
Oh wow what a beautiful-looking curry, the colors are just amazing! And it sounds pretty awesome tasting too! 😉
Thanks much Petra 🙂
The Girl Next Door
I just tried out a Thai green curry using lemon balm instead of lemongrass, and it turned out fantastic. So, you see, there is indeed a substitute for lemongrass! 🙂
The Girl Next Door
Can't wait to try out the Thai red curry now. I have all the ingredients for it except the bird's eye chillies. Could I use the ordinary Indian green chillies instead? Would I still get that beautiful red colour?
The Girl Next Door
How did you cook the rice with the lemon grass?