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.