Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Looks like I am on a curry spree! One of my favorite cuisines on this planet, even talking about it makes my mouth water...slurp! I suddenly thought about Thai food today and luckily I had all the basic ingredients in my pantry so tonight's dinner was the Thai Red Curry!

Aside, I have always been wary of using others' recipes and have had many discussions with my co-blogger and other close friends about copyright and related topics. While we have come across people who steal pictures from the original recipe and claim it as their own (yes, unfortunately such creeps do exist!), I have also seen bloggers who take copyright to a whole new level by picking open fights on blogs and "walls" (we definitely try to stay away from this kind!).I came across a useful article today on foodblogforum that talks about recipe-attribution-etiquettes, I thought it might be worth sharing here.

After that quick sanity check, back to my red curry :) The curries of Thailand are categorized as 'coconut-based' and the spicier 'water-based'.The Red Curry aka Kaeng Phat is one of the popular 'coconut-based' curries in Thailand

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry:
Adapted from Massaman Curry by Raj @ The Very Hungry Cook

Main ingredients:
Coconut milk - 1 can
Water - 1 cup
Red Curry Paste - 4oz can. I used the Maesri brand, click on the link to see an image. 

Extra firm tofu - 1/2 of a 1lb block, cut into medium sized chunks. 
Red capsicum/bell pepper - 1/2
Potatoes - 2, medium 
Onion - 1 medium
Canned baby corn - 10 
Frozen peas - 3 tbsp

Spices: cardamom (6-8), cinnamon (1 or 2, 1" piece), star anise (2-3)

Optional ingredients:
Tamarind paste/extracted puree - 1 (or) 2-3 tbsp (1 if it's a paste and 2-3 if it's extracted from tamarind)
Sweet sauce - 1.5 tsbp, I used a pomegranate/peach sauce, I think duck sauce will work well too.
Roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp

I cut the tofu into medium sized chunks; the pepper and potatoes into 2" cubes/pieces and the onions, a little smaller than that. Obviously, there are no rules here!

In a non stick pan, heat 2 tbsp of EVOO and place the tofu on it, after one side roasts to a golden brown flip and roast the other side too. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, let it get smoking hot and then add the spices. Saute the onion and when it is cooked and starts to turn golden brown, add the curry paste. I used the entire can since I did not find the paste too spicy. Saute well for about a minute and then add the coconut milk followed by the sweet sauce and water. If the leftover cream/milk in the can bothers you, go ahead and rinse it with some of the water and pour that back into the curry. Now, add the potatoes, pepper and baby corn. Make sure to check the salt. Bring the heat down to "Lo" and let it cook till the vegetables are done and the curry thickens a bit.

I added the tofu along with the vegetables but if you want it crispy, save it for just-before-serving. Once the vegetables are done and you are happy with the consistency of the curry, sprinkle the peas, peanuts, and tamarind and mix well. Your red curry is ready! I served it with white rice and a side of edamame :)

  • I would rate the spice level for this recipe between "low" and "mild" so you can adjust the amount of paste and/or water accordingly. You could also add a touch of red pepper flakes (or) chili sauce in case you run out of the curry paste. 
  • Warning: if you are a vegetarian, definitely check the ingredients before buying your paste, a lot of curry pastes contain shrimp paste.
  • Fresh basil leaves are a regular feature in a red curry but since I didn't have any I just sprinkled some dried basil in the end.
  • The star anise is the "star" of the recipe, the aroma and flavor it adds is just divine, thank you Raj! Aside, Raj has some wonderful food clicks on her blog, great work behind the lens!


  1. yum yumm yummmm - you make me hungry :-)

  2. This looks mouth watering... I love thai red curry.. never knew how to make it before this.

  3. This was sooooo delishhhh!!! I was the lucky guest for dinner. You inspire me Anu...gonna try to make this soon :)


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