As November comes to an end, and large, involved meals have been the order of the day, it's nice to give a nod to a stunning vegan Thai curry that will come together in a half hour and feed everyone around the table while delighting their senses. It's a feast for anyone with tastebuds.
If you like spicier dishes, opt for habaneros or Thai chiles instead of the jalapeños. If you want something milder, use a single poblano. The cauliflower and eggplant work together to provide a variety of texture and the paste you make at the beginning really does require fresh ingredients to really shine. I recommend making this in the fall because all of these ingredients are reaching the end of the seasons and should be available at larger markets (CSA boxes, farmers markets, and grocery stores) and be at their most affordable. For me and my family, this makes enough for leftovers, which are almost always even better the next day!
I love serving this curry over jasmine rice. That's enough on its own, but if I'm feeling fancy, I'll make a quick cucumber salad by tossing sliced cucumbers with red onion (and maybe a bit of chopped chile peppers) and some rice vinegar and sesame oil. You can even sprinkle some chopped peanuts over the top of it. Or you could just pour yourself a tall glass of something wonderful and dig in. Enjoy!
- 1-2 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3-4 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, chopped into pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cauliflower, leaves removed & chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 eggplant, peeled & chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 cups chopped hearty greens - I used beet greens, but kale, collard greens, or spinach will all work too
Using a food processor, pulse the peppers, garlic, ginger, sugar and lemongrass into a coarse paste and set aside.
Heat the oil in frying pan and add the cauliflower with the turmeric and chili powder for around 5 minutes.
Add the eggplant, cook for another five minutes and remove from pan.
Cook the paste for a couple minutes and then return the veggies to the pan.
Add the tamari or soy sauce, coconut milk, stock, and hearty greens; mix well and bring to a boil. Reducethe heat and cook gently until the veggies are tender, but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!
- Yields: 6-8 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes