Cooking Thai food is slowly becoming less and less intimidating to me. It’s already hard to dive in and create recipes with ingredients that you are 100% familiar and comfortable with… let alone when you throw in new spices and textures.
We used to buy bottled up curry sauce all the time, usually the one we found at Trader Joe’s. And while the flavor is good, I’ve never been sold on the ingredients labeled on the back of the bottle. I’d like to assume that due to shelf life that needs to be prolonged, I find ingredients like: dehydrated coconut milk instead of real coconut milk on the label. And that cornstarch is added as a thickener. Not surprisingly, sugar is the third ingredient (!!) in most of these bottled curries… a fact that I just chose to overlook when I just needed to make a “quick dinner”.
It’s nice being able to create a healthier blueprint of these sauces at home. You need fewer ingredients than you would think (sigh of relief).
I heard this quote once and it has really stuck with me: “If we don’t have to be sick, then we have to make time to be healthy”. Amen.
This curry is easy to make and it only takes about 45 minutes to come together with plenty of leftovers for the day after or perhaps enough food to host a nice casual dinner with friends.
This was my second attempt at making this recipe and we loved it! A dry lager is recommended as a good beer pairing for the spice level :).
Simple Red Curry – Serves 6 – Gluten Free – Vegan
- 1 head of cauliflower – chopped
- 1 red bell pepper – chopped
- 2 medium carrots – peeled and diced
- 2 small Thai dragon peppers – finely diced (found at 99c ranch market)
- 1/2 onion – finely diced
- 1 block of extra firm tofu – pressed and cubed
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons of curry powder
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 fluid ounces)
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1.5 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, Thai chilies and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are transparent.
Add the tofu, cauliflower, red bell pepper and curry powder. Stir so that the powder coats all of the vegetables. Add veggie broth and tomatoes (with juice). Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add coconut milk, chickpeas, salt, pepper and allow to cook for another 15 minutes,this time uncovered, until the desired thickness is achieved.
Check for seasonings and serve atop a bed of rice or quinoa.