Although Thai cuisine boasts a wide range of meatless preparations, we could find every vegetable salad, soup, or curry tinged with fish sauce/ oyster sauce/ dried shrimps/ shrimp paste. People declaring themselves as vegetarians in Thailand are actually pescatarians, they don’t take any meat, but they don’t mind taking seafood. So vegetarians/ vegans may order food from live counters (or roadside vendors) rather than dining at buffets, as they can make sure to avoid using seafood as flavor enhancers while preparing vegetarian dishes. I am a fiend for Thai curries especially, green curry for the pleasant green color, creamy sauce, and the delightful aroma of Thai herbs & spices.
There are a lot of similarities between Indian curries & Thai curries, they are prepared using almost similar ingredients like tamarind, coconut milk, ginger, etc. According to an online poll conducted worldwide by CNN Travel in 2017, seven Thai dishes & one Indian dish won the hearts of many. Thai green curry & South Indian masala dosa took the 19th & 39th positions respectively in the World’s Best 50 foods.
Green curry tastes divine when served with noodles or steamed rice and crispy tempura (fritters). I also like to relish creamy curry with basmati rice flavored with ghee-roasted cumin seeds & fresh coriander leaves and soft chappathi (Indian flatbread).
Green Curry Recipe:
Even though basil leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, and other flavoring Thai herbs & spices are barely available here, I prepared my green curry brimming with freshness & flavor using locally available ingredients. I used fresh coriander leaves, broccoli stalks, green chillies, shallots, ginger, garlic, and cumin seeds for making curry paste. Also, I added tofu, broccoli florets, mushrooms, carrots, red & yellow peppers for adding vibrant colors & varied textures into this curry. Now let’s look into the recipe for an Indian flavored green curry, a suitable accompaniment for noodles, pulao, dosa, idiyappam, appam, roti, chappathi, or naan.
|Fresh coconut milk (thick)||as needed|
|Red pepper||a few strips|
|Yellow pepper||a few strips|
|Lemon juice (optional)||1 tsp|
|For curry paste:|
|Broccoli stalks||a few|
|Fresh coriander leaves||a bunch|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 tsp|
|Coconut oil||2 tsp|
Mise en place:
- Steam carrots, and blanch broccoli florets and keep them aside.
Green curry paste:
- Wash broccoli stalks, shallots & garlic, chop them roughly, and transfer to a bowl.
- Microwave them after adding a teaspoon of oil for 3 minutes.
- Prepare the masala as shown below using green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds, microwaved shallots, garlic & broccoli stalks and chopped coriander leaves along with the stems.
How to prepare green curry:
- Heat a cooking pan with oil in medium flame.
- Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick & slitted chilli and saute for few seconds until the aroma is released.
- Then add tofu cubes and saute for a minute.
- Add mushrooms followed by curry paste and saute for few seconds.
- Pour little water and cook for few minutes until raw smell of chillies & ginger disappeared.
- Add all the vegetables and salt, cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce the flame to low and pour coconut milk into the pan.
- Stir well until combined together.
- Remove from heat within 2 minutes.
- Serve hot with jeera rice and roti.
Tips & Tweaks:
- I have used broccoli stalks while making curry paste mainly for adding color & consistency.
- Do not discard coriander stems, they are useful for adding pleasant aroma to this curry.
- You may use any other vegetables like baby corn, fresh peas, cauliflower florets, green beans, baby potatoes, etc.
- Since I have cooked the shallots, garlic and broccoli stalks before making a paste, it is not required to saute the curry paste for a long time.
- We need to add coconut milk only when the veggies absorbed all the liquid, else we can not make the curry creamy as it gets diluted.
- You may add a tsp of lemon juice at the end, if desired.