This past weekend, the sun was shining so brightly even the birds were fooled into singing their hearts out. Silly really, because at the same time it was so cold we could literally walk on water. But that was three days ago. Since then, the sky has grown so overcast we seem to be living in a state of perpetual twilight. Perfect weather, in other words, for a vibrant and healthy bowl of zesty Thai curry. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as thinking up a recipe and having it turn out exactly the way you hoped. For me, this vegan green curry is one of those recipes: zingy and fresh and just the right amount of spicy. The salted cashews are absolutely essential in this dish. Their salty crunch is a perfect match for the softer texture and sweeter taste of the vegetables. If you want, you can also substitute the sweet potato with regular potato, or use both. Like all curries, this one too gets better with time. So, don’t hesitate if you have the chance to make it in the afternoon, or even the evening before. Just reheat it right before dinner and you will instantly forget what it was you didn’t like about winter.
Ingredients (for 2-3 people)
for the curry paste
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
small bunch of coriander stalks, finely chopped
pinch of ground coriander
pinch of ground cumin
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 green jalapeño peppers, seeds included, finely chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
the other ingredients:
400 ml can of full-fat coconut milk
100 ml water
1 large sweet potato (or 1/2 a large sweet potato and 2 regular potatoes), in chunks
1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
3 red onions, in small segments
roasted salted cashews and coriander leaves
- Put all the ingredients for the curry paste together and blend them into a (more or less) smooth paste. If you’re very determined, you can use a pestle and mortar. If not, just use a stick blender.
- Heat a bit of sunflower oil in a a deep pan or wok and fry the curry paste for a few minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and water and season with some extra salt.
- Fry the onion wedges in a separate pan on high heat for a few minutes before adding them to the sauce.
- Cover the pan and simmer the sweet potato chunks in the sauce for about 20 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a fork but don’t fall apart, then take the lid off and add the broccoli florets for an additional 10 minutes (or less if you prefer more bite).
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve with plain basmati or pandan rice and garnish with some extra coriander and lots of salted cashews!
If you made it to the end of this post, you might be wondering why those veggies are looking so crisp and fresh. To make the most of the afternoon light, I photographed my curry when the vegetables had just gone in. After soaking in the sauce all afternoon, and simmering for half an hour, the veggies in the final product look a little less appealing. But don’t worry, the flavour only gets better and better!