Ahh, November in Southern California.
The leaves changing color, the cool autumn air, the anticipation of the upcoming holidays, makes me just want to curl up with something warm and soupy. Something I can did into with a spoon. Keeping with the Thai theme, this vegan green curry with a big scoop of rice fits the bill – a hot bowl of comfort food with a little exotic twist.
One not-so-fun thing about fall is the shorter days. I have such a limited window of opportunity to shoot in the daylight, even more so because our backyard has a hill that starts to block the sun at least an hour before sunset. I actually started to panic a little when I began taking pictures of this dish because, in the time I took to try to make the presentation look pretty, my kitchen got dark! I desperately dragged lamps into the kitchen to try to brighten the scene, but the pictures looked less than appealing. WHAT!? All this work for nothing?? Luckily, the logical side of my brain stepped in and told me to take the plate out to the backyard, where the light was still good. Phew!
If you haven’t guessed, I haven’t figured out artificial lighting yet. So, until then, I’ll need to start cooking dinner right after lunch in order to take advantage of the natural outdoor light and spare myself another panic attack. Ah well; adventures of a food blogger 😉
Back to the food…
This vegan green curry uses no fish sauce (duh), is rich with creamy coconut milk flavor, balances sweet and sour flavors, and has a little spicy aftertaste from the green curry paste (hehe, that rhymed). Use a little less paste if you or someone in your party is at all sensitive to spicy food. I love having eggplant in my curry; the sauce brings out a wonderful buttery richness in the eggplant as it simmers.
I used half a block of tofu here, because I had some leftover from another meal, but you could use a full block or omit it altogether. Since this recipe doesn’t require you to brown the tofu prior to adding it to the curry, it may crumble a bit as it cooks. But that’s okay; actually – it’s excellent! The texture reminds me of crumbly paneer cheese in Indian dishes.
As with many saucy dishes, you can customize this curry with whatever vegetables and proteins you have on hand – but I really like this combo!
Make this vegan green curry to warm you up on one of these cool, fall days (or nights)!
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using a product link. I only recommend products I use and love.
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 3 1/2 Tbsp green curry paste
- 1 can (15 oz.) coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 4 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 large eggplant, cubed
- 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 7 oz. (1/2 package) extra-firm tofu, pressed and diced (optional)
- Oil for sauteeing (I like this blend, or you can use coconut oil)
- Sea salt
- 5-6 leaves fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- Juice from 1/2 lime (optional)
- Line a colander with paper towels, then fill with cubed eggplant. Sprinkle with sea salt evenly, and let sit while preparing the other ingredients. This will draw out the excess moisture from the eggplant.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and ginger; stir and cook 1 minute. Add the green curry paste; stir and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute until it starts to become fragrant.
- Pour in the coconut milk, coconut sugar, and lime zest. Pour 1 cup water into the empty coconut milk can, shake gently, then add to the skillet and stir well.
- Use paper towels to gently press and dry the eggplant, then add to the skillet. Let the mixture come to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Let simmer 10 minutes.
- Add the red bell pepper, chickpeas, and tofu, if using. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
- Stir in basil and lime juice, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve curry over hot steamed rice.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.
Nutrition information below is for 1/6 green eggplant curry cooked with 1/2 block tofu (7 oz.) as specified in recipe. Does not include rice.