Vegan Green Curry with Quinoa
(Vegan | Dairy-Free | Gluten-Free | *Spicy)
In 2011, seven of Thailand’s popular dishes made it to the list of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers’ Pick)”— a worldwide online poll of 35,000 people by CNN Travel. Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country. Green curry came in 19th and that speaks volumes of its popularity. Hailing in from Central Thailand, sweet and sort-of spicy green curry is often considered the most popular curry in Thailand and is the most distinct from curries of other countries.
I have had my fair share of Thai green curry, almost always with chicken. It is something my husband will order without fail each time we visit a Thai restaurant. We are absolutely in love with its bold yet simple flavours. Its quintessential aroma reminds me of my travels to Thailand — the Land of Smiles! I absolutely love its slightly sweet flavour paired with the crunchy pea eggplants and the fragrant Thai basil leaves.
In Thailand, you’ll find curry pastes available at all markets, fresh but produced in mass quantities. They are normally piled high in rounded cone shapes, and you can buy them in 100 grams per portion. Here in Singapore, we can buy authentic Thai curry pastes in cans or tubs at the provision stores in Golden Mile Complex, an enclave commonly referred to as Little Thailand. The green curry paste is the foundation for Thai green curry. Interestingly, I did not come across any vegetarian curry in Thailand as most Thai dishes would contain fish sauce and pastes would most certainly include the pungent shrimp paste.
Inspired, we recreated a vegan version making the green curry paste from scratch to ensure only aromatics, herbs and spices are used, sans shrimp paste and fish sauce. Many have exclaimed in disbelief — how authentic can green curry be without these two quintessential ingredients? I’m confident though, that freshly made curry paste using a combination of galangal, lemongrass and fresh green chillies would make up for them!
This is our multi-ingredient labour of love — the combination of assorted vegetables paired with bamboo shoots, pea eggplants and tofu, contrasting with the complex flavours of kaffir lime, Thai basil and coriander leaves! The addition of a non-traditional Thai ingredient, the soupergrain quinoa, ups the satisfaction and nutrition quotient for me. The addition of a non-traditional Thai ingredient, the soupergrain quinoa, ups the satisfaction and nutrition quotient for me. A complete protein source, gluten-free and rich in calcium, magnesium, Vitamins B and E and dietary fibre, this is the superfood touted to be the grain of the future! I hope our rendition reflects the celebration of our love for healthy, flavourful comfort food inspired by our love and obsession for Thai food!
Ingredients: Cauliflower, Thai eggplants, pea eggplants, oyster mushrooms, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, young corn, button mushrooms, long green beans, zucchini, spinach, bamboo shoots, firm tofu, tomatoes, onions, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, green chillies, Thai basil leaves, palm sugar, salt, coriander, coconut cream, quinoa, pepper, spices, galangal
Condiments: Lime wedge, chopped coriander, cherry tomato, toasted almond slices