Jul 28 2013

Cauliflower Red Curry

Published by Christine at 5:55 am under Vegan,Vegetarian

“This is why we don’t go out to eat very often: what you make at home is so good, restaurant food ends up being disappointing.”

I’m not sure any other food critic would have been this kind, but my 17-year old daughter certainly had a way of letting me know she enjoyed her lunch; I’ll try not to let it get to my head. I wish I could take all the credit for this really wonderful Thai-inspired curry, but I did get most of my inspiration from this recipe on Chow.com. Theirs is a green curry, but all I had on hand was red curry paste, and so it went. It is spicy without being too hot, as some Thai curries can be, and the addition of chickpeas in the recipe ensures that it provides the vegetarians and vegans in your life with much needed protein, otherwise hard to come by.

Just a quick word about curry paste: it is of course possible to make your own (try here and here for how-tos), but the shopping list for this is lengthy and somewhat daunting if you do not live near an area that sells more than your typical Asian groceries – galangal and shrimp paste, anyone? This was one instance where I was glad to use something pre-made.

This is the one I used. Just 1/2 can was enough for the amount I made.

I adjusted the recipe in a couple of ways, to bring out as much ‘umami’ (the Japanese way of referring to savory taste) as possible. I browned the cauliflower and onions before adding the coconut milk (the original recipe basically boils the cauliflower in the liquid), and used somewhat less coconut milk than recommended, which lightens the sauce (light coconut milk is also a better choice than regular coconut milk). Last, I used frozen cauliflower, which works well here.

Delicious any time of year


Cauliflower Red Curry

1 bag frozen cauliflower (or 1 medium head cauliflower, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes and drained)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 Tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 can light coconut milk, + 1/2 can water
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in 2″ pieces
1/2 can red curry paste
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 handful basil leaves, rolled together and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
sea salt to taste

Sauté the cauliflower and onion together until nicely brown. Add red curry paste and mix well. Add garlic and cook one minute more. When fragrant, add coconut milk, water, salt, soy sauce, and chick peas. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add water if necessary. Add green beans and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. You want the beans to retain some of their crunch. Remove from heat, and add lime juice and basil leaves. Serve on brown or jasmine rice.


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