After weeks of being drawn to baking (and sampling) lots of wonderful things, my
pants body had been tugging at me, asking for a little love in the form of some healthy eating. Enter this Thai Yellow Coconut Curry. Loaded with fresh vegetables and aromatic flavor, it’s clean, satisfying, and oh so tasty.
I had another motive for making this dish. Last fall, not long after launching this blog, I decided to take on a second major project (timing has never been a strength), and signed up for a 200-hour intensive yoga teacher training. And let me just say: it’s been a ride. Lots of information, lots of laughing, lots of lengthening and reaching and sweating and breathing, a few weeping episodes, and some spectacular new friends. It’s changed me in ways I could not have predicted. And it’s almost over. In fact, I’m teaching my first class tomorrow. Please send happy thoughts and cross your fingers with me as I try not to hyperventilate or swear or break out in a giggle fit mid-class.
Anyway, our little tribe of trainees is ending our final weekend with an ayurvedic potluck meal, and I decided to make a vegetable curry. And then I got really excited about flavors and ingredients and decided to bring you all along with me. Et voilà.
This Thai Yellow Coconut Curry has no dairy, refined sugar, or wheat – and it’s easily made vegan by replacing the chicken broth with water and the fish sauce with soy or tamari (you could also go the other direction and add thinly sliced chicken, pork, or beef). It’s super clean. The taste, though? Pure comfort food.
Thai is one of my favorite cuisines to enjoy out, and I’ve always been frustrated that I can’t seem to recreate the flavors at home. I moaned about this to a friend who grew up in Thailand and owns a Thai restaurant, and he gave me one big tip: it’s all about layering and developing flavors. Don’t just rely on curry powders and pastes; think about what flavors you like and then bring in fresh spices and aromatics as you create your own savory little masterpiece. Here, yellow curry – the mildest of Thai curries – provides a foundation of gentle spice that’s deepened and complement with earthy turmeric, tingly ginger, and bright lemongrass.
The vegetables I’ve used are really just a suggestion; feel free to toss in some sliced zucchini, snow peas, bamboo shoots, bok choy, or whatever else you you like. This recipe makes 8-plus healthy servings, but it’s easy to double if you’re cooking for a crowd. Or if you’d like to make a little extra to bring over to me as I recover from teaching an actual yoga class. OMG. Namaste.
Yellow Coconut Curry with Vegetables
Butter & Air’s Yellow Coconut Curry is the best possible way to get your vegetables: gently simmered in a soul-warming, sweetly spicy, creamy coconut broth.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
1 lb yukon gold potatoes (2-3 medium), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 TB coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
4 TB yellow curry paste (this is the one I use, or you can make your own)
Two 13.5-oz cans unsweetened coconut milk (avoid “light” varieties)
1 tsp turmeric
1 TB fish sauce (or soy sauce if making vegetarian)
1 cup (8 oz) chicken stock (or water if making vegetarian)
2 TB maple syrup
one-inch square piece ginger, peeled and smashed
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced whole lengthwise
2-3 medium carrots, sliced
medium head of broccoli (about 10 oz), cut into florets
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 sweet peppers (red, yellow, and/or orange), cut into bite-size pieces
basil or cilantro, for garnish
Set a large pot of salted water to boil; when boiling, add potatoes. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until tender but not completely done. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add curry paste and saute for a minute or two, until it becomes fragrant (be careful of sniffing too close or you’ll inhale painful chili fumes). Open your coconut milk cans. If the cream has separated and risen to the top of the can, add just the cream from one to the curry paste and mix to combine (if the coconut milk is still uniform, measure out about half a cup and use that). Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the rest of the coconut milk, along with the broth (or water), maple syrup, fish sauce (or soy sauce), and turmeric. Mix to combine, then stir in the ginger and lemongrass. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Remove the piece of ginger and the lemongrass stalks and discard.
Add the potato, carrots, and onion to the sauce and simmer for five minutes, until carrots and onion begin to soften. Add the broccoli and pepper and cook until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve over hot jasmine rice. Garnish with thinly-sliced basil or chopped cilantro.
… don’t be tempted to use Russet potatoes in this recipe. Their high starch content will cause them to fall apart in the sauce.
… you can certainly add chicken or other protein if you wish. Just add it after removing the ginger/lemongrass and cook through before adding vegetables.
… if you’ll be making this in advance of serving, hold off on adding vegetables such as broccoli or any greens you may be using until you reheat. Otherwise they’ll get sad and floppy.
Creamy Thai Coconut Curry with Vegetables