Creating a curry from scratch, with a freshly made aromatic paste, can be an exceptionally satisfying diversion and can impress your weekend guests….However mid week, when you’re late home and have a hankering for some spicey nourishment but very few ingredients, it’s a little less joyful.
It always pays to have a few good quality store cupboard items to hand that can be quickly transformed into a tasty feast. This was a fridge raid for the fresh veg-use a range of colours and textures and you can’t go wrong! Just try not to overcook and therefore lose the toothsome textures. Tempeh and tofu can have quite long ‘use by’ dates so can be ready and waiting for you.
When using a lot of vegetables I tend to batch fry each ingredient separately in order to not over cook and allow a little charr where desired for peppers and courgettes for example. Soft quick cook items like cherry tomatoes and beans or peas can just get added for the last couple of minutes.
This was based on the Thai Taste (curry paste brand used) recipe. I wanted to freeze some and prefer a warmer curry so went heavy on the paste but feel free to scale back! The coconut milk I used was quite rich so I was able to stretch it further with good quality vegetable stock. Vegan fish sauce is available but was not it my storecupboard so I used some Nori seaweed sprinkles instead which added a briney touch.
Ingredients (serves 6 hungry adults)
- 114g (1 jar) Thai Taste green curry paste
- 400ml coconut milk and 500ml vegetable stock (can thicken with cornflour if desired)
- 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp vegan fish sauce (or 1 tsp green Nori sprinkle)
- 1 tsp palm sugar (or another type of dark unrefined sugar)
- 1g of dried lime leaves (or zest of 2 limes and lime juice to taste)*
- 200g block Tempeh cut into 1cm cubes
- 6 sping onions thinly sliced, greens reserved
- sticky/jasmine rice/white or brown rice/rice noodles to serve
Suggested veggies below-feel free so sub!
- 350g sweet potato, squash or carrots sliced or diced
- 2 red or yellow peppers sliced
- 20 cherry tomatoes-halved if large
- 300g courgettes cut into chunky slices
- 200g green beans/mangetout/peas (frozen is fine)
Using a little oil and a medium/hot frying pan, stir fry the tempeh until evenly browned and set aside.
Then fry separately for couple of minutes each, the peppers, courgettes, carrots, sweet potato (or anything that will benefit a little ‘colour’) until lightly charred but not cooked through and set aside.
In a large frying pan or heavy saucepan, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and fry the whites of the spring onions for 30 secs before adding the garlic, ginger and curry paste with 1tbsp of the coconut milk.
Cook stirring continuously for 1 minute before adding the rest of the coconut milk (and stock if using), the fish sauce (or nori), lime leaves and palm sugar and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the tomatoes, sweet potatoes (or similar), any frozen veg and tempeh and cook for 2-3 minutes or until beginning to soften. Then add the other part cooked veg and simmer for another 2 minutes or until all veg are cooked but retain a ‘bite’.
Check seasoning, adding more lime juice or fish sauce if required. Stir through the retained spring onion tops and serve with rice or noodles.
* whilst not hazardous, dried whole lime leaves are quite tough so better to not consume these!