I don’t know about you, but Thai food is one of my favourite Asian cuisines. It’s extremely spicy (and I LOVE spicy foods), and flavourful with the different ingredients and spices they use. My sister and I usually try to breakdown the flavours we taste whenever we go for Thai food. We enjoy eating various Thai curries a lot, and let’s not forget the delicious Pad Thai! Their soups are also always so flavourful and rich.
Thai curry is so different from Sri Lankan curries, that it’s always a welcome change to try new curries and flavours (probably one of the reasons why I enjoy Thai food). They might place more emphasis on one spice, whereas Sri Lanka would not make that the star. Thai food may be more fragrant using various herbs and spices, while Sri Lankan food doesn’t use much herbs. Both have the spicy down pat, though!
I had some tofu in the fridge that I needed to use up, but I was tired of making stir fries out of it (as tasty as they are). I definitely wanted to change it up for the week, and thought I could make some Thai curry instead! Of course, I wanted to try and ‘veganize’ it as well (i.e., can’t use any fish sauce!).
So I had all my ingredients ready and was all set to go, until I found out that I had no more Thai curry paste. No one had bothered to tell me that they had finished the bottle before. I was way too lazy to go out to get the ingredient (after I had just gotten my green pepper), but a little Google search here and there, I decided I would just go with it and see how it goes. Let me tell you, this curry had the aroma of Thai curry I have at my favourite place, and the taste was pretty close!! Not bad for not using any paste. Besides, real cooks probably would do it from scratch than using the paste…BUT it is a time saver for quick meals. Hopefully you will like this!
Adapted from here
- 1 package of extra-firm tofu (can be pressed)
- 1/2 an onion, sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2-inch knob of ginger, grated
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 3-4 Thai chillies, halved (can use less or more depending on spice tolerance!)
- 3 pieces of pandan leaves (~1.5 inches)
- 3 inch stalk of lemongrass
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp tamarind paste in 1 tbsp hot water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt, to taste (non-vegans/vegetarians can use a couple tbsp of fish sauce)
- handful of Thai basil
Slice tofu into cubes and set aside. Make tamarind puree by pouring mixing tamarind paste and 1 tbsp hot water. Mix to dissolve.
Heat a large saucepan with oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 tbsp chilli flakes and add the onion, ginger, garlic, Thai chillies, pandan leaves, and lemongrass. Sautee for a few minutes until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, and tamarind puree and stir.
Add in half of the coconut milk and the spices (turmeric to cumin), and stir. Add tofu, rest of the coconut milk, vegetable broth, bell pepper, sugar, Thai basil, and salt (or fish sauce, if using).
Stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with more Thai basil and some rice or quinoa! Enjoy 🙂