Delicious & nutritious, a tantalizing plant based curry to celebrate World Vegan Day

Thanks to Claire Woodier a private chef and events caterer who also teaches at the award-winning Food Sorcery Cookery School at Deansgate Square & Didsbury who has shared this plant-powered recipe with us, as today, it’s World Vegan Day. 

Vegan Thai Red Curry with Cashew Nuts and Mango Salsa.Serves 4.

A gorgeously comforting, yet vibrant dish perfect for these darker autumn evenings. You don’t have to make your own curry paste, but the freshness and flavour is incomparable to shop bought, AND you might struggle to find one that is vegan, that doesn’t contain fish sauce. Having said that, if you haven’t got the time or the inclination, no-one will judge you, it’s just dinner!

Thai Red Curry Paste.

2 x lemongrass, roughly chopped.
5 x red Birds Eye chillies.. de-seeded. (Use gloves for this to save your eyes and boards!)
1 x thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated.
3 cloves garlic, peeled.
1 x tsp brown sugar
1 x tsp ground cumin
1 x tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Zest of 1 lime (slice it up afterwards and use for garnishing the curry)
A few curry leaves.
2 tbsp coconut milk (taken from your tin)

Throw all the paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.. in fact leave it going while you chop the rest of your ingredients. This amount will serve 4, however if you haven’t used it all, whack the leftovers in an airtight container and either freeze, or put in the fridge and use within 3 days. (Don’t forget to label it!)

Vegan Thai Red Curry.

1 x packet tofu, cut into large chunks. (or you could use a tin of jackfruit)
4 x chunky chopped mushrooms (shiitake, portobello or chestnut will all work but any are good for texture)
1 red pepper, sliced thinly.
4 x tenderstem broccoli stalks, split lengthways to cook quicker.
8 x baby corn cut in half.
2 x Pak Choi, root cut off, leaves left whole.
8 x spring onions, cut into large pieces. (Put the very green ends to one side for your salsa.)
1 x big handful of unsalted cashew nuts.
2 tins low fat coconut milk. (Or the full-fat variety if you’re so inclined)
1 tbsp sesame oil*
2 tbsp vegetable oil*
1 bunch fresh coriander (leaving some for the salsa)
1 x quantity of Thai red curry paste (or a jar of shop bought)
*You may need more if you’re using mushrooms.

Mango Salsa.
1/4 fresh mango, finely diced
1/2 red chilli, very finely diced
Green spring onions tops finely sliced.
Few coriander leaves finely sliced

Prepare all your vegetables and protein. Put a wok or large skillet/frying pan on a high heat. Once hot, add your oils. If you’re using mushrooms, get those in first to brown. Remove them once they’ve got some nice colour on and put to one side.
Replenish your oils with more if needed, reduce the heat to medium and add the tofu. Fry for a couple of minutes until starting to toast and then add the curry paste. Cook this through for a minute or two to release the aromatics and then add your coconut milk. Stir well! Taste the broth and add more soy sauce or brown sugar if needed. Add the broccoli and cook for another three minutes, then add the rest of the curry ingredients. Finely chop the coriander stalks and add to the curry leaving the leaves for garnish. Simmer until the veggies are tender but still have some bite.

Mix all of your salsa ingredients together. (it’s probably just a salad if you want to get technical but hey, don’t shoot me.)

Serve the curry in warm bowls, over some steamed Jasmine rice (brown rice and quinoa if you’re being good – the microwave packets are too convenient not to use!) with the mango salsa sprinkled on the top. Add some coriander leaves and tumble over your lime wedges. Have some Thai crackers ready on the side to dip in your sauce too. (Check that they’re vegan first!) Enjoy tucked up on the sofa with a favourite movie to properly savour this all over cuddly comfort dish.

Bon appetite!

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