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Asian Vegan Kitchen
by Hema Parekh
Green Curry with Eggplant and Bamboo Shoot
(Kaeng makhoe gap noumai)
Aromatic Thai curries are a delicious contrast of strong flavors. Thinner than Indian curries, they have a coconut milk base, which adds natural sweetness. Lemongrass and lime leaves impart a distinctly tangy flavor. Thai curries are never served as stand-alone dishes and are always one part of a meal, their spices balanced by other milder and sweeter dishes, such as a salad, a stir-fried dish, or a dessert.
Serves 4


    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 4 tablespoons Green Curry Paste (see below)
    • 3 cups (720ml) coconut milk
    • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
    • 3½ ounces (100g) green or purple eggplant, chopped
    • 3½ ounces (100g) bamboo shoots, sliced
    • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
    • 1¾ ounces (50g) button mushrooms, quartered
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
    • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, saute the green curry paste briefly, and add the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add the lime leaves, eggplant, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Stir to mix. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Add the soy sauce, salt, and sugar, and cook for a further 5—7 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.

3. Mix in the basil leaves and turn off the heat.

GREEN CURRY PASTE (Nam prik gaeng khiao wan)
Makes about 1 cup (240ml)

    • 10 small fresh hot green chilies
    • 3 shallots, sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, halved
    • 1¼-inch (3-cm) cube galangal, peeled and chopped
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
    • 1 ounce (30g) fresh coriander with stems and root
    • 10 black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Put all the ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and grind to a smooth thick paste, or use a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients, a few at a time.

Mix in the oil and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

* For a richer flavor, dry roast the peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds over low heat until fragrant. Grind to a powder and set aside. Blend the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and combine with the ground spices.


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