Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Following up on unusual Thai curries, here is another one from one of my favorite cookbooks. This was one of the first cookbooks I bought about 30 years ago, when I moved to the US as a graduate student and needed to learn to cook. Thai food has some of the same components and flavors of Indian cooking so I got this book and have cooked practically every recipe through the years. This curry is one of my favorites and I cannot believe how simple it is to make. This is an unusual Thai curry, vegan, delicate, and just delicious. The perfectly cooked chickpeas contrast beautifully with the soft potatoes in a rich coconut based sauce. The fresh tomatoes and basil add the perfect freshness to the curry. This is a thin cookbook, filled with vegan recipes that are outstanding. Super simple recipes from traditional salads, fried foods, noodles and curries, like this one, make this my go to cookbook for vegetarian Thai cuisine. I seriously cannot believe that I have not posted a recipe from here prior to this one.
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
1 garlic clove, minced
8-10 coriander stems, with leaf and roots, it’s ok if you cannot find the ones with roots
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon curry powder, Madras preferred
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 potato, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, or 2 cups canned (yucky) chickpeas
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
10 Thai basil leaves, roughly torn
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Add the garlic, cilantro stems and black pepper to a blender and purée with a touch of water to a smooth paste.
Add the oil to a deep pot and heat on medium. Add the purée and sauté till the paste has dried out and the oils are released.
Add the curry powder and sauté for 20 seconds. Add the drained chickpeas, coconut milk and all other ingredients except the basil and tomatoes. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes. Never boil this curry as the coconut milk may split.
Add half the basil and simmer adjusting the water levels so the curry does not dry out, for another 4-7 minutes till the chickpeas and potatoes are cooked. Taste the curry and test both the chickpeas and potatoes to see if they are cooked. Adjust salt and spices as desired. Remember this is a mild, delicate curry. As a note, you want the chickpeas cooked but with a touch of bite, not mushy.
When done, take off the flame and drop in the tomatoes so they barely cook in the heat, keeping a few for garnish.
To serve, heat gently and serve in a deep bowl topped with the remaining tomatoes and basil, with Jasmine rice on the side.