Thai yellow curry paste is a refrigerator staple in our house, one that I dip into on a regular basis. It has a milder curry flavor, not as hot as panang, green, or red curry paste, and is great with vegetarian or vegan curries. I use it to spice up coconut curries, rice, and even as a chicken rub to marinade for the grill. The Mae Ploy brand is what I usually find in our local international grocery stores, though other brands are available in well-stocked grocery stores.
I like the convenience of purchased curry paste, but you can make your own if you prefer (see recipe below), you just need a good stash of spices in the pantry.
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 8 ounces (227 g) white or baby bella mushrooms, rough chopped
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai curry paste
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 pound cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
- 1 pound broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
- 1 quart (1 liter) vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cans light coconut milk
- YELLOW CURRY PASTE RECIPE (optional)
- 1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In the large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender, not mushy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 more minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add all the vegetables, the vegetable stock, and the salt. Set the slow cooker for low and allow to cook for 4 to 5 hours, until the vegetables are fork tender, but not mushy. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir 1/2 cup of the broth from the slow cooker with the coconut milk. This will help bring up the temperature of the curry and reduce or prevent curdling. Stir I the coconut milk mixture and cover. Check the temperature after 15 to minutes, and serve when it’s hot to your taste. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, and up to 1 month in the freezer.
6-quart slow cooker
For the curry paste, process all the ingredients in a food processor. Drizzle in some water if necessary.
Though not authentic, I adore the convenience of slow cookers, and it works great for this vegetable curry. I make my own vegetable stock and cook the chickpeas from scratch because I prefer the flavor, though you can use cans in a pinch. The curry works equally well with fresh or frozen vegetables. I recommend leaving out the coconut milk until the last 30 minutes. Stir in a little of the broth from the vegetables to raise the temperature of the milk, then pour it in. This helps reduce curdling. The recipe is easily halved.