Welcome to autumn, my friends. I myself don’t care for it much. Don’t like the dampness, the early-onset darkness or the shameless manner in which the foliage starts shedding its clothing. I take no pleasure in jumping through piles of crunchy leaves and maybe that’s just me, but the one thing I can’t complain about this season is the food. Fall flavours beg to be slow cooked and stewed–this is the time of year when cooking transforms your house into an envelope stuffed with luscious aromas, making you anticipate tucking into your meal all the more. And when I open my door to a neighbour or friend and they are greeted with a gust of savoury fall goodness that causes them to exclaim, “Yummm! What are you making in there?” I take pride in replying “None of your dang business, now SCRAM!” before I slam the door in their faces because I am crotchety beyond my years and the dreariness of autumn makes me kind of a jerk.
Nothing says “In your face, it’s Fall!” like the colour orange, so naturally it is time for Orange Thai Curry. I used yams and summer squash, but truly you could use any orange or yellow veggie that you fancy: carrots, bell peppers, or acorn squash would all be fantastic in this spicy-warm sauce. Orange vegetables have an inherit sweetness that just begs to cuddle with coconut. Likewise, if you cook your own dried chickpeas rather than opt for the convenience of their canned cousins, you will notice they’re no slouches in the sweet department themselves.
This curry can be as fiery as you’re feeling: simply adjust the amount of Sambal Oelek or chilis to satisfy your pretty palate. I used 2 tbs Sambal Oelek and my two year old ate it. You’re not wussier than a 2 year old, are you?
Orange Thai Curry
- 1 large yam, diced
- 1 medium yellow zucchini (summer squash), diced
- 2 cups chickpeas, cooked- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 6 cloves garlic- 2 (thick) inches ginger or galanghal
- 300 grams coconut dessert tofu OR 1 can Light Coconut Milk (if using coconut milk, reduce broth to 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tbs Thai Red Curry Paste
- 2 tsp madras curry powder
- 1-3 tbs Sambal Oelek OR 1 TBS dried red chilis OR 4-6 fresh Thai Red Chilis, chopped fine
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp lime juice, fresh squeezed, about a quarter lime
- sea salt, to taste- 2 cups vegan broth
1. In your trusty, NEVER dusty, food processor, purée garlic, ginger, tofu, garam masala, curry powder, curry paste, lime juice and Sambal Olek until ultra silky smooth.
2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté onion in a 1/2 cup of the broth until soft (about 4 minutes). Add yams, chickpeas, squash and the rest of the broth and sauté for 3 minutes more.
3. Add yo’coconut purée to skillet. Stir to combine and add salt to taste (or don’t, salt is so whatevs) and heat until bubbly. Reduce temperature to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until yams are ultra soft. Serve over brown basmati rice or Thai Jasmine rice.
Happy Fall, Vegan Mofoers!