Upon returning to Los Angeles for my spring break, I’ve experienced a lot of surprises, whether cupcakes on a skewer, meeting old and new friends, a pantry stocked with almond butter, and a package of my favorite protein bars and cookies. However, nothing could ever defeat a warm, aromatic bowl of freshly concocted vegan curry loaded with vegetables, tofu, and spices. If you’re a college student like myself, don’t you also miss home-cooked meals?
Whether it be made in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, the Himalayas, or even Tibet, I can eat vegetable curry any day. So far, my personal favorites are Indian and Thai curries, but that might just be because I’m still on the hunt for vegan curries in the other cuisines mentioned above. I could just make it my own, but then again, I might mess something up!
One of my family’s kitchen ritual involves cooking curry once ever other week. Despite eating out more often due to my sisters’ jam-packed schedules, this tradition is still treasured. This began when my mother started cooking the bulk frozen chicken tikka masala from Costco on the stovetop and adding coconut milk that she purchased from Trader Joe’s as well as her own vegetables. Eventually, frozen dishes became original recipes with fresher ingredients, and the newer curries taste even better!
This curry includes two of my favorite vegetables: kabocha squash and mushrooms. Firstly, kabocha squash is a given–its buttery and creamy texture along with its savory and slightly sweet flavor elevates almost every Asian dish. Originally cultivated in Japan, it’s hands down my favorite kind of pumpkin and winter squash (don’t worry, butternut. I love you still)! Second of all are mushrooms–a favorite in almost every cuisine. Mushrooms are powerhouses of nutrients, including riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, selenium, magnesium, copper, and many more. They also have the most incredible versatility and taste delicious in soups, stir-fries, raw salads, and in any cooking method. In general, I use white mushrooms in my cooking, but you can use anything.
Obviously, you can add in any other vegetables that you like, but kabocha squash and mushrooms create such a beautiful medley in this particular recipe! I served mine over a bed of spinach and had roasted broccoli and bell peppers on the side!
As for the broth, this is the first attempt at yellow curry, which is one of the more underrated types of Thai curry out there. Truthfully, green curry reigns supreme, but there is something unique about yellow curry that makes it so creamy, decadent, spicy, and aromatic! Sure, it may look like pee in certain angles, but don’t most jars of green smoothies look like jars filled with diarrhea already?
Okay, I’ll expect many people to unsubscribe from my newsletter now. But at least try this curry recipe because it tastes divine!
- 1 can Trader Joe’s reduced fat coconut milk
- 2-3 TBSP yellow curry paste
- 1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 whole kabocha squash, roasted
- 3 cups of white mushrooms or any other mushrooms
- 1 white onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 block of extra firm tofu, organic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: other vegetables, beans, rice and spinach for serving
- Set a large pot on medium heat on the stovetop.
- On a separate cutting board, chop your mushrooms, already roasted kabocha squash, onions, garlic, tofu. and optional vegetables.
- When the pot is warm enough, lightly coat the bottom with nonstick spray, water, or any suitable cooking oil.
- Toss your garlic and onions until aromatic and transluscent.
- Mix in part of your spices and curry paste evenly.
- Add the mushrooms, kabocha, and other vegetables, blending everything together.
- Carefully pour in the tofu, coconut milk and soy sauce as well as the remaining spices and curry paste.
- Stir everything together and allow to simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve warm over brown rice, spinach, or even in a bowl as a soup!
What are some old family cooking traditions you can remember? Mushrooms: love them or hate them?