Vegan Vietnamese Curry (Cà Ri Chay)

Coming in EXTRA hot and excited today! Happy Sunday, everyone!

Something momentous happened this week that I still cannot register as a reality. It will be such a tremendously majestic start to a new chapter in my life–I do not plan on disclosing anything until some time in the future just because nothing is 100% official yet. The urge to shout out the news from the rooftops is unfathomably challenging, though!

At the very least, we can celebrate with some of my absolute favorite dishes: curry! This time around, we’ll highlight Vietnamese curry. In Vietnamese, this dish translate to Cà Ri–in particular, if you talk about vegan or vegetarian curry, the name is Cà Ri Chay (vegetarian). I cannot sufficiently emphasize how flavorful, wondrous, aromatic, comforting, and abundant this curry is! You can pack it with any vegetables of your choice–most traditional are carrots and potatoes–as well as any protein you desire! The star of the show is the curry broth itself due to the various herbs and spices included. Honestly, this is a truly unique take on curry that I think is unjustly underrated!

We wanted to top everything with cilantro, but unfortunately, we did not have any at the time! It’s best served with rice and baguette slices, though I like steamed vegetables at the bottom of the plate and serving rice in a separate container because the rice doesn’t become too soaked in the broth. Personal preference, but there are so many beautiful presentations of Vietnamese curry that the sky is just the beginning! Whether you want to eat the curry on top of your bodyweight in rice or noodles, with a few slices of bread, or even straight from the original serving dish, enjoy it wholeheartedly!

RECIPE (serves 8-10)

  • 2 lb carrots
  • 1.5 lb baby potatoes
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 12 ounces of mushrooms
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass
  • 1 large white onion, peeled
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced and peeled
  • 3 TBSP Madras curry powder
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu
  • 1 can of coconut milk, preferably full fat (approximately 400 mL)
  • 5 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 2 TBSP neutral tasting oil
  • Sugar to taste, starting with 1 tsp at a time
  • 2 TBSP coconut cream (optional)
  • Chili pepper flakes (optional)

PROCEDURE

  1. Set a large pot on medium heat. Pour the oil in the pot and wait until slightly warm.
    1. Meanwhile or beforehand, cut all of your vegetables in even pieces and your tofu into cubes or strips.
  2. Toss in the onions and garlic, cooking until fragrant and translucent. Enjoy the delicious aroma!
  3. Mix in the curry powder, ensuring the bottom of the pan does not burn.
  4. Integrate the mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots. Cook until softened, but not fragile.
  5. Set the heat to low-medium, carefully pouring in the coconut milk. Add the bay leaves, cloves, star anise, and lemon grass. Stir the mixture until the coconut milk exudes a uniform color.
  6. Cover the pot and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid from the pot, evenly incorporating the tofu into the curry.
  8. Add sugar to taste if necessary, as well as chili flakes for spiciness and/or coconut cream if a thicker sauce is desired.
  9. Once again, cover the pot and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  10. Serve warm with rice or over a bed of salad greens!

What is your favorite meal when you are in an EXTRA good mood?


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