Penang Vegetable Curry

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Penang Vegetable Curry

A vibrant vegan dinner inspired by a type of Thai red curry originating from Penang, an island off the coast of Malaysia. It’s less spicy than other Thai curries, and coconut and peanuts are essential, giving the dish a sweeter, creamier flavour.


  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • 500ml boiling water
  • Sea salt
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • A thumb of ginger
  • 1 chilli
  • 35g peanuts
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • A handful of mint, leaves only
  • 1 lime

Tip: If you have time, pop the tin of coconut milk into your fridge the night before. This will ensure the coconut cream sets, so you can easily scoop it out to fry your curry paste and veg in, leaving the coconut water behind to add later.

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1. Rinse the rice under cold water, then tip into a small pan. Pour in 300ml boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Pop a lid on the pan, bring back up to the boil and then turn the heat right down. Very gently simmer for 25 mins till the rice has absorbed all the water and is tender and fluffy. Take off the heat and steam in the pan for 5-10 mins, lid on, to finish cooking the rice. It will keep warm in the pan while you make the curry.
2. While the rice cooks, prepare the veg. Trim the aubergine and chop it into 1cm dice. Halve the pepper and scoop out the white seeds and pith. Roughly chop it. Trim and peel the carrots and thickly slice them on the diagonal.
3. Peel and grate the ginger. Halve the chilli, scoop out the seeds and pith for less heat (or leave them in), and finely chop. Roughly chop the peanuts.
4. Scoop the thick coconut cream out of the tin of coconut milk and add it to a medium-sized pan. Set over a medium-high heat and fry for 5 mins, stirring often, till the coconut cream 'cracks' – it will look oily, separated and curdled, which is what you want). Add 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste, ginger, chilli and peanuts. Fry, stirring, for 2 mins.
5. Add the chopped veg to the pan and fry, stirring often, for 8 mins till just softening. Stir in 1 tbsp Worcester sauce and tip in the rest of the coconut milk. Add 200ml boiling water, pop a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 mins till the veg are tender. If it starts to dry out, turn the heat down and add a splash more water.
6. While the curry simmers, pick the leaves off the mint sprigs and finely slice them. Squeeze in the juice from the lime and taste the curry. Add a pinch of salt if you think in needs it. Fluff the rice with a fork and spoon into 2 warm bowls. Top with the curry and garnish with the shredded mint leaves to serve.
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