Taste of Thailand Recipe: Vegetarian Red Curry with Mushroom and Sweet Potato

vegetarian thai red curry

This vegetarian Thai red curry was not planned. The second installment of my ‘Taste of’ cooking challenge was supposed to be chicken laksa – a spicy Malaysian noodle soup. However, after offering to cook dinner for my parents on a sunday evening, and finding myself staring at a can of coconut milk, I just couldn’t resist concocting something with delicious Thailand flavour.

As a lover of spicy food, I’ve made my fair share of Thai curries before. However, they’ve usually been green curries created using paste out of a jar. Plus, they’ve always included meat! This vegetarian red curry came about due to the presence of sweet potatoes that needed to be eaten and the fact that I basically just didn’t feel like anymore meat on this day, after indulging in a bulging bacon butty for breakfast. So, just like my first taste fest with the falafel and tabouli salad recipe last week, this was also going to be a veggie meal! 

I looked up a recipe for red curry paste online and managed to put it together okay, minus a few ingredients which I tried to compensate for with alternatives. I also threw mushrooms in with the sweet potatoes to add more texture to the curry. It turned out alright in the end and was rather tasty considering it was a last-minute meal.

The fact I didn’t have any lemongrass – a key ingredient in Thai cooking – diminished the recipe somewhat. I also used an onion instead of a shallot, chilli powder and flakes instead of fresh chillies, soy sauce instead of fish sauce, ginger instead of galangal and lemon juice instead of lime. But it was okay and still tasted Thai. Sometimes, you just have to make-do with what you have in the kitchen! This curry was just enough for three people and took around 35 – 40 minutes to make, including preparation time. 


Red curry paste recipe:

  • 1 small onion chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1tbls of chilli flakes 
  • 1tbls of hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbls of ground cumin 
  • 1 tbls of tomato ketchup
  • Small handful of coriander seeds
  • 1 tbls of sugar
  • 2 tbls of soy sauce 
  • 2 tbls of lemon juice 
  • 1 tbls of coconut milk


Other ingredients for the red curry:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • Mushrooms (a few handfuls)


Thai red curry instructions:

  1. Peel and chop three sweet potatoes
  2. Chop mushrooms
  3. Place water in a pan and bring to the boil
  4. Add sweet potatoes and boil for around 1o minutes
  5. In the meantime, mix all of the ingredients for the curry paste in a blender
  6. When the sweet potato has softened, drain and leave to the side
  7. Empty the curry paste into a pan on a low heat and stir in the remainder of coconut milk 
  8. Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms, place the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes
  9. Serve with jasmine rice and a sprinkling of fresh coriander 



 Do you like Thai curries, what’s your favourite Thai recipe?