Vegetarian Thai Red Curry with Eggplant

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry
Sweetonveg/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
349 Calories
3g Fat
76g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 822mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 28%
Dietary Fiber 20g 70%
Protein 16g
Calcium 394mg 30%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Vegetarian Thai red curry recipe is easy to follow and combines shallots, lemongrass, red chillies, galangal, cumin, coriander seeds, kaffir lime leaves, wheat gluten or tofu, yams or sweetpotatoes, Japanese or Chinese eggplant, shiitake mushrooms, and Thai holy basil to create a real vegetarian thai dish that will tantalize the taste buds.


  • For the Paste:
  • 3 shallots (OR 1 small cooking onion, diced)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (see instructions below, OR 2 Tbsp. ready-bought lemongrass available frozen at most Asian stores)
  • 1 to 3 red chilies (depending on desired spiciness, or 1-3 teaspoons Thai red chilli sauce)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 inch piece galangal (peeled and sliced, may be substituted with ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper (may be substituted with black pepper)
  • 2 tbsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds (ground with pestle & mortar or a coffee-grinder)
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (or 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, sliced)
  • For the Dish:
  • 10 to 15 cherry tomatoes (or 3 to 4 regular tomatoes, sliced)
  • 3 to 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 small Japanese eggplant (sliced into bite-size pieces, do not peel, as there are vitamins in the skin)
  • 1 sweet red pepper (or 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 bell pepper (yellow, chopped)
  • optional: 1 small sweet potato (or yam, peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai holy basil leaves (OR sweet basil)
  • 1 package wheat gluten ​(“chicken” or “beef”, OR 1 package firm tofu cut into bite-size cubes)
  • 1 to 2 cans coconut milk (depending on how mild you like your curry, or how much sauce you prefer)

Steps to Make It

  1. For complete instructions on how to buy and cook with lemongrass, see: All About Lemongrass: Your Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking with Lemongrass.

  2. To make the paste, place all paste ingredients in a food processor.

  3. Add ½ can of the coconut milk and process into a paste.

  4. Place paste, wheat gluten or tofu, remaining 1/2 can coconut milk, and limes leaves in a casserole dish.

  5. Stir well until paste is thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients.

  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and add vegetables. Stir well. (Note: if you prefer more sauce, or if you find the curry tastes too spicy, add 1/2 can more coconut milk.)

  7. After another 10 minutes, remove from oven. Check to make sure vegetables are cooked to your liking.

  8. Do a taste test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add up to 2 Tbsp. more soy sauce (or season with sea salt). If not spicy enough, add another red chilli, sliced finely, OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chilli sauce. If too salty, add up to 2 Tbsp. lime juice. If too spicy, add a little more coconut milk (yogurt will work too if you are non-vegan) and stir well.

  9. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves (these can be roughly chopped if too large), and serve with plenty of Thai fragrant rice (white or brown) for a nutritionally complete and satisfying meal.