Indulge in this Vegan Panang Curry with a homemade paste! A spicy and flavorful curry with a delightful hint of nutty sweetness from the peanuts.
Vegan Panang Curry
The history of Panang Curry, also known as Phanaeng Curry, can be traced back to Thailand's rich culinary heritage.
The name "Panang" is derived from the Malay word "Penang," which refers to the island in Malaysia. It is said that Panang Curry was introduced to Thailand by Malay traders, who brought with them their culinary traditions and spices. Over time, Thai chefs adapted and refined the recipe, infusing it with their own unique ingredients and techniques.
Traditionally, Panang Curry was a meat-based dish, often made with chicken or beef. However, as the popularity of plant-based diets has grown, many variations of Vegan Panang Curry have emerged, offering a delightful alternative for those who prefer a meat-free option. If you are looking for a similar recipe, check out Vegan Curry Ramen or Thai Mango Coconut Curry.
Today, Panang Curry holds a special place in Thai cuisine, both in Thailand and around the world. Its distinctive combination of aromatic herbs, spices, and creamy coconut milk has made it a beloved dish, renowned for its complex flavors and enticing aroma. Whether enjoyed in local Thai restaurants or recreated in home kitchens, Vegan Panang Curry continues to captivate food enthusiasts with its rich history and irresistible taste.
This recipe makes a plant-based homemade Vegan Panang Curry paste and creamy curry that uses the following ingredients:
Homemade Panang Curry Paste:
- Roasted peanuts
- Kaffir lime leaves
- Spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder
- Cooking oil
- Coconut Milk
- Green beans
- Bell pepper
- Thai basil
- Soy sauce
- Soy sauce
View recipe card for the full quantity.
Prep the aromatics:
Cut the chilies into chunks. Deseed them if you prefer a milder spice level.
Remove the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass, then slice it.
Peel the shallots and cut them in half.
Peel the galangal and slice it.
In a blender, combine the chilies, lemongrass, shallots, galangal, roasted peanuts, garlic, spices, and shredded kaffir lime leaves. Blend everything together with a little water until you achieve a fine paste.
Peel the outer leaves and thinly slice lemongrass.
Add sliced lemongrass, shallot, garlic, galangal, and chili pepper to blender.
Add shredded kaffir lime leaves and spices.
Cut the green beans into chunks and thinly slice the bell pepper.
In a pan, heat the cooking oil and fry the curry paste for a few minutes.
Add the water and coconut milk to the pan and bring it to a boil.
Add the curry paste to pan and fry in oil for a few minutes.
Pour in water
And coconut milk
Add the green beans to the pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the tofu into cubes and fry them in oil until golden on both sides.
Add the bell peppers, fried tofu, and Thai basil leaves to the pan and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Add green beans
And bell pepper
Season with salt, sugar and soy sauce
Season the curry with salt, sugar, and soy sauce according to your taste. Stir in the Thai basil leaves.
Serve the Panang Curry with a bowl of steamed rice and garnish it with additional Thai basil leaves and roasted peanuts.
Variations and Substitutions
If you prefer a store-bought version of Vegan Panang Curry to save time, check out this brand.
- Vegetables: While this recipe calls for green beans and bell peppers, feel free to experiment with other vegetables like broccoli, carrots, eggplant, or snow peas. The vibrant colors and textures will add a delightful twist to your curry.
- Protein: Tofu is a popular choice in Vegan Panang Curry, but you can substitute it with tempeh, seitan, or even chickpeas for a protein-packed alternative. These options lend their own unique textures and flavors to the dish.
- Spice Level: Adjust the spiciness of your curry by adding more or fewer chilies. If you prefer a milder version, remove the seeds from the chilies or use mild chili varieties. Conversely, if you enjoy a fiery kick, include extra chilies or even add a sprinkle of chili flakes.
- Nut-Free: If you have a nut allergy, you can omit the roasted peanuts from the curry paste. Alternatively, you can substitute them with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a similar nutty flavor and texture.
- Gluten-Free: To make the recipe gluten-free, ensure that the soy sauce you use is gluten-free or substitute it with tamari or coconut aminos.
- Herbs and Garnish: While Thai basil is traditionally used in Panang Curry, you can experiment with other fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. Additionally, garnish your curry with lime wedges, sliced red chilies, or a sprinkle of chopped scallions for added freshness and visual appeal.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!