Panang Curry

The Vegetarian's Guide To The World

Forking Off

Penang Curry


Ingredients (serves 4 generously)


Curry Paste:

  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2-4 Red Chillis
  • 2 Tbsp Shredded Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Pint Water
  • 1 400g Tin of Light Coconut Milk
  • 100g of Cashews/Peanuts
  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes Chopped into Chunks
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Asparagus Tips
  • Closed Cup Mushrooms

Penang Curry is a gorgeous peanut and coconut based curry that is just straight-up to die for. It's not actually from Penang, which is an island in Malaysia famous for incredible food, but from southern Thailand.

Making your very own curry paste is a hugely complicated process that involves taking all of the ingredients for the curry paste and putting them in a blender. Voila! Even easier if you already have a 'mature' spices cabinet (go you). You can make batches of curry paste and freeze it, or it'll last about a week in the fridge. A warning if you're fridging it though, the flavours will mature and get better and better with time; as well as spicier and spicier. If it's pretty spicy to start with, it'll blow your face off after a few days. Also, don't be tempted to taste it as it is, it's vile; magnificent cooked into a curry, but neat it's a salty-sour-spicy Muay-Thai kick to the face.


I'm giving you the best curry hack ever with this version; the Thai recipe calls for peanuts, peanut oil and palm sugar, the last two of which are really tough to get your hands on in Britain if you don't have time to fanny about at specialist shops. Substitute? Peanut Butter! Job done curry-hack.


1. Dry fry your nuts (snigger) and then add the rest of your ingredients except the spinach, asparagus and mushrooms.


2. Bring to the boil, keeping a lid on to retain the moisture. Once boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and leave it for about twenty minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.


3. Add the spinach, asparagus and mushrooms and simmer for another five minutes.


4. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.