Vietnamese curries are quite distinct from those of Thailand, having more in common with South Indian curries, thanks, interestingly enough, to the French.
According to this interesting history of curry in Vietnam, at the time the French controlled both the port cities of Saigon and Pondicherry in India, the southern Indian style of curries made its way into Vietnamese cuisine, most commonly as a chicken curry, cà ri gà. Here we take the spirit of that curry style and create a tasty and nutritious vegetarian version, packed with roasted root vegetables and chickpeas.
Many recipes for Vietnamese curries, in fact any Indian style curries, use store bought curry powder. That’s OK if you are in a hurry. For Vietnamese style curry, use a Madras style curry powder. However, the little extra effort to blend your own curry powder is absolutely worth the effort. The instructions for preparing the curry powder in this recipe makes about twice as much as needed (i.e. 6 Tbsp). I used the rest for a fish curry, which also turned out great.
A Vietnamese curry would normally be eaten with rice or banh mi (baguettes). I love Malaysian roti paratha, so used those this time. Use whichever you prefer. They all work well.
Roast veggie and chickpea curryPrint
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp cardamom pods shells removed
- 4 star anise
- 8 cloves
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 3 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 tsp chilli powder or crushed dried chillis
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp annatto powder Optional. May be hard to find.
Roast veggie and chickpea curry
- 1 head garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 500 g pumpkin
- 500 g sweet potatoes
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
- 10 g butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 stalks lemon grass
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp curry powder
- 400 g chickpeas 1 tin/can
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup fresh peanuts peeled (optional)
- 100 g brown beech mushrooms optional
- 2 long mild chillis
- Lightly toast the whole spices in a dry frying pan. Leave to cool.
- Use a spice grinder to grind the toasted spices to a fine powder.
- If necessary, pass through a fine sieve to remove any remaining large pieces.
- Combine well with the ground spices.
Roast veggie and chickpea curry
- Preheat the oven to 200 degC.
- Peel and dice the pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrot into bite sized pieces and add to a large bowl.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to cover.
- Wash and trim the red peppers and smear with a little olive oil.
- Prepare the head of garlic for roasting (link).
- Roast the red peppers and garlic for 40 minutes.
- Roast the diced vegetables for 1 hour, turning once or twice during that time.
- Trim and smash the lemongrass.
- Finely dice the onion.
- Peel and finely grate the ginger.
- In a wok or large pan, bring the olive oil and butter up to a medium heat.
- Squeeze the garlic cloves from the head of roasted garlic.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Sauté the onion until softening. Add the ginger and roasted garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant.
- Add the curry spice mix and continue to sauté for a minute or two.
- Add the vegetable stock, water, coconut milk, chickpeas, peanuts (if using), frozen peas, bay leaves, and lemongrass to the pan.
- Bring back to the boil, the reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sauté the mushrooms if using.
- Dice the red peppers into 10mm square pieces.
- Add the mushrooms (if using), red peppers, and roasted vegetables to the curry sauce.
- Heat over a medium heat until well heated through and flavours have integrated.
- Dice the mild long red chillis and mix in.