Tuesday, January 6, 2015


This spicy, savoury, sweet, sour noodle soup will wake your taste buds up! I love having this healthy yet filling noodle soup in cold weather or when I'm under-the-weather-but-not-too-under-to-make-it. And.. it can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free noodles or not using noodles at all and adding extra vegetables like I do sometimes.

The fresh curry paste makes a big difference in flavour so do make it if you have time. If not, there's always next time! Adjust the salt, sugar, and lime to taste - the quantities given below are just guidelines. Customize the flavour to *your* taste buds! 

Vegan Khao Soi: Chiang Mai Curry Noodles
makes: 4 large or 6 small servings

- 1/2 cup khao soi curry paste (recipe below)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 carrots, cubed
- 1 handful green beans, cut into 1 in. pieces
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 med. capsicum, cut into 1 in. pieces
- 2 cups tofu cubes
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 4-5 cups water
- 1 lb. (~1/2 kg.) egg noodles (or gluten-free noodles)

- bean sprouts (or fried noodles)
- sliced shallot (or onion)
- sliced hot chiles
- lime wedges
- cilantro

Curry paste (This makes 1 cup curry paste. Use half for this recipe and refrigerate the rest for up to 1 week.)
- 2 shallots, peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese black cardamoms (elcha in Gujarati, badi elaichi in Hindi)
- 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 3 dried Thai bird chiles (or any spicy dried peppers), dry roasted
- 1 tsp. garam masala (or any curry powder)
- 1-2 in. piece of fresh turmeric
- 1/2 in. piece of ginger
- 4 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part roughly chopped (bottom ~four inches only)
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems cut and leafy tops and tender stems reserved
- 1 tbsp. lime zest
- 1 tsp. salt
  1. In a skillet, dry-roast (roast without oil) the coriander and cardamom seeds. Dry-roast the dried chiles.
  2. Add the roasted seeds and chiles to a blender jar. Add the remaining curry paste ingredients and blend into a smooth paste. You'll have to scrape the sides of the jar a few times to get a smooth paste.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the coconut oil and add the 1/2 cup curry paste. Fry the curry paste on medium-low heat until it is fragrant and slightly dry, ~5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and stir to mix. Fry for ~5 more minutes until the mixture is somewhat dry. Add 1 cup of coconut milk and fry on medium-high until you see coconut oil on the surface (it will be red oil since it's mixed with the curry paste).
  4. Add the carrots and green beans, turn the heat to medium if needed, and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the capsicum and mushrooms and stir-fry until the capsicum softens slightly.
  5. Turn the heat to high. Add the remaining coconut milk and 4 cups of water and bring to a soft boil. Turn the heat to medium or medium-high and simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Add the tofu and simmer for a few more minutes. Turn the heat off.
  6. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, and extra salt if needed. The soup should taste ever-so-slightly over-salted since you will serve over unsalted noodles and with garnishes.
  7. Cook the noodles according to directions on the package and divide among 4 bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles and garnish as desired.
  8. Serve with generous lime wedges and extra sliced green and crushed red chiles. Enjoy hot! Refrigerate leftovers for no more than 2 days.

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