The Thai curry: cheap, easy, and available to all


By Erin Lawler, Epigram Food writer

Be you vegetarian, vegan, meat-eater or anything in between and beyond, the Thai curry is a delight available to all.

So what makes a Thai curry so great?

• Thai curry uses coconut milk, making it available for vegans as well as vegetarians, meat or fish eaters. If you are vegan/vegetarian you can pop chick peas and sweet potato in as your source of protein along with any green vegetables for more freshness.

• For those with a penchant for meat or fish, instead of chickpeas you can use chicken, beef, salmon or cod.

• The variation of pastes available is incredible and each is slightly different: the red Thai curry paste is spicy and perfect for those cooling Autumn nights; Panang curry is similar to red but more fragrant; Massaman curry is very sweet making a nice change to the spiciness of the others; Thai green curry is the most fragrant of all – good with fish.

• It’s a great option for students as you can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge in the sauce, be they baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, peas, green beans or potato.

TIP: Instead of buying your pastes from the jars in the supermarket (in Whiteladies Sainsbury’s a 190g jar of Panang curry paste costs £1.20) buy them instead from any Oriental supermarket (in 168 Oriental on Park Street a 400g tub of Panang curry paste costs £2.10). The tubs from the Oriental supermarkets last for longer as you only use teaspoons at a time rather than tablespoons (like you would with the supermarket jars).

Image: Epigram Food contibutor/Erin Lawler

This recipe is simple and does not take too long to cook. For a meat or fish option you could replace the chickpeas and sweet potato with chicken or cod.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Panang Curry

What you will need:

  • 2 ½ tsp Mae Ploy/Oriental supermarket Panang curry paste
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 sweet potato- chopped into small cubes
  • Handful of shiitake mushrooms- roughly sliced
  • Handful fine green beans- topped and tailed
  • A few broccoli florets
  • 1 spring onion- finely chopped
  • Handful fresh coriander- roughly chopped
  • rice


  1. Add the oil to a wok/large frying pan and when heated add the curry paste and fry for a minute before adding the coconut milk and sugar. Bring to the boil.
  2. In a separate saucepan bring some water up to the boil and par boil the sweet potato for 5 minutes then drain.
  3. Rinse the chickpeas from the tin and along with them add the sweet potato, mushrooms, beans and broccoli.
  4. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Just before serving add the spring onions and chopped coriander.
  6. Serve with rice and enjoy.

Image: Epigram Food contibutor/Erin Lawler

Feature image: Epigram food contributor/Erin Lawler

Have your say about this article! Email us or comment below!