Thai-basil Vegetable Curry

Serve up this Thai-style meal featuring your garden's fresh herbs and vegetables.

by Patricia Lehnhardt
Thai-basil Vegetable Curry - Photo by Rachael Brugger (
Photo by Rachael Brugger

Yield: 4 servings



  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 14 ounces coconut milk
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 1 6-inch stalk lemongrass, pounded lightly with a meat mallet
  • 2 T. coarsely chopped Thai-basil leaves, plus 2 T. whole leaves, divided
  • 1/2 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 T. whole cilantro leaves
  • Sriracha hot sauce to taste
  • hot cooked rice, for serving

Fried Basil-leaf Garnish

  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 20 to 30 fresh Thai-basil leaves


Heat oil in medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until softened. Add pepper, cauliflower, carrots, coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass and chopped basil. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli florets and cook another 3 minutes. Remove lemongrass and stir in whole basil leaves, cilantro leaves and hot sauce. Serve over rice with fried basil-leaf garnish.

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Fried Basil-leaf Garnish
Heat oil in small pot over medium-high heat. Test oil temperature by placing wooden chopstick or spoon handle in oil: If tiny bubbles gather around the stick, it’s just right. Add six to eight basil leaves and stand back—they’ll sputter violently at first. Fry for a few seconds, until leaves start to change to olive-green color. Lift out and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining basil.

This recipe was excerpted from Patricia Lehnhardt’s “Bend It Like Basil” in the May/June 2013 issue of Hobby Farm Home.


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