Healthy curry. Two words that don’t often go together to the upset of my waistline – so, when I heard that the ever lovely Ella Mills aka Deliciously Ella had a Thai curry recipe in her new book Deliciously Ella: the Plant-Based Cookbook, I was very keen to get my hands on it – and was even more pleased when they said I could run it on the blog.
I like Ella.
I was thinking about this the other day and over the last few years, the way the wellness world has gone has actually made me fall out of love with health.
It’s just too regimented, too cliquey and too cult-like – yes I’m going to say it,
Being healthy now feels like bloody hard work rather than simply being a case of eat more fruit and vegetables, find an exercise you like, don’t overdo it with the fun stuff like booze and pizza!.
But I’ve never got that feeling from Ella. This new book adds to my impression that she’s alright.
Who is Deliciously Ella?
For those of you who don’t know Ella, she started a blog in 2012 after being diagnosed with an illness called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) that affects the nervous system.
She had to radically change her lifestyle and diet – cutting out gluten, sugar, dairy and meat – and started a blog to share what was going on. Because they were actually pretty simple, but good, the recipes in the blog took off and from then everything spiralled.
This book, her fourth, reflects where she is now with her cooking and her life.
It’s personal, she tells about how she got started, how she got together with her husband, Matt, and has cute pictures of her dogs.
The diary section of the book is actually riveting. It’s fascinating to read about how the whole thing took off – the story about testing the recipes for the deli when they thought no-one had ordered, only to open the door and find a queue of bike riders they didn’t know about as they had crashed the app is brilliant! And when the story of the rats appeared I actually shouted ‘oh, no’ – and don’t forget, I’m reading a cookbook here, not a thriller!
However, the reason I like this book (and Ella) most of all, is there’s no preaching.
Yes, it’s a vegan cookbook – but she doesn’t bang on about it. Or make it seem like you’re basically damning your body to a lifetime of abuse if you don’t follow her rules. I don’t feel guilty reading Ella’s books.
As she puts it, her ultimate aim is just ‘to make fruit and vegetables more interesting.’ And she does….I actually want to make pretty much everything in here.
I really wish we could back to everyone trying to make being healthier that simple rather than encouraging everyone to fixate on macros and live out of Tupperware!
But you’re (probably) not here for ramblings from me, You’re here to find a decent curry recipe for dinner tonight. So, without further ado, I bring you…
The Deliciously Ella Recipe for…YELLOW THAI CURRY
‘Aubergines are one of my favourite ingredients to use in a curry as they soak up all of the flavours like a sponge. I’ve lost count of how many bowls of this curry I’ve eaten in the last few years; when I’m having a busy week I pop into the deli and devour a bowl with brown rice – it’s warming, hearty and always keeps me going for hours. This one also happens to be one of Matt’s favourites too.’
For the curry paste
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 lemongrass stalk, bashed and
1 lime leaf
31/2 tablespoons coconut oil
For the curry
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large aubergine, cut into bitesize pieces
100g button mushrooms
100g baby corn, cut in half
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 x 400g tins of coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamari
Handful of Thai basil, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 240.C (fan 220.C).
- Place all of the paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Place the peppers, aubergine, mushrooms and baby corn in a baking tray with a little olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes, so that they take on a bit of colour, then remove and leave to one side.
- Next, place the coconut oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the coconut milk and tamari and bring to the boil – then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and blitz using a hand blender, then pass through a sieve to remove any unwanted bits (if needed). Place back on to a medium heat and add the roasted vegetables, then cook for a final 5 minutes. Try not to overcook this curry – the sauce only needs this short cooking time and there is a chance it could form a layer of oil on top if you cook it for longer and reduce it too much.
- Once everything is cooked through, sprinkle with a handful of chopped Thai basil.
TIP You could make a double batch of this curry and freeze half for another day. It freezes so well and is really easy to cook straight from the freezer – just place it into an oven set at 200C (fan 180C) for 20–25 minutes until cooked through.
So there you have it, a super speedy Deliciously Ella recipe for Yellow Thai Curry. If you want to check out the rest of the book it’s out now. It’s called Deliciously Ella. The Plant-Based Cookbook and in Australia, it’s published by Hachette Australia and costs £32.99 in trade paperback or $14.99 for the ebook.
As I said, there’s heaps of stuff in here I’d like to cook, but some of the other standouts include…
Her Vegan Shakshuka which uses coconut yoghurt instead of eggs (although she does tell you to add eggs you if you want to make it non-vegan – see, non-preachy!)
The Harrissa Roasted Aubergines which I want NOW – even though it’s not yet 7am as I type this
Sweet Potato Cakes served with Smokey Baked Beans (and yes I’d add a fried egg but that’s me!)
And I haven’t even got to the dessert section with things like Mini Apple Crumbles and Peanut Butter Slices.
Hungry yet? Then best you go buy the book!
‘This recipe is extracted from Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ella Mills (Woodward), published by Hachette Australia RRP $32.99.’
Images by Nassima Rothacker