This Red Thai sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry is so easy to prepare with the slow cooker. No fuss, no faff, just good, honest, flavourful, sure-fire family favourite home-cooking. Even better is that energy bills can be saved by using the slow cooker.
This veggie curry is packed with all vegan ingredients and can be easily prepped as great for a gluten-free diet.
This slow cooker red Thai meal is a pleasantly spiced curry and perfect for those who do not enjoy too much spice. Although do add a red chilli or two if extra spiciness is liked. Or please those extra spicy members of the family by adding slices of fresh red chilli to their portion!
What is Thai red curry?
Thai red curry [Kaeng Phet] is essentially a curry originating in Thailand and prepared with a coconut gravy flavoured with red chilli's, and bulked out with meat [or tofu] and/or veggies.
Of course other various flavours go into the red curry paste such as garlic, onion, cumin, galangal [or ginger], lemon grass, shrimp paste, black pepper, coriander, etc.
If you'd like to prepare your own authentic red Thai curry paste check out this recipe over at eatingthaifood.com. Although the shrimp paste will need to be omitted or replaced. Instead try miso paste, soya sauce, vegan fish sauce[can purchase in most health shops/wholefood stores or online], as a replacement.
How To Prepare Slow Cooker Red Thai Curry
How To Store Leftover Red Thai Curry?
Leftover curry can be stored within the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Pop into a covered container.
Can red Thai curry be frozen?
Freeze for up to 3-4 months.
Defrost fully before reheating.
What's the best way to reheat curry?
Reheat Thai curry by adding to a non-stick pan and gently bringing to a simmer, lower the heat and heat through for 2-3 minutes until piping hot.
The red curry sauce will look thick at first but will loosen up as it heats. Stir frequently while simmering.
Alternatively reheat for a few minutes in a microwave until piping hot.
Can any of the curry ingredients be substituted?
A few ideas:
- Sweet potatoes can be replaced with pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli, courgettes/zucchini, marrow, white potatoes, etc. Just consider any cooking differences between each veggie and keep an eye on them while slow cooking as some veggies may cook much quicker and others longer.
- Not a fan of chickpeas? Replace with any pulse or perhaps use a handful of sliced field beans/runner beans/yard long beans, green beans, etc.
- spinach can be replaced with another green veggie leaf such as kale but if so add this to the curry after 3 hours of cooking as kale will require a longer time to cook. I like to add a bag of mixed baby leaf [which has mainly spinach but also has watercress and rocket] the type intended for salad!
- Any type of pea can be added such as frozen, fresh or canned. Or replace with sweetcorn if preferred.
- Instead of fresh garlic and onion, replace either one or both with 2 teaspoons of dried or pureed garlic paste and 2 teaspoons onion powder. Frozen garlic or onion can also be used.
- The peanut garnish can be either lightly salted peanuts, roasted/toasted peanuts, or plain peanuts. Or replace with sunflower seeds. Dry toasting the seeds for a few minutes, in a small non-stick pan along with a sprinkle of salt, adds so much more flavour. Do stir frequently while toasting as they brown quickly.
I'm allergic to peanuts, can I replace the peanut butter used for the curry sauce?
The peanut butter can simply be omitted but for extra savoury flavour try one of these ideas:
- replacing peanut butter with sunflower seed or sesame butter
- add extra coconut in the form of creamed coconut block [about 3 tablespoons]
- add a tablespoon or two of soya sauce
- two teaspoons ginger paste/puree
- a tablespoon of tahini
- if you simply dislike peanut butter but are not allergic to nuts try replacing with another type of nut butter such as almond or cashew
Is this vegan red Thai curry also good for gluten-free diets?
Simply ensure that the vegan stock/broth is a gluten-free variety and the red Thai curry paste is also free from gluten ingredients.
Is vegan red Thai curry spicy?
This recipe used red curry paste from a jar of Geo Organics Red Thai curry paste. The flavour was not too spicy but pleasantly sweet, savoury and fruity with the right amount of spice. Although if you use a red Thai curry paste that is labelled hot or extra hot then the curry will be very spicy, which many people prefer!
Can I increase the spiciness level for Thai curry?
If preferred add one or two sliced red chilli's to the recipe along with the sweet potatoes, etc.
Or add the chilli at the end as a garnish if you have several family members who don't like too much spice but others who do.
A sprinkle of red chilli flakes for a garnish is also a nice touch adding extra chilli flavour.
Any ideas what I can do with leftover Thai curry?
Leftover red Thai curry is perfect for transforming into a savoury flavour packed Thai curry soup for next day's lunch. Just add extra liquid in the form of more coconut milk or vegan stock/broth.
Extra veggies can be added to bulk out the soup if trying to stretch out for more portions.
Frozen sweetcorn or sliced baby corncobs are a nice addition and will cook quickly while the soup is reheated. Or add a handful of frozen mixed veggies or more spinach/or baby leaf mix.
If more curry flavour is required add an extra tablespoon of red Thai curry paste, if you have any leftover.
Can I prepare this veggie Thai curry on the stove-top?
This red Thai recipe will cook quite quickly on the stove-top as sweet potatoes don't take long to soften up.
Follow the steps given in the recipe card, but reduce the cooking time, and adjust the liquid levels if necessary, depending on whether you like a thick or thin curry.
If preferred saute the onions and garlic in the coconut oil or a little vegan broth before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Alternatively for a stove top red Thai curry recipe check out this easy popular one we have on the family blog.
For more deliciously easy vegan curry recipes check out our collection [more added each week as my family loves curry!], especially this Saag Aloo [potato and spinach] and this amazing Tamarind Chickpea Soup which fires the taste buds with its sweet, spicy and tangy savoury flavours.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Curry [Red Thai]
- 3-3.5 Litre [3-4 Quarts] slow cooker or crockpot
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil optional, or replace with 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut plus 2 tablespoons of veggie stock/broth
- 800 grams sweet potatoes about 4 medium sized, sliced into thick chunks, peeled if blemished
- 4 garlic cloves sliced thin
- 140 grams onion 1 medium-large, diced
- 1 can chickpeas 400g can/15oz, drained, or 1 ¾ cups cooked
- 4 tablespoon red Thai curry paste such as geo Organics brand
- 1 can chopped tomatoes 400g/15oz can
- 60 grams peanut butter smooth or crunchy
- 250 mililitres vegetable stock broth
Add for last 10 minutes of slow cooking
- 80 grams spinach or a baby leaf mix
- 160 millilitres coconut milk canned, or use creamed coconut block or coconut milk powder to make up a thick coconut milk
- 140 grams peas fresh or frozen
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice or a few squeezes from a fresh lemon
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves or replace with coriander/cilantro, use more if liked [or ½-1 teaspoon dried mint]
- 5 tablespoons peanuts plain, toasted or lightly salted
- fresh herbs your choice such as coriander/cilantro, Thai basil, mint, chives, or if available use a selection
- Set the slow cooker to the high setting while you add each ingredient.
- Add the sweet potato, onion, garlic, coconut oil, red Thai curry paste, chopped tomatoes, peanut butter, and chickpeas to the slow cooker. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Cook for 3 hours and 50 minutes.[If preferred give it a stir about half way through but try not to remove the lid for too long as the heat will escape.]
- Pour in the coconut milk along with the peas and spinach. Give everything a good stir and pop the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes.
- Season with the fresh lemon juice, mint or coriander leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with extra fresh herbs and scatter some peanuts over. A sprinkle of red chilli flakes is also nice.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only as ingredients can vary.
- Data includes the peanut garnish, removing the peanuts brings the calories down to 410 and the fat to 14g per portion.
- Store leftovers within the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Or freeze for 3-4 months.
- Reheat by gently bringing to a simmer in a non-stick pan or pot, and simmer for 2-3 minutes until piping hot. Stir frequently.
- Leftover curry will look thick before reheating but will thin as the sauce is reheated.
- Serve with rice, naan breads, chapatis, parathas, mango chutney, lime or mint pickle, etc.
- Leftover red Thai curry can be thinned down with a little veggie stock or more coconut milk and enjoyed as a red Thai curry soup for next days lunch. Any spinach or cooked veggies needing used up can be added to bulk out the soup into extra portions. For extra flavour add a tablespoon of red Thai curry paste if you have some leftover.
- For a stove-top method check out the recipe notes for guidance on converting this recipe to stove-top.
- For a gluten-free red Thai curry choose a gluten-free vegan stock and gluten-free curry paste. The Geo Organics red Thai curry paste is free from gluten ingredients.
- Want to prepare your own authentic red Thai curry paste? Have a look at the recipe notes above for a link to a recipe.
- Allergic to peanuts? Try replacing the peanut butter with one of the following: sunflower seed butter, sesame butter, a tablespoon of tahini, 1-2 tablespoons soya sauce, 3 tablespoons creamed coconut block, or 2 teaspoons ginger paste.
- Simply dislike peanuts? Use an alternative such as almond or cashew butter.
- For a lighter curry use a lite or reduced fat coconut milk.
- Want to use the low or medium setting for the slow cooker? For the low setting cook the curry for 6-7 hours before adding the additional ingredients [although do check the sweet potato for doneness before adding green leaves, peas and coconut milk, and either turn the heat to high to finish the curry off, or increase the time the peas, etc, cook from 10 minutes to about 20-30 minutes].
- For the medium slow cooker setting check the potatoes after 4 ½-5 hours.
- Although do check your own slow cooker guidance on cooking times as they may vary especially for older and more modern slow cookers.
Prepared this tasty slow cooker red Thai curry?
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