Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Recipe Wednesday: Thai Curry

Thailand is a fascinating country. Unique among Southeast Asian nations, it was never colonized by a European power. The Thai king has reigned since 1946, making him the longest-serving current head of state. (He is also protected from a great deal of criticism, as Thailand has very strict lèse majesté laws.) These interesting factoids aside, the land formerly known as Siam is justifiably well-known for beautiful beaches, the island of Ko Tapu (aka "James Bond Island"), brutally efficient martial arts, and a cornucopia of curries.

In fact, there are at least a dozen curries common to Thailand, so calling this dish "Thai curry" is rather reductionist and simplistic. But there is a method to my my madness!
My own Thai curry recipe is mostly a blend of two different dishes, panang curry and the Persian-influenced massaman curry, hence the generic name.

Thai Curry
(serves 4-6)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3-5 red chili peppers, diced
2 tablespoons of galangal or ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks of lemongrass (inner white part only), minced

2 14 oz. cans of coconut milk
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander

2-3 carrots, sliced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
3-4 kaffir lime leaves

1 12 oz. container extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice
1/3 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon tamari or other soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave

Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid on medium heat. Add the chili peppers, galangal or ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the coconut milk and use an immersion blender to mix everything together. Stir in the cumin, coriander, carrots, cabbage, potato and kaffir lime leaves. Cover and cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

One the potatoes and carrots are done, add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the kaffir lime leaves prior to serving.

This dish is best served over a nice bowl of jasmine rice. It isn't especially spicy, so have a bottle of sriracha handy to add a bit of kick (as in Muay Thai, i.e. Thai kickboxing!) if so desired.

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