Today is the last week for the Blogging Marathon 61 and under the category of meal ideas; here is a third meal on the blog. After posting Indian Methi Matar Malai and paratha on day 1, Italian meal on day 2, today is a new cuisine; Thai. If you have been following my blog closely, you would know that Thai cuisine is making its appearance pretty often. So after pad thai noodles and basil fried rice, here is Thai Red Curry to complete the basic Thai meal trio.
Red curry is a popular Thai dish consisting of red curry paste cooked in coconut milk and added with meat or vegetarian protein such as tofu. The vegetables generally used in red curry are radish, baby corn, mushroom, bamboo shoots, water chestnut, broccoli and carrots. But when made at home, this curry can be made from vegetables of your choice. Add the ones you like, leave out the ones you dislike! Along with vegetables, there are herbs, red curry paste and coconut milk in this dish.
The base Thai red curry paste (prik gaeng ped) is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, and remains moist throughout the preparation process. The red coloring derived from dry red spur chillies. The main ingredients include (dried) red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, galangal, salt, cumin seeds, peppercorns, coriander root, coriander seeds, kaffir lime peel, shrimp paste, and lemongrass. Today, the prepared Thai red curry pastes are available at markets produced in mass quantities, and also available in bottled jar produced by some brands. Make sure you look at the label if you do not prefer a sauce with shrimp or fish. Many brands have a vegan version of the paste.
I bought the vegan version of the paste, but you can choose to make it at home too. Though I have not tried it yet, there are tons of recipes online. I used baby corn, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms chiefly because that is what we like and I had at home. I would have added zucchini and bean sprouts if I had them! This recipe is super forgiving and adaptable. Just choose what you like and leave the rest. Also, if you eat meat, you can add meat too.
I used packaged coconut milk, but again you can use homemade too. If you buy the ready one, choose the one that is thick to ensure your curry does not become runny. Basil leaves are essential in this dish and adding fresh basil leaves gives the dish its freshness and flavor. Some recipes also call for peanut butter or crushed peanuts. You may add them if you like. Serve this dish with brown rice, pad thai noodles or basil fried rice. Complete the meal with this cold Pina Colada!
Vegetables 1 cup ( I used baby corn, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms)
Green and red pepper 1/2 medium
Spring onion whites and green 3-4 stalks
Extra firm tofu 1 box
Unsweetened coconut milk 1 1/2 cup
Thai red curry paste 2-3 tbsp (homemade or store bought)
Thai Basil 7-8 leaves
Red Chili Sauce 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce 1 tsp
Vegetable Oil 1 tbsp
Salt, Pepper, Lemon Juice, Sugar
Cut the vegetables and set aside. Remove excess water from tofu and cube it. Heat oil in a pan, add peppers and saute. Then add the spring onion whites and mix well. Then, add the vegetables in the following order: baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Let them cook for a while and then add the red curry paste.
Once the vegetables sizzle, add coconut milk, red chilli sauce, soy sauce, sugar and lemon juice. Mix well, add salt, pepper and sugar as per taste. Thin the curry with water as required and finally add roughly cut basil leaves. Finally, add the tofu cubes.
Mix well, and once it all comes together well, turn down the flame. Sprinkle the spring onion greens, add a couple of basil leaves and serve with a side of boiled noodles or sticky rice. The curry tastes equally great with some brown rice.