December 17th, 2008
Vegetarian Thai Green Curry
Thai cooking was one area I had not ventured into, for a long time. I had been reading about Thai food, the glories of their fragrant Jasmine rice, exotic green, red and yellow curries, green papaya salad and the like. Having sampled excellent Pad Thai and other dishes in an Asian fine dining restaurant for my birthday didn’t prove to motivate me enough to create Thai food in my kitchen.
About a year ago, Ro happened to be in Bangkok. Since cuisines taste best and sometimes even different in their native places, I egged him to try out Thai cuisine. Being a complete foodie and having eaten a lot of Thai food even in his non-vegetarian days, he would surely be able to tell the difference.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that after staying in Bangkok for 4 days, he was about to leave for Mumbai in 4 hours and had not eaten a single Thai dish! He told me that he had been surviving on Pizzas, Pastas and Chinese grub. It was when I reminded him: Ro you cant be leaving Bangkok without eating Thai food! He then decided to have Thai cuisine for lunch at the hotel in which he was staying. Ro requested the chef for a pure vegetarian Thai menu without any oyster sauce and shrimp paste and was served the Thai green curry with plain steamed Jasmine rice and a salad. He relished the Thai Green curry so much that he requested the hotel staff to give him the recipe for me, which they kindly obliged. When I served the Thai green curry for lunch today, he told me that he feels he is in Bangkok. So much so for almost having left Bangkok without tasting any Thai fare!
Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe
This recipe is courtesy the staff at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit hotel in Bangkok. Since I like to eat and serve fresh food, I have modified the ingredients for the curry paste to make one serving of the curry, which should easily serve 4 people. Add the chillies to your liking and if you cant place the Thai green chillies substitute with local green chillies.
For the curry paste:
8 to 10 Prik Kee Noo chillies/birds eye chillies/thai chillies or 3 to 4 green chillies
2 Lemon grass stalks chopped
2 or 3 Kaffir Lime leaves (if dry use soaked in hot water) (optional)
½ cup Coriander leaves (use the stalks as well)
1 tsp Galangal or fresh root ginger
1 tsp Coriander seeds
½ tsp Peppercorns
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Groundnut/Peanut or any other vegetable oil
2 tbsp Water
For the Curry:
400ml Coconut milk
1 medium size Broccoli cut into florets
1 potato cut into cubes
10 to 12 Baby corns chopped into thirds
1 Red bell pepper/capsicum
2 tbsp Cashew nuts
½ cup Vegetable stock (you can reserve water from cooking vegetables)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
Method: Blend all the ingredients for the curry paste in a mixer/blender into a smooth paste. Cook the baby corn, potato and broccoli in a cup and a half of water. Heat the oil in a pan or a wok and fry the cashew nuts and red bell pepper until the cashewnuts are golden brown. Stir in the curry paste and fry for a minute or two until the raw smell is gone. Add in the cooked vegetables. Lower the flame and pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, stirring all the while to prevent splitting the coconut milk.
Serve with Thai Jasmine Rice, Plain Rice or Pad Thai.