Sunday, September 11, 2011

After green curry

When I was in Thailand, I took an afternoon cooking class and one of the highlights was making my own green curry.

We rode a Rot Dang to some sheet-metal pole barn, and got a lesson from the only "cooking school" in Chaing Mai that advertised itself as "vegetarian friendly." It was a blinding hot paste of green chilis, toasted spices, and the general Thai menagerie of cilantro, coriander, galangal, etc.

Since I foolishly left that cookbook at my folks' house, and haven't been able to get it back, I've been flailing along with a succession of green curry recipes, most recently this one.

Because you go to the stove with the ingredients that you've got, not the ingredients that you'd like (well, more that I don't really plan shopping by recipes), Amy and I made a series of substitutions from almost the giddyup. Our recipe follows:

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp whole white or regular peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek (Amy hates anise, so we don't buy it)

Grind to powder.

1 1/2 tbsps garlic
3 tbsps cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 cup loosely packed chili leaves
1/2 cup chopped Thai chilis (leave seeds in)
1 cup green pepper
2 tbsps ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbsps lemon juice
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp shallots
1/2 tbsp Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce

We fried up a bunch of veggies to go with 2/3 cup of the above paste:

1 1/2 cup cubed tofu
1 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cup chopped potato (two small red potatoes)
3/4 cup beet (one golden beet)
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 can light coconut milk
1 tbsp cane sugar

It came out well, tasting halfway between a green curry and a yellow one, and very spicy. We didn't have a blender, so it was mostly chopped and blended with a mortar and pestle. There are half a dozen ways I could make it more authentic, but it was damn tasty and tomorrow we're going to scramble it with eggs (and maybe rice noodles).

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