Friday, May 30, 2014

Thai Green Curry

Up there with channa saag on my list of favorite exotic dishes is Thai green curry. I'm very likely to order this at a Thai restaurant and I also am likely to have several containers of the pre-made, store-bought spice mixture sitting around my apartment. The light, sweet flavors of ginger and basil sing together in my mouth! Previously, I've never tried to make it on my own because up high on the ingredients list, along with the ginger and basil, is lemon grass. I've never seen lemon grass in the grocery store, but this week while standing in line at the farmers market, I noticed a big stalk of lemon grass on sale for 25¢. Eureka! I added it to my cart and decided that I was going to give making own green curry a go. Turns out, the spice mixture used to make Thai green curry is much more forgiving than the spice mixtures I've been playing with to make authentic Indian food. I chose to use it to stir fry bok choy, bean sprouts, and eggplant. Bok choy is packed with vitamins A and C and offers health benefits like those of other cruiciferous vegetables. Bean sprouts are also rich in vitamins and minerals and offer a complementary protein source to the bok choy. The eggplant, while nutritious in its own right, was mostly added as sponge for the green curry sauce! I served it all over wild rice, but you can feel free to experiment once you give the green curry a try with the easy recipe below!

Thai Green Curry

1 bunch basil
2 large blades of lemon grass
1 small bunch cilantro (~6-10 stems)
1/3 onion
1 very large chunk fresh ginger (about 6 thumb-sized pieces)
3 cloves or (1T minced) garlic
2-3T sirracha (to taste)
2-3T brown sugar (to taste)
dash cumin and corriander
2c coconut milk (I used the carton-type from TJs. It's less rich than the canned and worked well!)

Add all ingredients to the food processor. Food process until smooth. Pour into a pan, pull out any unprocessed, tough strands of lemon grass, and bring to a summer.

Once the sauce was simmering, I added a stir fry of:
3 bunches bok choy, sliced (a cruciferous vegetable!)
1 bag bean sprouts
2 small eggplants, diced
which I allowed to simmer in the sauce until all the vegetables were tender. Then I served it over wild rice. However, you can use the sauce for any number of stir fried vegetables and then serve them over a bed of any type of rice or noodle. Hope you enjoy it!

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