It’s been a great summer so far and for once I didn’t seem to want school to start. The fact that I didn’t get to spend my entire summer with Nikhil may partly or wholly have to do with it. He was on a trip to the US this summer – all by “his self” as he used to say when he was younger:). I know – we were either bold or crazy, but the distance did make the heart grow wayy fonder:) …I’m still reveling in the afterglow of the impromptu hugs (which he wouldn’t be caught dead doing in public of course) and the occasional niceties. And so it wasn’t entirely surprising that he got to be the creator of the weekly menu last week. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all his choice and I was pleasantly surprised (and secretly proud) that he chose healthy and even some gluten free dishes for our dinners:).
The best part – I got to finally get out of the usual menu rut and try some new dishes all over again. It was Thai Green Curry night one evening and we were both proud of how good it turned out;). There’s nothing more satisfying than watching plates being (literally) licked clean:).
The green curry paste recipe is inspired from Love Food Eat’s lovely blog. I made very few changes but most of the recipe is similar. I wanted to use Thai basil originally but couldn’t find it in time for dinner, so like the original recipe I used sweet basil but also added a sprig of mint. Sweet basil does change the taste slightly but adding mint gives it the bite that Thai basil adds. Also, as the original post suggests, do make sure you use only the authentic Thai ingredients like Galangal (young ginger), kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and Thai basil leaves. Do not try other substitutions or you will compromise on the taste.
Ingredients for the green curry paste (this makes enough for about 6 people. You can also make and freeze for use later)
- 3 stalks of lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 1 inch galangal (young ginger), roughly chopped
- 10-15 thai green chilies
- 3-4 chopped kafir lime leaves
- 3 tbsp chopped basil leaves (if using sweet basil, use 2 tbsp of basil and 1 tbsp of mint)
- 8 garlic pods
- 3 chopped shallots
- a sprig of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu or soy sauce
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
Method: Grind all the above to a fine paste using no water as far as possible. I used about 1-2 tbsp of warm water only to mix the ingredients or if the blender wouldn’t spin, but do use sparingly.
Ingredients for Green Curry:
- 2 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch matchsticks
- Enoki mushrooms – 1 bunch roughly chopped
- Baby corn – 6-7, sliced thin
- Broad beans (I used these instead of snow peas and the taste was good) – 1/2 cup, chopped into 1 inch pieces.
- Tofu (extra firm)- 1/2cup chopped into cubes
- Red bell pepper – 3/4, roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces.
- Coconut milk – 1 cup
- 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 3-4 green chilies, sliced
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- Water, as needed for consistency
- Salt to taste.
- Blanch or steam the veggies.
- Heat oil in a vessel, add the crushed garlic when the oil is hot. Add the green chilies.
- Now add the green curry paste and fry on a medium flame till the curry paste blends with the oil and garlic and the raw smell goes away.
- Add about 1/2 cup water, then add the steamed veggies. Mix well and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Add soy sauce as needed. Make sure that the mixture does not come to a boil but simmers on a medium flame.
- Add the tofu. Add salt and sugar to taste.
- Garnish with fresh basil and cilantro (optional).
Serve hot over white or brown rice.