Our Hearts and Minds still seem to be in Bangkok 🙂 We Miss it!!! So foodies, coming back from Thailand and thai curry being our favourite , gives us a good enough reason to share this on our menu. We love it so much that it is cooked quite frequently in our kitchen. Coincidently be it lunch or dinner at our respective places, Thai curry is on the menu by default. No matter what cuisine is cooked for the guests, Thai curry just has to be there. Not just us, everyone in our family is quite fond of it. Such is the irony that each time when Sakshi and I think that we have had enough of it and our stomachs are already bursting, we still make sure that we finish it to the last bit. Foodies, I have had Thai curry a lot many times but there is one fond memory of it which I would like to share with you guys.
That day is still quite fresh in my memory. A few months back, we(my hubby and me) were out on a holiday. I still remember our last day at Christchurch in New Zealand. It is a nice, peaceful city where we can go for activities like Antarctic world and gondola ride. After visiting these rides, we were very tired and our hungry palate pushed us in search of a good restaurant. Thanks to my tech savvy hubby who selected the best restaurant in the city, we decided to walk down to it. Let me tell you that Christchurch is quite known for its Botanical gardens. These gardens are in the heart of the city and thereby it is often called the Garden City. We walked through this beautiful stretch of botanical gardens to reach our destination. It was an Indian restaurant and one of the best in Christchurch. The walk was beautiful with all the greenery around but was way too long as we were damn hungry. We walked almost two kms deciding on the dishes we would order on the way itself. We were so tired and hungry that we wanted to waste no time in eyeing the menu. We finally reached and guess what?? The restaurant was closed . We still rang a bell outside the restaurant that said ‘Take away zone’ but there was no reply .I am sure you all can imagine how shattered we must have been when we walked for almost two kms after a tiresome day to reach one of the famous eating joints with exactly the kind of food which we wanted, and the place is shut .We tried searching for nearby places for other restaurant. We were planning to go back to the hotel when we saw a Thai restaurant. We were bit hesitant to enter as we wondered if we shall get anything vegetarian there. As we stepped in nobody seemed to be around and we thought that this was closed as well. By now we realized that it was half past four and quite an odd time for lunch. But foodies, when you are on a vacation you hate to follow timings. Hope you all will agree 🙂 To our surprise, a young lady walked up to greet us. She hardly knew English. She was running the restaurant and stayed there along with her grandmother. She tried asking us what we wanted to have. I still remember how we managed to explain to her. “ Thai curry….but veg…pure veg… no chicken…no meat..no fish..only vegetables :)She smiled and said,”ooohhh..ok ok…. okay okay “;We were chatting over a drink and could hear the sound of chopping and grinding. The fragrance of the curry was making us even more impatient. While we sat idle we started observing the ambience. It seemed like a local Thai restaurant operated by the lady who was actually the native of Thailand. As we turned we saw a big bowl of Thai curry along with some rice in front of us. It was boiling hot and the fragrance defined its freshness. We breathed a sigh of relief and started eating. For the first five minutes, we were just eating and trust me friends the taste was so good that we finished the entire bowl and really relished this lovely meal which we shared. It was the best Thai curry we have ever had. We thanked her in best possible way we could. Also it was too sweet an incidence as we didn’t share the same language and neither of us had met before but she still served us with the most delicious Thai curry we have ever had despite the fact that the restaurant was closed. Till date whenever we have Thai curry, this incidence comes to our mind 🙂
So Foodies let’s get talking about our favourite Thai curry 🙂 Thai curry refers to dishes in Thai cuisine that are made with various types of curry paste; the term can also refer to the pastes themselves. A veg Thai curry dish is made from curry paste, coconut milk or water, vegetables or fruit, and herbs. Curries in Thailand mainly differ from the curries in Indian cuisine and other South Asian cuisines in their use of fresh ingredients such as herbs and aromatic leaves over a mix of spices.
Curries include Thai red, green and yellow. Red curry and Green curry are easily the most popular curries, utilizing chili peppers, garlic, lemon grass, and coconut milk, among other essential herbs and spices, depending upon the region or brand.
The method for making veg Thai red curry is same as the veg Thai green curry. just instead of green chillies, red chillies are added to the curry and yellow curry was made with yellow chilies. However, as time went on, other ingredients were added to enhance each of these curries, making them more distinct: Yellow curry began to see turmeric added as one of the vital ingredients. Green curry has been made ‘more green’ over the years with the addition of some or all of the following: fresh coriander (cilantro), lime leaf (kaffir lime leaf), and basil.
Red curry has more or less remained the same, with traditional Thai chefs adding up to 20 red chilies to make it red and fiery hot. However, some modern chefs prefer to reduce the amount of chilies in exchange for chili powder, which has the added benefit of enhancing the red color of this curry as well as giving it a deeper flavor.
Foodies what we have on our menu today is Thai red curry. This Thai Red Curry is fragrant and sumptuous, and can be made anywhere from mild to red-hot, depending on your taste. It starts with a homemade Thai red curry paste which is easily put together with your food processor or blender. Add coconut milk and some vegetables, and you have a healthy and hearty curry dish that will awaken your senses and boost your mood. As we mentioned that some prefer to add red chilli powder in exchange of red chillies but in our kitchen we like it the authentic style and so red chillies is one of the major ingredients in our recipe. May be the color gets less enhanced with red chilies but its addition makes the end result truly authentic which indeed makes the recipe a winner. Red curry is hot, spicy and is great combination with Thai lemon grass rice or even plain rice.
Not only this, we are so sure that you will be drooling over the rich velvety texture of this Thai red curry. This is mainly because of addition of coconut milk. Coconut milk is a liquid that comes from grated coconut. It is a crucial part of a plant based diet because it is a vegan replacement for milk that doesn’t require much compromise. It boasts a creamy consistency and a delicious taste. It is extraordinarily versatile and serves a variety of purposes in the kitchen. From breakfast to dinner and savory to sweet, coconut milk has a place in your diet. It is packed with vitamins C,E,B1,B3,B5, and B6 as well as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. And its benefits don’t end in the gut. It makes an effective beauty product as well 🙂
Along with coconut milk Herbs and Spices are an essential part of Thai cooking. Used in combination, they help achieve a balance of the four essential Thai tastes: salty, sour, spicy, and sweet. Nearly every Thai recipe begins with a paste. While it is possible to buy ready-made Thai pastes (such as red, yellow, and green curry), these packaged spice mixes will not give you the same flavor and aroma—not to mention nutrients—as a paste made from scratch. In the Thai kitchen, pastes were traditionally made using whole spices and herbs (some fresh, others dried) pounded together with a pestle & mortar. While many Thai chefs still prefer to use this method, a food processor is a convenient and adequate substitute. Most Thai pastes start with shallots (or onions), garlic, and green or red chilies. Added to this may be a variety of other spices and herbs, including dried or fresh coriander, Thai chili powder, galangal, green peppercorns, lemongrass, and turmeric. Kaffir lime leaves are also a common ingredient, lending a uniquely Thai flavor to pastes or simmering dishes. Lemongrass is used in various ways in Thai cooking. For some dishes, it is chopped and pounded, other times it is simply cut into long pieces and “bruised” (bent and kneaded or even lightly cut in several places) to release the scent and flavor for soups and curries. Galangal is a relative of ginger, as is fresh turmeric. If you can’t find galangal ,you can substitute it with Indian ginger. These roots (actually rhizomes) add valuable nutrients and depth of flavor to many Thai dishes. Finally, no Thai recipe would be complete without a good supply of fresh basil. Thais make use of several types of basil in their cooking, included sweet basil, and Thai holy basil.
Here’s our recipe of Thai Red Curry with Vegetables and Coconut Milk. It is really so easy to make.
Foodies we love everything about this recipe – perfect consistency, taste and so easy to make. Also, can be easily modified to suit ingredients’ availability. It’s a must try 🙂
Sakshi n Parul