Friday, 16 January 2009

Quick Thai Green curry

Coconut milk, thai green curry paste and shiitake mushrooms were all new ingredients to me about 10 years ago, now this dish has become a standby favourite, especially with shop bought thai green curry paste.

Steaming hot

Serves 4
3 tbsp vegetable oil
300g cauliflower cut into even sized florets
300g carrots peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick coins
150g fine green beans, topped and tailed (lucky me I still have some of my own in my freezer)
125g shitake mushrooms kept whole or halved if large
200ml vegetable stock made with bouillon powder
400ml unsweetened coconut milk
1tsp tamari
4 dried or fresh kaffir lime leave
Coriander to taste

Green curry paste
For it to be quick, it has to be from a jar. Use 3 - 4 tbsp of shop bought brand. I often do. Or if you do have time, make your own.

2 stalks of lemongrass, remove tough outer leaves and chop the rest very finely
2 shallots, finely sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
4 – 6 green chillies depending on your taste buds
11/2 tsp each of freshly ground coriander and ground cumin
5 cloves of garlic
80g coriander including stalks
2tbsp of grated ginger

To make the curry paste, put all the ingredients into a food processor, or do it the old fashioned way in a pestle and mortar (but that won't be quick). The paste will yield a little more than necessary, but you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks for another meal. For the above meal, you will only need 4 tbsp of the paste or 5 tbsp if you like it spicier. I do.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add cauliflower florets. Cook them in the hot oil for 10 minutes, until they begin to brown and soften slightly. Check by inserting a fork. Add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes, then add the green beans and cook for a couple of minutes. I do like my vegetables to have a bit of a bite.

Then add the shitake mushrooms and sauté for a minute of so. Now add the coconut milk and half of the stock and 4 tbsp of green curry paste, the tamari and the Kaffir lime leaves.

Simmer for a few minutes, then add the remaining stock. Stir gently until blend.

Serve with lovely plain basmati rice or in keeping with the Thai theme – Thai Jasmine rice.

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