Thai Green Curry
I cheated! Yes, I did! I used Thai Green Curry paste instead of making the paste out of scratch. Please don’t kill me!
There, I am done with my confession. Now, we shall move on.
Seriously, I have become such a ‘short-cut’ girl. I scour the supermarket stores for various ready-made pastes and sauces, although I admit that I have not been able to bring myself up to buying them. I think I am more comfortable buying ginger-garlic paste, tamarind paste and Thai curry pastes than other stuff such as Ragu sauce.
In all fairness, I had tried to make Thai green curry once when I was living in Mumbai, at my cousin’s place. My cousin and I had got hold of this sure-fire recipe in a Sunday Times of India issue and rushed off to the newly opened Godrej Nature’s Basket in Lokhandwala. We had bought all the ingredients – lemon grass, galangal, Thai bird’s eye chillies, basil and the rest from the outlet and set off earnestly to making the curry. Somehow, the end product did not taste like the ones in the restaurants. Maybe the ratio of the ingredients was not right. We felt totally let down that day. Since then, I started relying more on the ready-made Thai curry pastes and have not regretted much.
Coming back to the dish of the day, I made this curry for Monday office lunch. Sadly, the curry turned out to be more of Thai White Curry than Green Curry – there was hardly a spoonful of curry paste in the bottle. Nevertheless, it did not alter the taste that much and still carried that enticing whiff of Thai aromatics. Also, I decided to make it a vegetarian dish as we had too much of meat over the weekend. You can add thinly sliced chicken to the pot in case the vegetarian version does not work for you.
And now, for the recipe.
Thai Green Curry (Vegetable)
1 bowl of button mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6-7 baby corns, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
5-6 basil leaves
2 teaspoons Thai Green Curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Refined oil for cooking
You can do this in two ways – both will result in the same, I guess. You can either sauté the vegetables (mushrooms, bell peppers, chillies, baby corns) separately and then add to the curry paste in a wok, or you can fry the curry paste in oil and then add the vegetables to cook.
I adopted the first one this time. So, let me write it from that point of view.
Heat some oil in a wok and tip in the mushrooms and the baby corns. The mushrooms will release water immediately. Do not let the water dry up, they have immense flavor. Next, add the bell peppers and the chillies. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for a few minutes and take the wok off the gas before the veggies turn limp. I love the crunchiness of the veggies.
In another wok, heat a little oil and spoon in the curry paste. Fry the paste till it loses its raw smell. Now, add the cooked veggies with all their juices, and mix well. Add half a cup of water and let it come to a boil. Then, lower the heat and pour in 2 cups of coconut milk. Throw in the basil leaves and let the curry simmer for a while. Check for salt and pepper. And you are done! Do not forget to add a dash of lime juice before serving the curry.
I love the sweetness of the coconut milk and the underlying tartness provided by the lime. The basil leaves infuse a wonderful aroma to the dish and I can never have enough of this curry. It is somewhat of a comfort dish for me, accompanied with steamed rice. Although the curry turned out more white than green this time when I cooked it, my colleagues nevertheless loved it and all of us had a happy time relishing the dish.
So, when are making your version of Thai curry next?