Earlier I shared with you a Thai curry recipe with Tofu and vegetables (Tofu & Green Bean Red Curry). This is the second one in the league which is slightly different in preparation. Here I baked the tofu before making curry which gives it a slight smoky flavour. I also use a lot more vegetables this time with cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and green beans together which make it a delight for food lovers. Indeed this dish contains all the good properties of vegetables and rich in tofu protein too.
Thai curries are not so difficult to make once you have the curry pastes. I had red curry paste in my stock as I prepared Thai Red Chicken Curry few days back. Again I found few vegetables in the refrigerator, so thought to prepare a vegetable Thai dish. I also used tofu, a soy milk product, which enhanced the taste and made it protein rich as well.
Ingredients to serve 4-6 :
- Canned coconut milk – 600 ml.
- Thai red curry paste – 1 tbspoon (find the recipe in Thai Red Chicken Curry)
- Thai fish sauce – 1 tbspoon
- Brown sugar or plam sugar – 2 teaspoon
- Button mushroom (brown/white) – 225 gm.
- Green beans (trimmed) – 115 gm.
- Firm tofu (rinsed, drained and cut into 2 cm. cubes) – 175 gm.
- Kaffir lime leaves (torn) – 4
- Fresh red chilli (seeded and sliced) – 2
- Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Pour about one-third of the coconut milk into a wok or pan. Cook until it starts to separate and an oily sheen appears on the surface.
Add the red curry paste, fish sauce and sugar to the coconut milk. Mix thoroughly, then add the mushrooms. Stir and cook for one minute.
Stir in the remaining coconut milk. Bring back to boil, then add the green beans and tofu cubes. Simmer gently for 4-5 minutes more.
Stir in the kaffir lime leaves and sliced red chillies. Spoon the curry into a serving dish, garnish with the coriander leaves and serve immediately.
You can have it with any Thai rice.
These days I am in love with the Thai chicken curries just because of their simplicity. They are less spicy and less time consuming too, only you need to gather few ingredients to have the authentic taste. And I simply adore the Thai signature of having coconut flavour with lemon grass and Kaffir lime leaves in the gravy. Few days back I shared with you the Thai Green Chicken Curry. Now this is a turn for red chicken curry, essentially quite in the same line of its green counterpart. Hope it will add variation to your already stout chicken preparation list.
Ingredients to serve 2 – 3 :
- Boneless chicken breast portion (diced) – 250 gm.
- Coconut milk – 500 ml.
- Thai fish sauce – 1 tbspoon
- Granulated sugar – ½ tbspoon
- Canned bamboo shoot (drained, rinsed and sliced) – about 120 gm.
- Kaffir lime leaves (torn) – 2-3
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh red chillies and kaffir lime leaves to garnish
For the red curry paste :
- Coriander seeds/powder – ½ teaspoon (I used powder as I didn’t have coriander seeds)
- Cumin seeds – ¼ teaspoon
- Fresh red chillies (seeded and coarsely chopped) – 6 – 7
- Shallots (thinly sliced) – 2
- Garlic (chopped) – 1 clove
- Fresh ginger (chopped) – ½ tbspoon
- Lemon grass stalks (chopped) – 1
- Kaffir lime leaves (chopped) – 1-2
- Fresh coriander roots – 2 (I didn’t find it, so used coriander stem)
- Black peppercorn – 5
- Good pinch of ground cinnamon
- Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
- Shrimp paste – ¼ teaspoon
- Salt – ½ teaspoon
- Vegetable oil – 1 tbspoon
To make curry paste dry roast coriander seeds/powder and cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes, then put in a mortar or food processor with all the remaining ingredients except the oil. Pound or process to a paste. Add the vegetable oil, little at a time, mixing or processing well after each addition. Now your curry paste is ready to use.
Pour half of the coconut milk into a large, heavy pan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the coconut milk has separated.
Add 1½ tbspoon of the red curry paste and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the curry paste is thoroughly incorporated.
Add the diced chicken, fish sauce and sugar to the pan. Stir well, then lower the heat and cook gently for 5-6 minutes, stirring until the chicken changes colour and is cooked through. Take care that the curry does not stick to the base of the pan.
Pour the remaining coconut milk into the pan, then add the sliced bamboo shoots and torn lime leaves. Bring back to the boil over medium heat, add salt and ground black pepper.
As the gravy thickens to your desired consistency put the gas off and spoon the curry into a serving dish, garnish with chopped chilli and lime leaves.
Serve with any Thai rice.
- The remaining red curry paste can be kept in a closed jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- If you want more red colour in your curry, then use few dry red chilli/Kashmiri red chilli powder in the curry paste.
- Straw mushrooms can be used instead of, or as well as, bamboo shoots.
Over the days, I grew real fondness for Thai cuisines which should count next to my all time favourite, the “Indochinese”. 🙂 Although, while in India, I did not really have a go for Thai foods, here in Europe I found a plenty of Thai restaurants which instigated the love affair. I can still recall my first visit to a Thai restaurant in a small town of Germany, where we used to stay before, and did not really expect to have a Thai restaurant. I ordered a chicken dish (no longer remember the name) which came with a sweet flavour of coconut, lot of veggies and a small bowl of sticky rice. Initially I thought that it will not be sufficient to fill my stomach although later found it difficult to finish all by myself. The best part of the Thai foods is that they are less spicy and oily (much unlike Indian food), still make a tasty gravy. The paste used in making of the gravies are quite easy to prepare at home. On the top of that most of the ingredients are known to us Indians and can be found in kitchen, so you do not have to run around to look for a Thai shop.
Here I describe the recipe of the famous “Thai Green Chicken Curry”, which is a blend of number of herbs and coconut milk. Since I was also a bit bored having the Indian and Mughlai chicken recipes, the green curry of chicken was a pleasant departure. Ideally the Thai curries should be served with Thai rice which is a bit sticky and soft. I had the green curry with Jasmine rice.
Ingredients to serve 4 :
- Skinless, boneless chicken breast portion (diced) – 3
- Green bell pepper (seeded and thinly sliced) – 1
- Coconut milk – 2½ cup (600 ml.)
- Salt and ground black pepper
For green curry paste :
- Spring onion (trimmed and coarsely chopped) – 4
- Fresh green chilli (seeded and coarsely chopped) – 1 – 2
- Fresh root ginger (peeled) – ¾” piece
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Thai fish sauce – 1 teaspoon (5 ml.)
- Fresh coriander – 1 large bunch
- Small handful of fresh parsley
- Sunflower oil – 2 tbspoon (30 ml.)
- Water – 2 – 3 tbspoon (30 – 45 ml.)
Put the ingredients for ‘green curry paste’ in a food processor or blender (initially add 2 tbspoon of water). Process to a smooth paste, adding a further 1 tbspoon water if required.
Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the diced chicken until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the green pepper and stir – fry for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the ‘green curry paste’. Stir – fry for 3 – 4 minutes, until the mixture becomes fairly thick.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and bring to boil, then reduce the heat, half cover the pan and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked, transfer it, with the green pepper, to a plate. Boil the cooking liquid remaining in the pan for 10 – 12 minutes, until it is well reduced and fairly thick.
Return the chicken and pepper to the green curry sauce, stir well and cook gently for 2 – 3 minutes to heat through.
Spoon the curry over rice and serve immediately. I served it with Jasmine rice. You can serve it with coconut rice too.
Prawns, however often touted by perfectionists as a sea food not really featuring on the fish category, actually hold high status for us Bengali/Indians as a celebrated fish item and even remain as demanding as Hilsha, the undoubted queen of fishes. Prawns particularly the large ones like tiger prawn make a good dish itself while the smaller ones enhances the taste of many other dishes when used as one of the major ingredients. Today I am giving a well-known bengali recipe called “chingri macher malaikari”, which is seemingly the most popular prawn dish, where the larger prawns are soaked in coconut milk and make a proud combination of fish flesh and rich gravy.
Ingredients to serve 6 – 7 :
- Prawn (preferably king prawns) – 500 gm.
- Onion (medium) – 1
- Garlic – 2 – 3 cloves
- Ginger – 1 inch
- Tomato (medium) – 1
- Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
- Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Whole garam masala
- Bay leaf – 2
- Thick coconut milk – 250 ml.
- Salt & sugar to taste
- Cooking oil
Wash, clean and devein the prawns. Peel the prawns but keep the shell on head and on tail. Smear salt and turmeric powder on prawns and keep aside for 20-30min.
Cut the onion and tomato into four parts. Then make a smooth paste with onion, ginger, garlic and tomato in a blender and arrange the ingredients as shown in the picture.
Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Add the prawns and fry till they start changing colour. Do not overcook the prawns, otherwise they will turn chewy and hard. Keep the fried prawns aside.
In the same pan or kadai add some more oil. Do not need to throw away the oil from fried prawns on which the fresh oil can be added. As the oil heats up, add bay leaf and whole garam masala (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves), cook till the spices release nice aroma. Then add the already made paste of ginger, garlic, onion and tomato. Cook them for 2-3 minutes, then add turmeric powder and chilli powder and cook until oil comes out from the mixture. The paste should look like the picture given below before adding the coconut milk.Now add the coconut milk and a little bit of water. As the mixture boils add salt and sugar as per your taste and then the fried prawns. Cover and cook on low-medium flame for 3-4min. do not overcook the prawns. Check seasoning, accordingly add salt and sugar. Switch off the heat. Sprinkle garam masala powder, close the lid immediately. Let it stand for 10min. Serve with steamed hot rice.
- I have used packed/canned coconut milk, which are readily available in any grocery stores. If you like you can make fresh coconut milk. For that scrape the coconut and keep soaked in hot water. Make a fine paste of the coconut and strain it, your coconut milk is ready.
- You can use cumin powder as well as cumin seeds in your curry. I don’t like to add them in this curry of mine, so I skip them.