Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Easy, Healthy, Green Veggie Curry


I have never actually made a curry before, so I was pretty nervous when I decided to try this. But I have been seeing green curry paste at the store for a while and I decided to make it happen. I went with a fish-sauce free curry paste, so this is completely vegetarian- and actually even fully vegan. Some day soon I will make my own curry paste- I have seen recipes on the interwebs and I think I can piece together one that I like. But it requires many ingredients, and on the day that I made this, I was physically and mentally drained- thus I did not have the capacity to think about the 50 ingredients it would require....

I went with green as it has a more mild flavor than red and I wasn't sure how spicy the paste would be. This one ended up being flavorful with a nice kick, but nothing too extreme. If it isn't spicy enough for you, you may want to toss in some red pepper flakes at the end.

 So- onto the curry...

2 large yams (or some type of combination thereof) approx 1 lb
1/2-3/4 of a red bell pepper
1 large or 2 medium carrots
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp green curry paste
1 13.5 oz coconut milk (I used light coconut milk and it was still great, regular will just make a richer broth)
1/2 c veggie stock
Peas- I had to use frozen, but fresh would be much better
Green onions, for garnish

The basic idea is to add whatever veggies you find tasty- I like potatoes with curry, I feel the white potatoes soak up all of the curry flavor, and yams add a nice sweetness to a somewhat spicy curry. So I did all of that. I used 3-4 baby white potatoes I had lying around, one beautiful Japanese yam, and one garnet yam. The Japanese yams are milder than your usual sweet potato, so it was in all a nice contrast across the 3.

Chop the potatoes into half-moon chunks and put them in a pot- cover with water, add a bunch of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until mostly cooked through, 5-7 mins. 

While that is happening,  chop the  carrots, onions, and bell peppers into nice bite-sized pieces- roughly uniform so they cook at the same pace.Mince the garlic and toss it in the bowl.

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil- yes, coconut oil. I raved about this stuff in my stir-fry post and I'll do it again here. There is no better oil for a stir-fry (well.... toasted sesame oil is pretty darn close...) and it is very good for you.
Anywho- heat the oil in your wok, getting the pan and oil nice and hot. Toss in the carrots, peppers, and onions, add a liberal dose of salt, and cook them until mostly cooked through and they start to smell reeeeeaaaaaaaalllllly good.Don't be afraid of the heat here, especially if you are using a wok. Unless things start to brown too quickly, the rapid heat of the wok is your friend...

Once they're mostly cooked through, add the curry paste- I did it in 1/2 tsp chunks across the mixture and used about 3 tbsp. More= spicier. Also, if you don't like the flavor level when you're done, you can a)mix some curry paste with a bit of veggie broth and stir that into your pot while reducing the broth down to concentrate the flavors or b) add more veggie broth and/or coconut milk if you want to reduce the amount of curry flavor... or even water if you really want to tone things down.

Drain the potatoes when they are done and toss them into the mix in the wok. Add the veggie broth, coconut milk, and whatever peas you are adding, and gently stir. The broth and milk will mix with the curry and turn everything a beautiful creamy green color. Let it all hang out and get all cozy with the flavors for 5-10 mins at around a simmer, making sure it doesn't start to stick to the bottom. As it reduces, taste for salt and add as needed. 

I have a photo for this part but the computer refuses to upload it for reasons unknown to me. Visualize it here:

Serve over brown rice or quinoa. I chose quinoa and it was fantastic. Garnish with fresh green onion and perhaps a squirt of lime juice- light, tasty, spicy, and supremely satisfying.

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