I searched for the simplest recipe for Thai Green Curry that I could find. I didn't want to buy too many 'one use' ingredients, and I was generally satisfied with the results.
Two problems I had with this recipe: first, for the paste, I needed to find Thai Basil. I went to Chinatown and picked what I thought was it. Then I asked the employee in the grocery store "Basil?"
and she replied "Basil."
It was mint.
So an extra trip to the grocery store was required. And now I have some mint that, hopefully, isn't destined for the trash.
Here's the recipe in case I lose it:
For the paste : Makes about 1 cup
Hot green peppers: 5 ( I used serrano pepper)
Shallot: 1, chopped
Garlic: 2 pods
Lemon grass: 2 stalks
Galangal: Thumb-size piece (you can use ginger)
Green lime: 2
Cilantro: 1 cup, chopped
Thai basil: 6 leaves
Roasted coriander : 1 1/2 tsp
Roasted cumin : 1 tsp
White or black pepper powder: 1 tsp
Oil: 2 tblsp
This is what the past looks like in the food processor. Chop everything up, using only the soft insides of the lemongrass, and then blend until it's pasty. Don't forget the oil. I did at first, and it wasn't easy going.
For the Curry:
Coconut Milk : 1 can
Thai green curry paste: 3-4 tblsp
Pumpkin : 1 1/2 cups, cut in thick strips
Carrot: 1, cut in thick strips
Zucchini: 1, cut in thick strips
Snap Peas: a handful. Add them at the end so that they stay crisp.
Salt : 1 tsp (or to taste)
Inari: A handful, squeezed, rinsed repeatedly and drained. These are the tofu pockets that are usually filled with sushi rice, and are a good substitute for fried tofu if you don't like to fry (or if you're cooking during a heat wave like I was)
Next time I'd like to put in cauliflower and perhaps skip the pumpkin.
The curry was looking good, bubbling away. And then the pumpkin started to fall apart, and the curry went from a pale grey-green to a shocking orange. It also began to thicken up, and took on a grainy, pumpkin-y texture that I wasn't overly fond of.
This is the end result.
Verdict: Delicious. A bit too thick (no pumpkin next time) and not quite hot enough (next time use 4-5 hot green peppers)
Notes: This requires a few ingredients that come in bunches that I normally don't have a use for. Perhaps the next time I make this I will also make a Mexican or Indian recipe the same week to use up the leftover lime, cilantro and hot peppers.
Otherwise, a success.