I love Thai curries but can’t eat them when dining out because of the high chili content. So tonight I took on the challenge of making a ‘mellower’ curry. With great success!
I must confess, I cheated and used a vegetarian yellow curry mix I bought at our local farmer’s markets. It was really lovely and I used only 2 tablespoons to reduce the heat. If you love chili, however, up the amount you fry up in the pan. Just in case you don’t have any luck finding a decent pre-prepared mix, I’ve included a recipe for a DIY yellow curry base.
This recipe looks complicated but is actually super easy!
2-3 tablespoons of pre-prepared yellow curry paste/powder (depending on how strong you want the chili)
1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1-2 yellow chilies, OR green or red chilies, de-seeded (or no chilies if you’re like me!)
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of dried turmeric
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 thumb-size piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and sliced
1 stalk of lemongrass, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons of Tamari or wheat free soy sauce (or vegetarian fish sauce if you can find some)
1/2 a cup of fresh coriander, including the stems
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
the juice of 1/2 a lime
2-3 kaffir lime leaves, and cut into strips
1 tablespoon of ghee or vegetable oil
400ml can of coconut milk
1 packet of firm tofu (Blue Lotus Tofu worked well in this dish)
1/2 a brown onion
1 small eggplant, cubed
1/2 a capsicum, cut into slices
1 handful of snowpeas, halved
1/2 cup of mushrooms, quartered
Any other vegetables you desire eg. spinach, silverbeet, carrot, sweet potato etc.
Your favourite Asian herbs – we had Thai basil, coriander and Vietnamese mint
1. Heat ghee/oil in a large saucepan. Add yellow curry powder to the pan and stir until flavour is released.
2. Add onion and cook until soft.
3. Add eggplant and tofu and stir for a few minutes until they are covered with the spices.
4. Add the rest of the vegetables and then the coconut milk.
5. Simmer until coconut milk has evaporated and the mixture has a thickened texture. If you’d like, add extra coriander or herbs during this time.
6. Serve with more fresh herbs, rice and pappadums. Yum!
Thanks to the lovely woman at my local farmers markets for selling me her special curry mix and thanks to Darlene Schmidt for her curry powder recipe http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaisnacks/r/greensinyellow.htm