Vegetable Green Curry

Vegetable Green Curry
Serves 4

2 Tbsl vegetable or peanut oil
1 cup onion, diced
11/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbls green curry paste*
1 TBLS palm sugar
2 stalks lemon grass, cut into 1-inch sections
1 can coconut milk (16 ounces)
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely slivered*
2 Tbls fish sauce*
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 or Asian eggplants, cut into 1 inch slices
1 lb Asian long beans, cut into
1-3 Thai green chiles, sliced Optional!
1 cup cilantro leaves

*Green Curry Paste: You can make your own (recipe below) or I suggest Mae Ploy Green Curry Paste.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion, ginger and garlic.
Cook until softened. Add the curry paste and lemon grass. Cook until fragrant when the oil begins to separate from the mixture.

Add the coconut milk, the lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar.

Bring the sauce to a boil and add the cauliflower. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the eggplants, long beans, chiles if using.

The mixture is done when the eggplant it cooked through but still retains its firmness.

Add cilantro leaves and lightly mix them in to the curry. Serve with steamed Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice.

Alternative: Add tofu for a complete protein meal.

Green Curry Paste

Green Curry is perfect with a variety of seasonal vegetables. Kabocha (Asian small pumpkin) tastes heavenly with green curry, as does any other fall squash. Eggplant, green beans, and Cauliflower are also wonderful in a Green Curry. Garnish with ripe red chile flowers for a festive look.

1 cup green birdseye chiles (phrik kee nu)
5 Tbls lemon grass, finely sliced
10 Tbls shallots chopped
10 Tbls garlic, minced
5 Tbls galangal (kha) grated
5 Tbls coriander/cilantro root, chopped
2 Tbls coriander seed
1 Tbls cumin seed
1 Tbls freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbls shredded fresh lime leaves (bai makroot)
4 Tbls fermented shrimp paste (kapi)
1 Tbls date palm sugar

If you don't have access to Bird Chiles (phrik ki nu) or Thai Dragon Chiles(Phrik chee fa), you can use 1/2 pound of habanero chiles, or 3/4 pound of serranos.

Note that if you use a substitute you will get a different volume of paste, and that you will need to use different amounts in subsequent recipes.

If you can't get galangal(kha) use ginger. If you can't get fresh Kaffir Lime leaves (bai magroot) use lime zest If you can't get coriander root, use coriander stems and leaves.

Coarsely chop the chiles. Toast the dry seeds in a heavy iron skillet or wok, and grind them coarsely.

Place the kapi on a piece of double tin foil formed into a little dish. Place this into your toaster oven to develop the fragrance. Open the window first as it gives off a very strong aroma. This mellows and develops the proper flavour.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process to a smooth paste or pound with mortar and pestle the traditional way.

Place in a glass jar with tight fitting lid and keep in the fridge for at least a week for the flavors to combine and develop before use. This chile paste will keep for several weeks when refrigerated.

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