9 August 2006

Red hot Thai curry with basil


Lemon grass cafe in Bandra is one of my favourite restaurants. They serve a variety of Oriental food. Thai, Singapore, Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese...you name it they have it on the menu. And unlike a run-of-the-mill oriental restaurant, they don't add soy sauce to everything!


I tried re-creating their Ginto (Raw papaya salad) at home, and to our delight it came out exactly the way I wanted it to. Will probably blog about that when I buy raw papaya from the market. I don't like the vague sweetness in food belong to certain Asian cuisines due to use to peanuts and a sweeter version of soy sauce. Spicy Thai red curry is therefore one of my all time favourites. Somehow, I could never lay my hands on an authentic recipe for Thai red curry. I then decided to put together my own ingredients from the tastes I've remembered from my visit to the Lemongrass cafe.

The flavour is heightened with generous use of fresh basil.

Ingredients-

5 dried red chillies ( I used the 'bedki' variety)
8 cloves garlic peeled
1 medium sized onion-roughly chopped
1/4 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1/4 cup thick coconut milk ( I used Dabur homemade)
1 tub fresh mushrooms (wiped thoroughly and chopped roughly)
2 green peppers-chopped roughly
1/2 cup frozen peas.
2 tbsp tomato puree
Salt
Turmeric -pinch
1 tbsp peanut oil / vegetable oil

Method-

1. In a saucepan, take a cup of water. Add the chillies, garlic, onion. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes, till the spices have softened. Remove in a bowl and cool.

2.Once cooled, grind the spices with the basil leaves to a fine paste adding a little bit of water which was used for boiling. In case you dont have tomato puree, you can grind a big tomato into the paste.

3. In a pan, heat the oil. Saute the green peppers with a pinch of tumeric and salt, for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms, peas and saute till almost cooked.

4. Add the red paste, tomato puree, coconut milk, salt to taste. Garnish with freshly chopped basil.

If you thought that was too hot, cool off with my entry to Meeta's Beat the heat- a tall glass of Ginger lemon iced tea.


Notes-

~Serve hot with rice / noodles.

~I served this with instant sevai (Indian rice noodles) and the combination was just perfect. The curry wasn't over the top spicy-probably because the chillies were boiled in water. You can add or subtract the number of red chillies as per your heat-tolerance.

~Thai red curry served with steamed rice and Ginto makes a great dinner combination.

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17 comments:

jaygee said...

Yep Lemon Grass is one of my favourite mumbai eatouts too. they have the most exciting stuff. More fusion.. if you want really good thai food... there is a place called ThaiBan just down the road from Lemon Grass, in pali market.. u would really like it. authentic and tasty as ever.

Vineela said...

Hi Nandhita,
Thanks for the great and detailed roundup.red hot thai curry - basil will goes nice with noodles i think and i never tried sevai,nanditha Thanks for sharing this.

Hope to see your entry for jfi
Vineela

archana said...

I love Thai curries, be it red, yellow ir green !!!! Thank you for the recipe.
archana

Puspha said...

Yummy!!!!!

indianadoc said...

Hi Nanditha
We both seem to be on a Thai Spree today!! You have here a wonderful looking Thai Red curry and I have posted a not so wonderful looking but wonderful tasting Thai Mushroom Curry!!I have almost fallen in love with these Asian neighbour's cuisine after our recent experiments eating out...and hoping to try more of them in my kitchen...

Krithika said...

Thai curry looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Paz said...

Your recipe sounds delicious!

Paz

Paz said...

p.s. How's your tooth? I hope you're feeling much better. I, too, had a problem with my tooth last week. I reluctantly had to go to the dentist and will have to return to him at the end of the month. *sigh*

Paz

Nandita said...

Thanks Pushpa, Vineela, Archana, Jaygee, Krithika! This one really turned out great-i think I'll stick to this recipe when i want to make ThAI curry again!
Jaygee- i mean to visit Thaiban soon, noted in your profile that you are from delhi, you are quite well versed with mumbai food places though!

Indianadoc- LOL even i made thai mushroom curry wonly-just that it's named differently-shall check out your version now!

Paz-I've to make an appointment for a total extraction, dreading it already-such a co-incidence that you to have the same impending thing :)

Ashwini said...

Ohmygod N reading about lemon grass made me sigh. That and Thai Bahn :-(
The red curry looks fab for your first attempt. You know the authentic curries also have a bit of lemon grass or galangal (ginger root) in them...

mandira said...

Nandita - Sorry to hear about your tooth. I hope you are feeling better. Your thai curry looks great. Will try it soon. Thanks for sharing.

Anupama said...

nandita I have bookmarked this recipe. Its my favorite.

Revathi said...

Hi Nandita
I found the problem to the space issue while doing my round up. Its the spaces it the br tags being appended all the way.
You just have to join up all the /tr with the following tr and the spaces will go away. Let me know if you still trying to fix it.

Priya said...

Thai Red Curry with sevai must have been DELICIOUS !!
This is a must try one for me .

Diane said...

Galangal as well as shrimp paste are critical to most Thai red curries. Those, as well as lemon grass, may be the missing flavors you are searching for. Mae Ploy makes a semi-decent red curry paste in a tub, but I prefer to make mine from scratch.

This looks very tasty though!

Nandita said...

Revathi- I think i understand what you are saying, the tr haven't been closed by corresponding /tr tags? I'll look into it, when I saw ur round up i thought I must ask you how u managed the tables. Thanks a lot for your help!

Priya-Thanks and do let me know if u liked it.

Dianne-I didn;t have lemon grass at home that day and galangal isnt something one finds in Bombay easily, thats why i had to give both a miss. Thanks for your comments Dianne!

savitha said...

This recipe is wonderful! I made tonight for dinner, and it was great. We added shrimp instead of mushrooms and it was perfect. Thank you so much!

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