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.
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
1 tbsp peanut oil / vegetable oil
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.
~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.
Tags-Spicy food, curry, Thai curry, Basil