Two of my pantry ‘must haves:’ lots of varieties of Thai curry pastes, and, of course, coconut milk. A stash of that good stuff takes care of the rainy days. Red, yellow and green curry pastes are my staples (Massaman is pretty yum too). Yellow is mellow and gets its liquid gold color from turmeric; green is perky and bright from green chillies and lots of pounded cilantro root; red gets that fiery amber hue from dried chillies.
I use Maesri for all my pastes— a Thai curry with an unabashedly bold taste. The red curry paste is especially flavorful with Kaffir lime, smoky red chilies, galangal and some warming spices such as coriander, cumin and cardamom. I also suggest buying the small single-use cans. One can of paste is sufficient for one can of coconut milk, so one and done. No need for extra things lurking around in the fridge after.
I often make red curry exclusively with vegetables because they do a gorgeous balance act with this full-bodied gravy. Pumpkin adds a delicate sweetness, cauliflower adds texture and lightness and tofu creates a grounding satiation. There are a couple of small steps which enhance the color, but no spoiler alerts here: see the recipe below for details. If you’d like to try my green curry next, check out my post!
- 1 small can Maesri Red Thai Curry Paste
- 2 cans of coconut milk
- 3 whole dried red chilies, soaked in water
- 1 whole bell pepper, jarred
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. palm sugar
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Juice of 1 lime
- Butternut Squash
- 1 Golden Beet
- 1 or 2 Avocados
1) In a large pan of water, steam the vegetables one type at a time, starting with potatoes (keep the carrots and cauliflower slightly al dente
2) For the sauce, blend the roasted bell pepper and soaked red chilies, with a couple of tbsp. of the soaking water in to a paste. Sauté the bell pepper paste in a wide pan. Add the cream part of the coconut milk and allow the fat to separate. Add the soy sauce, palm sugar, remaining coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
3) Add the vegetables and heat through. Just before serving, add large pieces of avocado and lime juice. Finish with cilantro