The rich and creamy coconut milk, the fruity fragrance of Lemongrass, the fiery blend of spices that make up the red curry paste, the assorted texture of the Vegetables thrown in and its pairing with the humble rice makes Thai Red Curry a hit around the Pejavar household.
When Prasad asked me to prepare it for dinner tonight, I thought why not post the making on my blog?
Whenever I decide ahead of time to post about an experience, I pay close attention to it as it unfolds. I take the experience very seriously, making sure I scribble notes in my journal along the way and click as many pictures as possible. This is another reason why I enjoy Blogging: It makes me immerse myself in every big and small project I undertake; It helps me live fully and stay mindful.
Like I said, I took the whole thing pretty seriously. I couldn’t find the keys to my car. There was nobody at home to help care for the little ones. So I decided to make a picnic of my foray into the market with the kids, in a rickshaw. I even packed lunch along for them ’cause I was sure it would be late by the time we got back home.
We went to my favorite market that sells everything from Onions to Celery. Imagine finding celery in a small store, not a super-market, in India! To my surprise I even found a bunch of Basil leaves, which the store-keeper kept referring to as “Brazil Leaves”!
I let Medha help me pick the vegetables and held onto Madhav in one hand, afraid he might take off on one of his escapades. With my free hand I took a few pictures of the store and the fresh vegetables (“for my daughter’s school project”, I told the owner. I didn’t know what else to say!), that lay seductively, sunning themselves on a warm January afternoon.
(If you’re curious, I fed the kids their lunch on the way back home, in a speeding rickshaw!)
I plucked a lime, a few leaves off lemongrass from our garden to prepare the curry.
I began preparing the red curry paste as per this recipe while the kids slept. I had everything at hand, except the white pepper powder.
Before I finished the bulk of the preparation, the kids woke up. So I had to attend to their needs first. Thanks to my in-laws, who took Madhav along with them on one of their errands, I could get back to my cooking in peace. Medha watched away her favorite show while I slogged at the Coconut grater.
Grating a couple of coconuts, grinding them to a paste along with warm water, squeezing the paste and allowing the thick liquid to pass through a sieve to obtain coconut milk, ate up a major chunk of my time. But the smooth, velvety end result was totally worth the hard work.
Now it was time to prepare the curry, for which I followed this recipe with a few modifications. I added more vegetables instead of just broccoli and baby corn and fried them instead of blanching. I dropped the paneer, as I didn’t want the dish to taste too Indian.
- Added chopped Basil leaves to the red curry paste after frying the paste in oil for a minute or so.
- Poured coconut milk, water, a tablespoon of corn flour mixed in coconut milk. Let it bubble as I stirred continuously for about 5-6 minutes. Added a spoon of salt.
- Fried the veggies separately
- Mixed everything and let it cook for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.
After he got back home, Prasad felt inspired to prepare a fried rice to go along with my curry.