Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Food with Friends: Pete’s Thai Yellow Curry

... and Cardamom and Cashew brown basmati rice

As mentioned before Pete and I made Thai Yellow Curry with shrimp last weekend. To compliment it we made rice with a twist (since Pete hates plain rice)- it was brown basmati rice with cardamom and cashew (yum).

Before I dive into the recipe I thought I would introduce a new concept Charlotte and I had: Food with Friends. When 'Food with Friends' titles a recipe it means we either baked and cooked with friends (i.e guest appearance) or we cooked a dinner party for our closest amigos and we decided the recipes were worthy sharing with our blogger community. We are excited to not only share recipes, but also our amazing friends!

Towards the much-anticipated Thai Yellow Curry with Shrimp we head. Note: if you are a meat eater (which Charlotte and I are not) you can add chicken or meat etc. Or if you a true veg you can add tofu or just leave it as it is without the shrimp. The veggies soaked up the Thai flavors amazingly.

As Charlotte does, I too love to travel. And Pete loves to eat. And travel. Heck, we all travel, eat, and enjoy doing it. Naturally that means we are curry people. One doesn’t have trouble finding a good curry in the UK, but last weekend Pete and I felt like an adventure, so we decided to make our own Thai curry and here goes...

This curry, in particular, hits the spot but feels amazingly light (unless you eat too much of it of course), so all the more reason to start cooking... will need... quite a list of things...

Prep time 30-40min
Cook time 1hr 10 – 1hr 30min

Paste Ingredients:
2 red chillies, dry or wet, chopped (remove seeds)
1 teaspoon crushed chilly (flakes)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
1 teaspoon rock sea salt (or more to taste)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 a large shallot
1 stalk lemon grass chopped finely
1 lime, fresh juice
2 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
Thumb size piece of freshly grated ginger
4 Kaffir lime leaves
1/4 cup of fresh parsley or coriander

General Curry Ingredients:
1 can (400 ml) organic coconut milk
1 ½ shallot
2 small sweet potato (peeled, boiled, cubed)
1 yellow pepper
2-3 heads of bok choi
1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
10 regular shrimp (uncooked) (organic or fresh as possible please)
2 King size shrimp (uncooked) (ditto)

Pete and I made the paste from scratch, yea it takes a little extra time and effort, but of course it was so worth it. And the only way to be really Thai. When you cook you have got to take on the culture and get fully immersed in your cooking. To make the paste grind all paste ingredients together, we attempted a pestle and mortar and then gave into a hand-held blender.

In a wok fry the chopped shallot (chop them length wise) in oil (we used sesame and olive oil). When they start to soften, add the paste and then the coconut milk. Pour in half a can of water after the coconut milk.

Allow the curry to come to a simmer (15-20 minutes). Then add the pre-boiled sweet potato to the curry. Allow the curry to thicken for another 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables, except the bok choi and halved cherry tomatoes. Allow the curry to cook for another 20 minutes. Then when the curry appears almost finished (it get thicker and turn a more intense shade of yellow) add the bok choi and cook for 5 minutes, and then add the shrimp and cook for the remaining 5 minutes. The shrimp will be pink when ready, but do not overcook the shrimp because they will become tough.

Of course you need something to soak that curry up, why don’t you jazz up plain rice?

Cardamom and Cashew Brown Rice:
1 cup of brown rice (basmati or long grain)
1 tablespoon of cardamom pods
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon oil
1 cube of organic vegetable bouillon (if desired)
2 handfulls of cashew nuts.

Boil brown rice (rinsed), either basmati or long grain. Boil the rice with some sea salt, oil and the cardamom pods. After the rice is done boiling, rinse it in luke warm to cool water. In a frying pan dry roast the cashews and when they are lightly golden add the brown rice. On low heat, warm the rice with the cashews and allow the rice to dry out a little (no one likes wet soggy rice). Note: try not to eat the cardamom when eat have your rice, unless you don’t mind that extra crunchy-kick like Pete. The pods are not overly flavorful after being boiled, but still they are more there for flavoring the water than eating.

Enjoy your eats!

p.s just because the curry was yellow doesn’t mean the pictures should have been, excuse the poor lightening we were working with ;)

Jacqueline, sous chef to Guest Pete.

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