Mothers are truly God's wonders. Other than being intuitive and unconditionally loving, they also have a good amount of 'tough love' going on for us, which is expressed in various forms from a yelling to taunting to sometimes letting you down just so you decide to prove her wrong. Little do we know that it is all a ploy, and while we prove it to her, she sheepishly smiles, for it is her victory. Just like that, Mom pulled me out of bed this Sunday just to tell me that I could not cook a good Thai Curry. I was nagged from step 1 to the final garnish, and when I asked her for feedback, all I received was a silent nod of approval. It was when I saw her go back for seconds (rare occurrence) that I realized I did deliver. She made me cook the Jasmine Rice again for dinner, just to finish the Thai Curry leftovers. I'll take that as a compliment!
Recipe: Self/Various/Based on trial and error
For the Curry:
4 Tbsp Thai Curry Paste (readily available in markets)
3 Tbsp Oil
1 Lemongrass Root (Optional)
2 Cups Diced Assorted Vegetables (I used Brinjal, Cherry Tomato, Baby Corn, Baby Onions. Mushrooms, Zucchini and Asparagus work great too!)
2 Cups Coconut Milk
1 Cup Prawns, de-veined, with tails on. (You can add Chicken or Tofu or Soy Nuggets)
1 tsp Palm Sugar/Sugar
Fish Sauce, to taste
2-3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2-3 Basil Leaves
For the Rice:
1.5 Cups Medium Grained Rice
3.5 Cups Water
1 Jasmine Tea bag
Salt, to taste.
For the Curry:
Heat up Oil on a medium high pan, add in the Thai Curry paste. You can use the Green or Yellow or Red paste, as per your liking. Be careful as this will splatter. Cook thoroughly till you can smell the fragrance.
Add in the Vegetables and toss them well till coated. Keep mixing them around for 2 minutes. If you are making a Chicken/Tofu/Soy Nugget Thai Curry, your protein will go in at this stage. Mix for 2 extra minutes.
I used the Coconut Milk powder to make my Coconut milk. I made a cup and half of thin Coconut milk and a cup of thick Coconut Milk. If you're using the canned stuff, that is already thick enough, so use 3/4 Cup of thick canned Coconut Milk and dilute it with 3/4 Cup of warm water to make thin Coconut milk.
Add the thin Coconut milk to the vegetables and mix well. Turn the heat to medium low. Add the Sugar/Palm Sugar and mix. Leave the spatula in your gravy to avoid any splitting or curdling.
When the curry comes up to simmer, add in the prawns. Cover and cook for 3 minutes (you will still cook for these 3 minutes even if you do not add the Prawns). Finish with the thick Coconut milk, and check for seasoning. Add Fish sauce as per taste. Final flourish would be hand-torn leaves of Basil and Kaffir Lime.
For the Rice:
I cooked my rice in a pressure cooker. Simply throw all the ingredients in together and cook till done, about 20 minutes.
If you are making rice in a normal pan then I suggest boiling water first (use 4 cups water if cooking without pressure cooker), when it starts to boil, add in the tea bag and salt, and let it come to a vigorous rolling boil. Add in the rice and cook with the lid on until done, about 17 minutes on a medium low flame.
Discard tea bag before serving.