The plan was to make Thai green curry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use too many chillies in my homemade curry paste (I had reasons). Because of that, my curry turned out sort of beige-greenish. But it tasted great and that’s what counts! If you would like it to be more Hulk-hued, you can always use more green chillies in the paste. If you are using store-bought paste just cut up some chillies and use it as a garnish, together with the basil and coriander if using. Now, my curry paste was made with ingredients that you can easily find in Western countries. The only ingredient in this curry that might be more difficult to find are the kaffir lime leaves. I have been making Thai curries for years now and found that you can substitute pretty much anything, but these leaves are the one thing that gives a curry that Thai restaurant kind of quality. If you can’t find them, the curry will still taste great so don’t worry. It just gives it an extra traditional flavour.
Ingredients (4 portions):
- 1 cup of dashi (dwhatshi?) or 1 cup of filtered water
- A glug of rapeseed oil (or any other bland vegetable oil)
- 4 tablespoons of curry paste (the amount depends on the paste, if you make it with my paste this amount is perfect)
- Half a 400 ml can of coconut milk (so 200 ml, a little under one cup)
- 1 medium sized red bell pepper, chopped into small bits
- 1 medium sized eggplant, cores removed (because they turn to mush) and chopped into small bits
- 1 cup of frozen, sliced mushrooms (you can use fresh ones instead)
- 1 teaspoon of marmite (or vegemite)
- If you find them: 6 kaffir lime leaves (they are really worth it to get and keep in the freezer so you always have them ready)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 300 grams of firm tofu, drained and chopped into small bits
- Salt, to taste
- A handful of fresh basil leaves (Maltese basil reminds me a little of Thai basil so this is perfect, but Italian basil will work too)
- Optional: coriander leaves
- If using: make the dashi first.
- Fry the curry paste in the rapeseed oil over medium heat in a big pot. This will take a few minutes.
- Add the coconut milk. If your coconut milk has the ability to separate from the oil (‘break’), fry it until the coconut oil floats on top of the curry-coconut mixture. If it doesn’t, just fry it until it thickens and smells intensely like coconut.
- Add the bell pepper and cook until slightly softened.
- Add the eggplant and the mushrooms, then add the water or dashi and bring to a simmer.
- Add the marmite, kaffir lime leaves and sugar.
- Leave it to cook on low heat until thickened to your liking.
- A few minutes before you finish cooking, throw in the tofu (if you let tofu cook for too long it will crumble too much).
- Season with salt.
- Stir the basil leaves (and coriander if using) through the curry right before serving.
Storage and tip of the day:
You can keep this curry for about 3-4 days in the fridge and 4-6 months in the freezer.
Mushrooms are a great source of umami. I have made this type of curry without them and I really tasted the difference. So in doubt: throw in some mushrooms! I always have a bag ready in my freezer because they spoil quickly in this climate.