Thursday, July 07, 2005

Red curry when it rains

I crave spicy food when it rains heavily and I start missing the monsoon in Bombay. But Indian food can take a while to cook so I dish out a quick Thai curry to satisfy my soul while it pours outside.

I usually make green curry paste from scratch a few times a year and freeze it. But I haven't gotten around to making red curry paste ever so I just use a concentrate from Thai Kitchen which I really like because it does not contain fish sauce like some other brands do. Green curry is for happy times when I'm in an easgoing, lighthearted mood. Red curry is for when my spirits are down, my muscles are tense and I need the comfort of a robust curry to calm me down.

I combine 1 tbsp of red curry paste with a 14oz can of light cocount milk and simmer for about five minutes. I then add a handful of fresh basil leaves and a packet of frozen Thai stir-fry vegetable mix that I keep on stock. The secret ingredients are brown sugar (2 tbsps) and vegetable stock (1/3 cup). I also add a small can of baby corn if available. I leave it to simmer for about 15 minutes before taking off the flame.

Red curry is usually best enjoyed over a bed of cooked jasmine rice. I prefer my red curry mixed with Annie Chung's Thai Basil noodles, easily made from the ready made packet I buy from Whole Foods.


Blogger gs said...

there is always an urge to eat hot and spicy stuff when it mirchi bhajias or hot sev puris.i think it is the sudden drop in temperature that stirs this feeling to eat hot.
goa gets one hell of a rainfall during the school we all studied that cheerapunji in assam gets the maxm amount of annual rainfall.but it is goa which i think enjoys that position now.and during my 3 years stay,i had lots of hot bhajias;-both latent and sensible stuff during the rains.wish it rained so much in mumbai!

2:54 AM  
Blogger rums said...

hmm, uncle you say 'coz you live in town. i used to love the rains when i lived in cuff and peddar road, but once i moved to bandra and had to take the train, i used to dread it!
you are right about wanting to eat hot stuff during the monsoons. i feel nostalgic about my mum's kichdi during the rains and fried dried chillies (the kind that is spiced and marinated in yogurt and then dried).

5:51 AM  
Blogger rums said...

lools i must tell you that i got a couple of thai holy basil plants from sanjoy's cousin (she moved to b'lore recently and wanted me to have them). they are awesome, i can smell the leaves when i water the plants, am dying to make some thai red curry soon!

5:54 AM  
Blogger The Yankee said...

mmmm Thai Curry, now that's a good meal! You have to go to Chinatown to a little market called The Bangkok Center Grocery. They have all the right Thai ingredients and at a fraction of the fancy grocery store prices. In fact they are downright cheap!

Bangkok Center Grocery
104 Mosco Street
Chinatown, NYC

Richard from "i heart nyc"

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

Yum, that looks great Lulu! I've been sick the past few days, and I still can't eat much more than saltines and water. I wish I could have some red curry!

10:58 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi appa,
bajjis sounds so delicious. i'm in the moody for an onion bajji that i'd like to dip in magii hot and sweet sauce!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

i totally agree with rumy about how a bombayite's realtionship with the rain changes depending on where you live. in the two years that i was travelling back and forth between churchgate and andheri, i absolutely HATED the rain, mostly because i dreaded the second-class mens compartment on the andheri fast.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

i'm so jealous of your thai basil! i've been toying with the idea of getting mixed herbs for the window sill but haven't gotten around to doing it.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

i'll definitely check out the bangkok grocery store. thanks, richard!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi sam,
hope you feel better. sorry to hear that you're feeling a bit under the weather. take care!

6:58 PM  
Blogger gs said...

samantha should try khichdi.if one has been under the weather and in a recovery mode,there cannot be a better nourishment than plain hot khichdi and lentil chillis please.
and rums,you remind me of our 'tayir mulagai' chillis soaked in curd,allowed to dry under the sun,and then fried till it becomes crow black.yummy,it explodes with curd rice!

9:51 PM  
Blogger Sandeep said...

Cool!! After being inspired by you, today I tried thai red curry - using ingredients from my friendly neighborhood Hauz Khas market.
I think I surprised meself!
Keep cooking..

8:13 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

Hi Sandeep
You should consider buying Tarla Dalal's book on Thai cooking. I love the recipes in that book!
And be sure to add fresh basil, it really adds that extra touch to Thai cooking.
BTW, looks like you had a fun time in Rome!

11:57 AM  
Blogger gs said...

fancy onion bhaji,lulu? then go for this! you will need a very big bite to consume the biggest fried onion bhaji in the weighs an incredible 84 kgs.when fried it expands to a diameter of 34 inches.
the guru nanak community centre at west bromich,england,staged this cook-off as part of their anniversary celebrations.the then guiness world record was 59.6 kg of 1999.after six years, the record was shattered by the lead cook who initially was diffident to exceed the earlier record.
isn't that an astonishing and delicious world record?

9:11 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

wow! that is quite a record. i'm always astounded by the things people do to get into that book.

9:23 PM  

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