Do you tackle the cockroach problem in the kitchen or finish the book you’ve been reading for months?
Your car’s fuel indicator is hovering just above ‘E’. Do you fill petrol now and risk missing the beginning of the movie or skip and head to the theatre and risk being stranded at midnight on the way back?
Do you go to the yoga class 15 minutes late or do you resolve to wake up early tomorrow and go on time?
Do you join a Zumba class like all the other aunties and be part of an exclusive aunty whatsapp group or join a roller skating class filled with school going kids who’re all better than you and are not ready to be friends with you? Picture Mammooty sitting in the tutorial class in Azhagan movie.
You’ve woken up late. Do you make Tomato rice and go to work on time or make Thai yellow curry from scratch, run downstairs for lemon leaves and discover that the lemon plant died weeks back, make do without it, babysit the curry, stirring, tasting, adjusting, and finally satisfied, wear mittens and carry the hot curry to the dining table, climb up the table, photograph it and go to office late?
I’d like each of you to put yourselves in the situations above and answer truthfully on what you’d do? If you’re not any aunty or not into cooking, still tell me what you’d do. I want to know it’s not just me. This Thai yellow curry is the best thing. I cannot imagine anything I’d love for a meal than a big bowl full of this fragrant, flavour bursting Thai curry and some hot steamed rice. I may have said the same about biryani sometime back. But I can love more than one. Today, it’s just this veggie Thai yellow curry. I love me my Thai curry. Jarred curry pastes just won’t do. I always make mine from scratch. I of course don’t have the authentic ingredients – Galangal ginger, kaffir lime leaves & birds eye chillies. Like a good Indian, I adjust. I use regular ginger, regular Indian lemon leaves and whole dry red chillies instead. The recipe I’ve given here makes enough curry paste to make 2 batches of Thai yellow curry. You can choose to halve the recipe or freeze the excess. The shrimp paste adds that unique umami flavour and I don’t recommend skipping it. I happen to have a big jar of it. I made a veggie version of the Thai yellow curry. You can substitute with chicken or shrimp if you wish. I promise you that all the effort is worth it. This Thai yellow curry is absolutely stunningly flavoured, aromatic, creamy and heady. Ladle over steamed rice and enjoy!
For the complete trifecta of Thai curries, just look below:
Thai yellow curry
- 14-15 Birds eye chillies (substitute with whole dry red chillies)
- 1 tsp Coriander seeds, toasted
- 10-12 Shallots, peeled
- 3-4 tbsp Galangal Ginger (I used regular ginger), peeled and chopped roughly
- 6-7 Large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup Chopped coriander stems and roots
- 2 tsp Lemon grass powder
- 2 tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Shrimp paste
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tsp Brown sugar (adjust as per taste)
- 2-3 cups Chopped vegetables (I used 1 Zucchini + butter beans + double beans)
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- Coconut milk from 1 whole coconut
- Handful of coriander leaves for garnish
- Grind together all ingredients for the yellow curry paste, all ingredients up until the shrimp paste. Add water as necessary and grind to a fine paste. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add oil to it. When the oil turns hot, add half of the curry paste (freeze the remaining for later use) and fry on low heat until the raw smell vanishes and most of the moisture is gone. Keep stirring to avoid the paste sticking to the pan.
- Add the chopped veggies to the pan and mix everything together. Add about half a cup of water if the mixture is too dry. Mix well, cover with a lid and cook until the vegetables are cooked through but firm.
- Pour in the coconut milk and mix gently until the spice paste is incorporated into the coconut milk. Add salt and brown sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning. Turn heat to low and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the flavours meld. Switch off. Garnish with coriander leaves. Ladle over steamed rice. Dig in!