GREEN CURRY WITH EGGPLANT AND BAMBOO SHOOT
Asian Vegan Kitchen
by Hema Parekh
Green Curry with Eggplant and Bamboo Shoot
(Kaeng makhoe gap noumai)
Aromatic Thai curries are a delicious contrast of strong flavors. Thinner than Indian curries, they have a coconut milk base, which adds natural sweetness. Lemongrass and lime leaves impart a distinctly tangy flavor. Thai curries are never served as stand-alone dishes and are always one part of a meal, their spices balanced by other milder and sweeter dishes, such as a salad, a stir-fried dish, or a dessert.
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 4 tablespoons Green Curry Paste (see below)
• 3 cups (720ml) coconut milk
• 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
• 3½ ounces (100g) green or purple eggplant, chopped
• 3½ ounces (100g) bamboo shoots, sliced
• 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
• 1¾ ounces (50g) button mushrooms, quartered
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons palm sugar
• 15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, saute the green curry paste briefly, and add the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add the lime leaves, eggplant, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Stir to mix. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the soy sauce, salt, and sugar, and cook for a further 5—7 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
3. Mix in the basil leaves and turn off the heat.
GREEN CURRY PASTE (Nam prik gaeng khiao wan)
Makes about 1 cup (240ml)
• 10 small fresh hot green chilies
• 3 shallots, sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, halved
• 1¼-inch (3-cm) cube galangal, peeled and chopped
• 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
• 1 ounce (30g) fresh coriander with stems and root
• 10 black peppercorns
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1. Put all the ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and grind to a smooth thick paste, or use a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients, a few at a time.
2. Mix in the oil and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
* For a richer flavor, dry roast the peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds over low heat until fragrant. Grind to a powder and set aside. Blend the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and combine with the ground spices.