THAI RED SHRIMP CURRY
Tana's Kitchen Secrets
by Tana Ramsay
This dish is equally delicious with chicken thighs instead of shrimp; add them with the butternut squash. When using coconut milk, whisk it briskly with a fork in the can before using -- this helps to stop it splitting.
Serves 4 for a children's supper
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Can be made in advance to end of step 2
• 1 onion, quartered
• 1 garlic clove
• 3 tbsp red curry paste
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 x 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes
• 2 x 13.5oz cans coconut milk
• 1 cup plus 2 tbsp good fish or chicken stock
• 1 butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 3/4 in dice
• 1/3 lb sugarsnap peas
• 12 button mushrooms, halved
• 4 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
• sea salt and black pepper
• 12 raw jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
• juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
For the steamed rice
• 1 cup basmati rice
• 1 cardamom pod, crushed
• 1 star anise
1. Place the onion, garlic, and curry paste into a food processor and blend to make a paste. If you don't have a processor, finely chop the onion and garlic together and stir in the curry paste.
2. Pour the oil into a large, deep pan and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the paste with the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat and stir in the squash. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add the sugarsnap peas and mushrooms, then gradually add the fish sauce: stir through about half, then taste and add more if you want. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Place it in a fine- mesh strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off the water and place the rice in a saucepan. Add 1¾ cup of cold water, a little salt, the cardamom, and star anise. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Cover with a tight- fitting lid, reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cook for 12-14 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to steam, still covered, for 10 minutes more.
4. Add the shrimp to the curry sauce and stir for up to 5 minutes, or until they are pink and cooked through. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary, and lime juice to taste. Remove the cardamom and star anise from the rice and fluff it up with a fork.
5. Serve the curry on a bed of rice.
Shrimp are sold fresh and frozen; make sure frozen shrimp are thoroughly defrosted before cooking. Remove the shell, and devein the shrimp by running a small, sharp knife carefully down the back of the shrimp, then use the knife to pull out the string.