Machias Community Church

Coconut Curry Recipe 

Posted by Pastor Ron Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:00:00 AM

Well, not exactly a recipe.  You see, this is more what you'd call "guidelines" than an actual recipe.

Baking may require precise measurements  but cooking is a whimsical art.  You add or subtract according to taste.

How do you subtract?  By adding more of everything else and inviting guests over.  The more you need to subtract the more folks you will need to invite over.

Pictured below are the basic ingredients for the coconut curry that we make:

The green thing is a kaffir lime leaf and the red things are chilies.  You don't need to add them but if you can you should.  Just don't eat them.  If you are really special, then you can throw in a couple of star anise as well.  Take them out before serving or at least read up on the Heimlich maneuver.

If you feel that your arteries could use a bit more clogging then use two cans of coconut milk instead of the can of chicken stock but please don't skimp on the raw sugar.  One scoop of sugar is better than none but two scoops is much more fun.

Curry paste.  Yes, I've made my own by pounding away with a granite mortar and pestle using fresh, raw, secret ingredients.  I'm an over achiever and OCD as well.  Buy it.

If you want some flavor but without the spicy heat, buy Thai Kitchen curry paste.  It is more expensive and takes more to get the same result.  I like Mae Ploy.  It is much cheaper and spicy hot.

With Thai Kitchen you can add the whole $4~$5 jar.  With Mae Ploy that $2 tub will last you quit a while.  Add a tablespoon, stir and taste.  If you want more go for it but do so tasting as you go. 

Curry pastes come in Red, Green, Yellow, Massaman and Panang.  I think they all have the same basic ingredients but perhaps in different ratios.  There is a flavor difference so get some of each.

Not pictured because we ran out of it:  ginger (chopped) and garlic (mashed.) We add a lot of both.

Also not pictured is Fish Sauce.  It makes all the difference.  Just get a bottle and don't read the label.   Add a tablespoon to each pot of curry you make.

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Make the soup part first and then you can add whatever is too slow to get away.  Potatoes always make it into our pot.  They add body as well as absorb the curry flavor.  We microwave them a bit first and cut them into chunks.  If you add them early enough you could skip the microwave part.

Other vegetables need to be added at the right time to keep them from being over cooked.  Carrots can go in earlier than cauliflower and bell peppers should be last.  Keep everything but the potatoes a little crunchy.  It will continue to cook after you turn off the heat.

Basil leaves should only be added after the heat is off and the curry is ready to serve.

Meat?  If you must, but try to limit it to shrimp or chicken.   With chicken I use whole breast meat hardened up in the freezer and then sliced thin with a very sharp knife (more on the best and sharpest knives tomorrow.) 

Don't add the shrimp too soon or it will over cook.  Same with the chicken if it is thinly sliced.  Thinly sliced chicken will thoroughly cook within seconds when stirred a couple of times in a hot pot of coconut curry.

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Let's talk marriage.  Flavors marry over night in the fridge.  Once you close the door and the light goes out (yes, it really does go out) wonderful things begin to happen inside the curry pot.  The flavors become more pronounced and the spicy heat builds as well.

So plan to have leftovers.  If you needed to subtract something by adding more of everything else be careful not to invite so many guests that the pot is emptied.