My family was vegetarian for about ten years, which coincided with the years during which I began to learn to cook. Back then, faux-meat in all its presently abundant forms was difficult to come by, expensive, and not all that tasty. EurAmerican as can be, my cooking foundation was made up almost entirely of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern culinary styles. I don't think I actually cooked a piece of beef or roasted any kind of fowl until I was well into my twenties.
As a result of all this, I have many bastardized curries in my repetoire, and they change with the ingredients I have available. Tonight, my man was begging for one of them, so I did my best to transcribe our dinner into a 'recipe' for Thai Massaman Curry, a rich, somewhat sweet red curry paste and coconut milk based dish. It has a fair amount of ingredients, but it is super easy!
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, preferably Peanut
2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (check your Asian market, or the Thai section in your grocery store)
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter (natural)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tsp. Thai Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Ground Coriander
1 Can (14oz) Coconut Milk
1 C. Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1/2 Lb. Chicken Tenderloin (or Fried Tofu)
1/2 Lg Yellow Onion, Roughly Chopped
4 Red Potatoes (approx.), washed, skin on, cut into 1/4 or 1/8ths
2 Carrots (approx), washed, cut into 'stew size' chunks
2 Cups Frozen Cauliflower Florets (approx.)
Optional: Fresh Avocado, Cashews (approx 1/4 C, whole)
yes, I know the recipe called for yellow onion, but all I had were these spring onions. Yellow onion is what you should use. I am just a slacker when it comes to making thorough grocery lists
In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil, curry paste, peanut butter, fish sauce, brown sugar and soy sauce. Stir until it heats through and blends, add onions. Cook onions until they begin to glisten, but not until they clear. Add add cumin and coriander and mix. Add all other ingredients except coconut milk, stock, and avocado if you are using it, and stir to coat. Add coconut milk, and stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Before serving, stir in avocado and about a 1/4 cup of whole cashews.
Serve over rice (or whole wheat couscous if you are my man)