Apr 9, 2008

recipe: green peas and mushroom green curry

(Originally emailed Apr. 9, 2008)

Kyle introduced me to Thai food within the first few months of me being in Windsor, by cooking a large curry for our lab group (I'll be sending that recipe out shortly). Since then, we've bought several cookbooks (one vegetarian thai) and have visited several Thai restaurants. After going to a few restaurants, Kyle decided that green curry is his favourite curry, so we had to try making it ourselves. We found a "green curry" recipe in the World vegetarian cookbook, but it turns out it was Indian curry... so we took out the spices, threw in Thai green curry paste, and now it's pseudo-Indian/Thai green curry. We've made it 3 times probably, and every time we make it we're surprised at how quick it is and at how tasty it is. The last time we made it, we added tofu to make it more filling. I'm going to give you our recipe rather than the one from the cookbook, seeing as they're pretty much different recipes. It's best with jasmine rice but I bet basmati would work well too.

nightscape, a completely un-recipe-related photo by me

Green Peas and Mushroom (Thai/Indian) Green Curry
Effort: 1 very easy
Speed: 1 very fast
Ingredients: relatively easy to get (Bulk Barn and International sections of grocery stores are your friends); or super-easy if live in Windsor
Source: modified substantially from World Vegetarian (Madhur Jaffrey)

3 cups shelled or frozen peas (we use frozen)
4 tbsp water + 1/4 cup water
1 to 1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste (in Windsor, we bought ours from the International Food Market in those little tins. We stocked up before we moved to Qu├ębec.)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp canola oil
1 brick firm or extra firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 tsp whole cumin seeds (easiest found in Bulk Barn)
about 10 medium mushrooms, sliced or cut into quarters

A note about the steps. Kyle and I share the cooking duties, meaning that we cook together for almost every meal. We usually split up the duties so that I chop and do a lot of the prep work, while Kyle tends to make sauces/spice mixes and handle the actual cooking/stir-frying/stirring duties. I don't know if I've said this explicitly before, but I find it very important to make sure everything is prepped before turning the stove on. So that means cutting all veggies, getting the spices out into small containers, mixing the sauce ingredients, etc. With Kyle and I cooking together, sometimes we can relax that, but if I am cooking on my own I always try to abide by the "prep rule" because otherwise I end up overcooking/burning things. If I was making this meal alone, I would chop the mushrooms and get out 2 cups of peas. Then cut the tofu and start frying it (and then the mushrooms) while I made the sauce.

  1. Start (jasmine) rice.

  2. Cut tofu.

  3. Make sauce: Put 1 cup of (frozen) peas into a blender/food processer/Magic Bullet and blend a bit. Add 4 tbsp of water and blend to a puree. Add curry paste, salt, and cream. Blend again.

  4. Fry tofu: Put most of the oil in large nonstick frying pan over med-high heat. Add half of the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 10 sec. Add tofu and saute until starting to brown. Remove tofu from pan.

  5. Cook mushrooms: Add some more oil if necessary, and the remaining cumin seeds to the frying pan. Let sizzle and then add mushrooms. Saute for 3-4 minutes.

  6. Add the sauce mixture that you blended in step 3. Rinse out the blender with some (~1/4 cup) water and pour that into the pan as well. Stir gently and cook for 1 minutes.

  7. Add tofu and remaining peas.

  8. Turn heat to medium, stir gently, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  9. Serve hot, over jasmine rice.

Do you have any comments on the style this recipe is written in? Do you like the steps to be numbered? Is it OK that the posts get really long when I skip lines between steps, or is it annoying because you have to scroll down more?

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