Thursday, January 29, 2009

Curry Bracket Part One: Thai Curry

The Background:
So Michael asked me if I would make a few different Curry recipes so that he could find one that he liked and then I could show him how to make that one so he could have curry all the time. I agreed because it seemed like a simple, good girlfriendy thing to do for him plus I like trying to cook new things. I thought that I would make one curry dish every week or two weeks and he would pick his favorite. HE thought I would make ten different curry sauces in one day and he would pick his favorite. To compromise I came up with a Bracket Idea (playing on someone's love of Basketball) and it was a big hit. So, I am making 3 sauces at a time, they are tasted, a favorite is picked and after we do this three times there will be a championship showdown.

Michael is picking the recipes and seeding them based on the website pictures. Which brings us to . . .

Part One: Thai Curry
#1 Seed: Yellow Curry
#2 Seed: Massaman Curry
#3 Seed: Northern/Burma Curry

The #1 came out looking the most appetizing (to me) because the yellow color was quite appealing. The #2 was kind of an unappetizing dull taupe color and the #3 was a rich dark red-brown color. I figured the #3 would be the least appetizing because it did not use coconut milk (just water) or actual chilis (just powder) but in a surprising turn of events the #3 Seed came from behind to win it! The #2 stayed where it was by being quite tasty and the #1 seed went down the drain (literally) for being mostly tasteless except for an overpowering lime flavor.

Northern/Burma Curry
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced finely OR 6 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped galangal or ginger
2 tsp. turmeric
1 heaping tsp. shrimp paste
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. dark soy sauce
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
2-3 Tbsp. palm or brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1 Tbsp. ground bean sauce
1 cup water

Throw everything in a food processor or blender to combine.

(I used the frozen, chopped lemongrass and the shrimp paste was left out because we couldn't find it)

Now the recipe says to put some oil in a wok and sautee one large onion then add sauce and two pounds of pork, bring to a boil then simmer covered for 20 minutes, then add like 2/3 of an eggplant, cook for 8 more minutes. (That is from memory not sure if it is totally correct)

What I did: (first I halved the recipe because that is a lot of curry for basically one person) I put the sauce in a pot with about 3/4lb. of chicken, 1/2 a large potato, and 3/4 of a bell pepper all cut into bite sized pieces. Brought to a full boil then covered and simmered for 20 minutes.

FAIR WARNING: this is VERY spicy. Michael liked it but even with rice and milk my tongue was still burning 10 minutes after I took one bite. I will be cutting down the chili powder and cayenne pepper next time.

VERDICT: Delicious


janelle said...

Vicki, I am impressed! For a green curry, you should try the Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste (here's a picture: and follow the instructions on the back of the bottle. It is so yummy. We make it ALL THE TIME. (Here's their website, too:

Victoria said...

ooo thanks Janelle! The one jar that we did try was terrible so it is nice to get a good recommendation for one.