Red Thai Style Curry With Black Rice
This Thai-inspired bowl of yumminess is sweet, sour and spicy, just as a good curry should be. The silky, creamy and nutritious sauce is made from pureeing cooked squash and leek (crown prince squash in this recipe) with bouillon and a red curry paste. Butternut squash and other varieties would work just as well.
We tend to use what is provided in our seasonal veg. box, which for this recipe also includes kale. Since we are using squash, I decided to go with a red curry paste for colour. When using a green curry paste, I would use cauliflower instead of the squash. As with most recipes we use, the vegetables in the curry are interchangeable and we use what is seasonal and delicious year round. Since we also feast with our eyes, I used black rice as it provides a nice colour contrast and reinforces the bright orange of the curry. Black rice is also very nutritious, as with most of the plant kingdom, the darker and stronger the colour, the bigger its proverbial (antioxidant) bang. Shelled edemame is also another item that is veritably a nutritional force to be reckoned with, but if you don't have any, give peas a chance?
Since I am picky about my ingredients, I prefer to use the above-mentioned technique of blending vegetables to achieve a creamy sauce, which I developed as an alternative way of making a lovely, thick and creamy Thai curry without using coconut milk. For such a natural-sounding ingredient, coconut milk is so often full of 'nasties'.
One popular brand includes the following: Coconut Extract (56%), Water, Stabiliser (E466), Emulsifier (E435), Antioxidant (Citric Acid)
Another brand lists the following ingredients: Coconut Extract (60%), Water, Thickener Corn Starch, Stabilisers E466, E407 and E412, Acidity Regulator E330
Some brands only include guar gum as an extra ingredient, but I still prefer to use a coconut milk that is made only with, well, coconuts. Instead of buying coconut milk, I buy creamed coconut that is made using only coconut and blend it with water to make a milk. The creamed coconut also keeps very well in the fridge. Like coconut butter, it is liquid at a warm temperature and solid when cold.
I do not make my own Thai curry paste, yet, and like the coconut milk fiasco, a lot of store bought curry pastes leave a lot to be desired. I have found this brand at my local (London) Asian supermarket, but it is also available online: Thai Taste, Red Curry Paste in Tub (not a plug, just a product I use).
Ingredients: (serves 4 adults)
- 335g Squash
- 80g kale leaves, approx 100g with stalks
- 1 X medium leek
- Small bunch of coriander
- 2 X limes
- 1 X cup shelled (fresh or frozen) edamame (soy beans)
- 1/2 X cup/100g/120ml red Thai curry paste
- 1/4 X cup/50g/60ml coconut cream blended with 1 cup of water, or 1 X can of good quality coconut milk.
- 1 X cup/240ml water
- 1 X tbsp bouillon
Method: Approx. 60 min. (see video below)
- Chop leek and dice 1/2 of the squash roughly into 1cm cubes and place in a heavy-based pot along with the curry paste, water and the bouillon.
- Put onto a medium heat, cover, and cook until the squash is tender. For crown prince squash allow approx. 15 min.
- Pour the cooked ingredients into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and whizz into a smooth sauce. Return to the pot.
- Add the coconut milk and the remainder of the squash to the pot and cover. Put back on heat and cook for approx 20 min. until the squash is tender.
- Add the edemame and the kale and cook for a further 5 min.
- Once the curry is cooked and ready for serving, add the coriander and the juice from the two limes.