Sunday, February 13, 2011

A weekend of food (with veggie curry)

This weekend involved a lot of cooking and a lot of good food.  It's a good thing that Honey and I enjoy it!  Friday we made phở gà (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup of a sorts) for my baby Cib's birthday meal, since that is what he requested.  This is the first time that the Vietnamese members of the family actually raved about it, so score! Yay!  Saturday we made fajitas, always one of my favorite meals.  But today we had our hands full.

Honey made english muffins and yogurt, something that happens just about every weekend.  And this evening I made curry.  My curry recipe is based on a Vietnamese recipe that involves chicken and sweet potatoes -- my favorite! -- but since I didn't have those ingredients I went with what was on hand: eggplant and fried tofu.  Since this curry recipe is my favorite (regardless of whether it's chicken and sweet potatoes or some other veggie combination), I thought I'd share.

Veggie Curry
1 large red (or yellow) onion, chopped
1-2 tsp. olive oil
1-2 tbsp. minced garlic
2" piece of ginger, peeled and shredded
1-1.5lb Thai (small, round) or Japanese (long, thin) eggplant, thinly sliced
1lb fried tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can coconut cream
1 c. milk
1/4 c. lemongrass (purchased chopped, generally in the freezer section of Asian groceries)
1/4 c. Madras curry powder
1 tbsp. tumeric powder
2 tsp. chile powder or crushed red chile flakes
1-2 tsp. Nước mắm (fish sauce) -- opt. or can use 1/2 lime instead
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chicken bullion powder -- opt.

Fry the onion in oil for about five minutes and then add the garlic and continue to fry for about one or two minutes.

Add eggplant, ginger, lemongrass, and a small bit (1/2 c.) coconut milk.  Cook on med-high for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant looks like it's cooking nicely and the onion is starting to approach caramelization.

Add the rest of the ingredients, mix together, and simmer for about half an hour until everything is cooked through.  Serve with rice and cilantro.  Makes about five cups of curry.

One thing that I will note: the quality of ingredients makes a huge difference.  I use a certain brand of coconut cream and curry powder.  Using something else won't make the curry bad, it just won't be quite as good.  Oh, and some people don't like Nước mắm, but it does provide a wonderful depth of flavor and no one notices what the ingredient was.  Lime juice is okay, just don't expect the same results.

Happy eating!

I'm sharing this recipe here:

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