Thursday, October 6, 2016

Curry in a Hurry

I've only recently (as in the last few years) developed a taste for curries, but now I can't get enough. Curries are so versatile and quite easy to throw together and "use what ya got" once you get the hang of it.
When I first started researching how to make curries, I was intimidated by the vast lists of spices and other ingredients involved. So I started looking into pre-made curry pastes. I read labels and weeded out a lot of brands with too many additives, msg, or fillers. I tried Thai Kitchen (the most prevalent brand found at a standard grocery store) and found it bland and disappointing. Then I discovered the Maesri line of curry pastes and upon trying their "Karee" paste for the first time, I was sold.

Here is my basic formula for curry using Maesri paste:

1 lb Protein + 4-6 cups chopped Veggies + 1 can Curry Paste + 1 14oz can Coconut Milk + 1-2 cups water/stock

-Cut protein into chunks, brown in a hot skillet with coconut oil, remove from pan & set aside.
   (You can pre-season the meat a bit if desired, but most of the pastes are salted already so be careful. I most often use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but you can use anything- pork, shrimp, tofu, paneer... really, anything!)

-Put entire can of curry paste in hot skillet with a little coconut oil and saute a couple minutes until fragrant (adjust amount for how much you're making)

-Add vegetables, saute for about 10 minutes. 
   (I always use onion, garlic, carrots, and either sweet potato or butternut squash, and then whatever I have on hand- eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, greens, you name it.)

-Add meat back in, coconut milk, and about the can's worth of water or stock. 
   (I like to have enough liquid to just cover the meat & veggies.) 

-Let simmer until veggies are tender (or longer for more flavor).

Serve over basmati or brown rice (I mix quinoa in sometimes), top with chopped cilantro (or thai basil, or both!). And for an occasional treat, I serve it with Trader Joe's garlic naan from their freezer section. 

This makes at least 6 servings (but it is even better leftover)!

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