Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry

Chicken and eggplant is a classic Thai combination. When stir-fried with a curry paste, it makes for an easy meal. This recipe took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I served it with some Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (Brown Basmati). So easy.

I used Maesri brand Prik Khing curry paste, which I bought at an Asian market, when I made this. I’m a huge fan of Maesri curry pastes.

Prik Khing Curry Paste

You can use your favorite Thai curry paste. Thai Kitchen makes red and green curry pastes and they are easily found in the ethnic section of some grocery stores. If using Thai Kitchen curry paste, you probably want to reduce the amount of curry paste. I would suggest with starting with 2 teaspoons and going from there if you want it spicier.

IMG_5199 (378x640)

I don’t always have access to fresh Thai basil. When I do get Thai basil, I chop what I don’t use immediately in a food processor and freeze it. I just break off a piece of the frozen Thai basil and add it to my dish while I’m cooking it.

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry 3

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry

2 tablespoons oil (I used canola, but coconut would be good too)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons Thai curry paste (I used Prik Khing curry paste)
1 large unpeeled Japanese eggplant (or 2 small), sliced (about 1/4-inch) diagonally
1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh Thai basil, torn (about a handful)

Heat the oil in a wok (or skillet) over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is just starting to lose it’s pink color. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until the chicken is coated. Add the eggplant and bell pepper. Season with fish sauce and sugar. Stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, and the eggplant is cooked to your preference. I like mine tender, but not mushy. Add the Thai basil and take off the heat. Serve with hot rice.

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry 2

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Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup with Vegetables

Vegetarian Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup 2

Earlier this year, I revamped one of my favorite Thai soups to make it vegetarian, as well as acceptable for the low iodine diet I was on at the time. I was super happy with the way the soup turned out. It was delicious! So flavorful.

I replaced the traditional fish sauce with a Umami Sauce I made. I typically use my favorite Madras curry powder in this recipe, but I included a recipe for a Madras-style curry powder at the bottom of the recipe anyway. I have a big collection of spices, but I realize not everyone does, so feel free to replace the Madras curry powder with any store-bought Indian curry powder. For the noodles you can use linguine (or spaghetti) or rice noodles.

Vegetarian Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup

I contacted Thai Kitchen via their Facebook page and asked about the type of salt they use in their products. Turns out they do not use iodized salt. This opens a world of possibilities for those on a low iodine diet. The Thai Kitchen red curry paste should not be hard to find. Look in the ethnic section of your grocery store. I actually bought a jar at Target.

TK Red Curry Paste

Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup with Vegetables

1/2 lb. linguine, cooked
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 – 3 tsp. Thai Kitchen red curry paste (to taste)
1 T. Madras curry powder (recipe follows)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
4 cups  vegetable or chicken stock (unsalted or homemade for LID)
3 tablespoons Umami Sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
4 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed and halved (you can use snow peas instead)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or use the mushrooms left over from making the Umami Sauce)
1/2 to 1 12 ounce (approximately) can baby corn, drained
1 cup fresh spinach, torn
Kosher salt, to taste
fresh cilantro leaves
unsalted peanuts, crushed
limes, cut into wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add shredded cabbage and cook until just tender. Add the red curry paste, curry powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant (about 40 seconds).  Whisk in coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, add Umami Sauce and sugar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Stir in sugar snap peas, mushrooms, and baby corn and simmer until all the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt. Stir in torn spinach and take off the heat.

Divide noodles in soup bowls, ladle soup into bowls, and top with fresh cilantro leaves and crushed unsalted peanuts.  Serve with a wedge of lime.

Curry Powder

Quick and Easy Salt-Free Madras Curry Powder

3 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all of the spices and store in a glass Mason jar.


Curried Lentils with Chickpeas and Okra

Curried Lentils with Chickpeas and Okra

This is a quick and easy meal that is perfect for weeknights. It’s spicy, vegan, and packed with protein and fiber. It’s also appropriate for LID (low iodine diet), which I will have to go back on in March to prepare for a nuclear whole body scan.

Curried Lentils with Chickpeas and Okra

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, quartered and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup okra, sliced (fresh or frozen)
1 14.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Madras)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
3 cups water
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender. Add the garlic and jalapenos and cook another minute. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. You may have to add a little more water if the mixture gets too dry. When the lentils are tender, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with hot rice.

 


Crockpot Butter Chicken and Potatoes

Crockpot Butter Chicken and Potatoes (640x480)

The past two months have been crazy-busy. Both of my sons are now in school. Their schools are in opposite parts of the city. I’m spending 4 to 6 hours a day in the car shuttling them around to school and appointments. Throw in there an emergency surgery for my cat, a dead air conditioner that required a complete system replacement, a ruptured eardrum, a variety of back-to-school colds, car problems, soccer practice and games, art workshops, and PTO meetings (I volunteered to be the Secretary for my oldest son’s school’s PTSO). Life has been hectic!

In hectic times, the crockpot comes in so handy. Butter Chicken is a popular Indian dish not usually done in a crockpot. The crockpot is a perfect cooking implement for this dish because the chicken turns out so tender. The addition of potatoes is not necessarily traditional, but it is delicious and gives more substance to the dish. This recipe makes enough for leftovers, which taste even better since the spices have had time to meld.

This recipe uses a lot of spices. I mix my own garam masala and curry powder. I have included the recipes for my spice mixes. You can buy already prepared Indian spice mixtures at some grocery stores or online at http://www.penzeys.com.

Butter Chicken and Potatoes (640x480)

 

Crockpot Butter Chicken and Potatoes

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 breasts), cut into bite-sized chunks
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
1 tablespoon curry powder (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon garam masala (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
4 tablespoons butter
fresh cilantro, chopped

Cooked Basmati rice

Layer the onions, chicken, and potatoes in the crockpot. In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, Thai curry paste, spices, tomato paste, coconut milk, and cream. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes. Add the butter to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with Basmati rice. Naan bread would be wonderful with this too.

Recipe adapted from the one found here.

Curry Powder

2 T. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cayenne
1 tsp. ground ginger

Mix spices together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Garam Masala

2 tsp. ground cumin
4 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Combine spices. Store in glass jar.


Curried Collard Greens and Beans

I’m making Indian food for Thanksgiving this year. I hate turkey and am happy I don’t have to deal with it.  Hoping our guests enjoy the non-traditional meal.

This is the menu I made:

Coconut Shrimp Curry
Gobhi Musallam (whole roasted cauliflower)
Chana Aloo (chickpeas and potatoes)
Masoor Masala (spicy lentils with spinach)
Curried Collard Greens and Beans
Basmati rice
Samosas (store-bought)
Tamarind Chutney
Cilantro Chutney
Naan bread (plain and garlic, store-bought)
Chai-Spiced Bundt Cake

Tea, Westbrook Brewing Co.’s White Thai beer, and an assortment of wine

Here is a picture of the savory dishes:

Indian Thanksgiving Meal

Originally, I had not planned on making the curried collard greens and kidney beans dish. I had a bunch of collard greens that I got in my CSA box and wanted to use them. I thought I would make the curried collard greens and beans the day before and reheat them. The flavors will have had time to meld and they should be delicious. I think they were yummy.

Curried Collard Greens and Beans

Curried Collard Greens and Beans

1 large bunch collard greens, cleaned well, tough stems removed, and chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 serrano, seeded and minced
1 15.5 ounce can kidney beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the collard greens and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the greens.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until the they start to brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and serrano and sauté a minute more. Add the drained greens, drained kidney beans, and all the spices. Cook until the beans are heated through. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and serve.


Thai Green Curry with Eggplant

Thai Green Curry with Eggplant

I have been getting some beautiful eggplants in my Pinckney’s Produce CSA box the past couple of weeks. I love making Thai curries and eggplant is one of my favorite curry ingredients. Using canned Thai curry paste and canned coconut milk, this eggplant curry couldn’t be easier.

I keep a variety of Thai curry pastes and canned coconut milk in the pantry for quick meals. The Maesri curry pastes are so amazing and functional. There are many different flavors available. My favorites are the red curry, green curry, prik khing, and masaman varieties. You can find Maesri curry pastes at Asian markets. I have even seen them on amazon.com at triple the price (or more) than what they sell for at Asian markets. If you have never been in an Asian market, you should go. They are fascinating places with all kinds of ingredients you have never seen before at really good prices. I have left Asian markets with 6 bags of groceries that cost me less than $40. Many of the ingredients in this recipe are easily found at an Asian market, but may be harder to find at the grocery store. So, use this recipe as an excuse to explore an Asian market.

Here is a picture of the Maesri green curry paste:

Maesri Green Curry Paste

My favorite coconut milk is Chaokoh brand. Here’s a picture:

Chaokoh Coconut Milk

Thai Green Curry with Eggplant

.1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
.1 4 ounce can Maesri green curry (This amount will make a very hot curry. You may want to start with 1/4 or 1/2 of the can and then add more if you like. It’s easier to add heat than take it away.)
.1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk (shake the can before opening)
.1 large Italian eggplant (or 2 smaller ones), ends removed and cut into bite-size chunks (you can use any kind of eggplant, really)
.1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
.1 8 ounce can of bamboo shoots (sliced), rinsed and drained (you can also use fresh slice bamboo shoots that can be found in the produce section at Asian markets)
.1 tablespoon brown sugar (white sugar or coconut palm sugar is fine too) or to taste
.1 tablespoon of fish sauce (also found at an Asian market – my favorite brand is 3 Crabs, but other brands can sometimes be found in the Asian section at the grocery store) – leave this ingredient out to make this a vegetarian dish
.1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro)

In a wok (or skillet), over medium-high heat, heat the oil and then add the curry paste. Saute until fragrant and then stir in the coconut milk. Once combined, reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped eggplant, bell pepper, and bamboo shoots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender. Season the curry with the sugar and fish sauce. Add the chopped cilantro (and Thai basil, if using) and serve with rice.

Thai Green Curry with Eggplant 2


Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

From February 27, 2006:  I made this for dinner last night.  The whole thing comes together fairly quickly once all the ingredients are assembled.   I really liked how the basmati rice soaked up the spicy sauce.  Next time I make this, I’ll decrease the amount of red bell pepper by at least half.  I think I will also add some spinach to the sauce.

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

1  teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
2  teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1  cup chopped green onions
1  teaspoon curry powder
2  teaspoons red curry paste
1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
4  teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1  tablespoon brown sugar
1/2  teaspoon salt, divided
1  (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4  (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
hot cooked basmati rice
4  lime wedges

Preheat broiler.
Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add pepper and onions; cook 1 minute. Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Brush fish with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges.

Recipe sourceCooking Light, September 2002