1. Remove stems and loose seed from dry chilies and soak in hot water for 20 minutes, until softened.
2. Chop the bottom 6 inches from the lemon grass stalks, discard remainder.
3. Drain the chilies, reserving a few tablespoons of the water.
4. In a blender, combine the chilies, lemon grass and all other curry paste ingredients and pulse until you get a paste consistency. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a bit of the reserved water until it becomes smoother.
5. Cook the rice per the package directions or using a rice cooker.
6. Chop eggplant and bell pepper into about 1-inch pieces. Trim or snap ends from green beans.
7. In a deep stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté eggplant, red pepper, green beans and 2 to 3 tablespoons of curry paste for 10 minutes, stirring often.
8. Reduce heat, add coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add basil and additional curry paste, if desired. Simmer for 5 minutes, add shrimp, and simmer for another 5 minutes, until shrimp are cooked and vegetables
are tender but not mushy. Serve hot over rice.
Thai-style curries are a great way to use whatever fresh summer vegetables you have around. The coconut milk has a rich flavor but is still pretty healthy. Homemade curry paste, like the one below, is quick to make and keeps for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator or can be frozen. This batch makes enough paste for about 3 to 4 meals, depending on how spicy you like your curry.
seasonal RECIPES for those who love to EAT
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
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17-20 Dried red chilies
4 tsp. Ground coriander
2 Lemongrass stalks
1 tsp. Ground pepper
4 tsp. Ginger root; minced
4 tsp. Lime zest
2 tbsp. Cilantro; chopped
6 tbsp. Shallot; minced
6 to 8 cloves Garlic
15 Serrano peppers
2 tsp. Shrimp paste or fish sauce
2 c. Uncooked rice
1 Red bell pepper
1 lb. Green beans
2 tbsp. Oil
2 tbsp. Curry paste
2 (15 oz.) cans Coconut milk
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp. Basil; chopped