The monsoons are in full swing this year. Sparing no one from its fury. The thunderous roar, the relentless rain, the flashes of lightning all add more magic to this uber cool city of dreams. I love rains.
The rains makes me dream, makes me romantic, makes me stand in my balcony for longer than usual, makes me stare out of the window more times than necessary, makes me watch the sky, makes me put my hand out in the falling rain, makes me drink at least 3-4 cups of hot masala chai a day, makes me crave for something spicy and deep fried…sigh!
The rain, along with the niceties, also makes me dry the laundry using a hair dryer – sometimes, makes me broom the excessive water from our balcony like.. several times, makes me fight unwanted flies, makes me yell to leave dirty, muddy shoes outside, makes me squirm coz my entire house and my entire being is moist and sticky. Oh! I could go on about the monsoons.
But, now is not the time, a hot spicy amazing curry awaits its turn.
Coming your way – Mushroom Basil Thai red curry. Oh! just remembering those incredible spices makes my mouth water. This coconut based curry, flavored with lemon grass and basil is on my most fav lists. Yea, you read it right.. I have LISTS(many) of my favorite things in the world… What do I say? I am easy to please.
I had a box full of mushrooms in the refrigerator and some divine basil desperately waiting to be picked up.
So here is some mushroom basil magic with my camera:
Like said before, I am in love with Basil. My fav herb. See? Another favorite. The husband has to disagree with me, law of nature. He doesn’t care much for the gorgeous aromatic herb. But, I use it generously in my bowl and for others, just a slightest addition to the right plate brings a unique taste like no other.
Fiery red curry, with strong aromatic components is to die for. The flavors all complex and jumbled is a treat to eat on a rainy day. Complementing traditional thai jasmine rice or noodles, it serves as an excellent stew. You can add any assortment of vegetables and cheese(read: cottage or tofu). If you have red curry paste already made in your freezer, then its a matter of 15 minutes to dish up this delightful complex composition.
There is a lot going on with Thai cuisine. They add a host of different varied components, all coming together harmoniously for a fabulous finish. They use strong aromatic individual flavors of kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, thai lemon basil which are not easily available else where. Most Thai dishes use fish sauce and shrimp paste, even in their vegetarian dishes.
But here I have an Indianised version of the famous red curry, made with local easily available ingredients but the taste as close to the original. This vegetarian red curry has grounded red chilies and spices, along with aromatic herbs, tossed in with assorted veggies in a milky coconut gravy, garnished with loads of fresh greens like basil.
Without much ado, lets start:
- 5-7 tbsp Red Curry Paste or according to your level of heat
- 1 cup of button mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 cup assorted diced and parboiled veggies like carrot, cauliflower etc
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup diced bell peppers
- 1.5 – 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tbsp cornflour , mixed in water
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 15 basil leaves, chopped/torn
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
Mix the cornflour and coconut milk.
Heat oil in a pot, throw in onions, bell peppers. Once almost done, add mushrooms. After about a minute of sauteing, add the red curry paste and fry for a few minutes.
Add the coconut milk, salt, soya sauce, basil leaves(save some for garnishing) and all the vegetables. Simmer till veggies are nicely done. The consistency of the curry is usually not very thin to not thick at all. So, depending on your like, thicken it with cornflour or leave it little runny.
Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles.
I made brown rice, which tasted excellent with this hot saucy curry.
We like our food hot n spicy. So I added a generous amount of red curry paste. Needless to say, we were left with runny noses, but still enjoyed every mouthful.
Hot tip: You can add any vegetable or meat of your choice. Try some paneer or tofu, its the most heavenly combo of screaming red curry and cool placid paneer. Yumm! I didn’t have any today, else it would be the first thing to go into this lovely curry.
The red paste was made by my dear friend Sonal. We have an undefined agreement between the two of us. When ever any of us makes the paste, we send over some to the other. Sonal adds just the right amount of lemongrass and red chilies in the grounded compound, making it perfect for me to use. Hence, I rarely make it now, and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s toil… yay! Lucky me. Jokes apart, Thank you dear friend. And yep, keep making those fabulous Thai dinners and keep the treats coming.