The not-so-secret ingredient in this curry is Thai Basil. I bought Thai basil this summer at a local nursery. The first time I cooked with it resulted in an aha! moment, as in "aha, that's how the Thai restaurant dishes get that distinct flavor". If you don't have access to it, just skip it in this recipe, or replace with other herbs like scallions, cilantro or mint.
I did not use any particular recipe for this one. It is just my version of rich sweet-spicy-salty-tangy curries that I have enjoyed in Thai restaurants. Here's how I made it; adjust the quantities to match your own flavor preferences.
1 cup thick coconut milk (I use Chaokoh brand)
¾ cup natural peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 heaped tbsp. red Thai curry paste (I like Maesri brand)
1 tbsp. tamarind pulp
small lump of palm sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Microwave the sauce in 30 second bursts, stirring, until everything dissolves into a thick sauce.
2. Heat a bit of oil and saute 5-6 cups of diced vegetables. I used onion, broccoli, carrot, peas and spinach today. Add some soy sauce to taste and a little water and let the vegetables cook until barely tender.
3. Add the sauce, simmer for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add a large handful of chopped Thai basil.
I served the curry with steamed rice and broiled tofu for a very satisfying winter meal.
*** *** *** Canine Update *** *** ***Leena, since you asked for an update on Dale, here's a very recent picture-
I took this picture right after he woke up from a long nap, cuddled on his blankie. Dale is never as animated as when he is napping. He has these long and frequent REM episodes when he is woofing, growling and squeaking, all while cycling his legs through the air. Dale awake is an anxious and neurotic beast but Dale asleep is a lion who rules the world. If you have ever seen a dog dreaming, you know how amusing it can be. Except in the middle of the night and the dog's dreams wake you up from YOUR deep sleep, which is every single night in our home...sigh.
P. S. I'm obsessed with making fruitcake once during this 40 recipe marathon. Poor fruitcake has such a sullied reputation in this country but I truly love eating it. Does anyone have a tried and tested recipe that they recommend? Thanks much!