Coconut curry with brown jasmine rice blend
POSTED ON December 11, 2011
I made this meal for friends last week and enjoyed it for lunch for a couple of days afterwards. Many curries have a complex mixture of spices behind them, but not this one; instead it has a nice clean flavor and lovely delicate fragrance from the lemongrass. The curry is still warming and soothing and contains enough heat to clear your head, but not overwhelm your palate.
I like to make my own coconut milk because the flavor and texture are so much lighter than the canned versions. I use dried organic coconut because it’s easier to find than fresh organic coconuts in New York. If you have fresh available then by all means blend some up. If you want to use canned coconut milk, I would use one-third water, as it can be very rich and heavy.
The whole meal ended up with a great Thai flavor. If I had had Kefir lime leaves, I would have definitely added them, although on second thought, I didn’t miss them. I had some limes on hand to squeeze over each portion but at the last minute decided that it was perfect as is.
Since I wanted to make the curry a bit more special than an everyday meal, I sautéed some red peppers and stirred them in at the end, definitely not necessary but it added a lovely bust of color.
One last thing…you could make this with or with out the chickpeas or add any kind of cooked bean you have on hand. I have made a delicious version with French lentils too. Please don’t be put off by the length of this recipe, it really is quite easy to make and a sure crowd pleaser!
The jalapenos I used were not at all hot, so I decided to add some cayenne pepper. Make sure you taste your curry before adding the cayenne.
6 cups filtered water
3 cups dried coconut
2 stalks lemon grass, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or coconut butter
1 onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ inch piece ginger, minced
1 red jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 green jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small leek, sliced
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 red turnips, cut in ¾ inch wedges
4 cups kabocha squash, cut in ¾ inch pieces
3 small carrots, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (optional)
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
Large handful baby spinach leaves
Cayenne pepper to taste
To make coconut milk pour the water and coconut into a blender and blend on high speed for at least 2 minutes. You can do this in two batches if you have a smaller blender.
Place a strainer over a medium sized pot and line with a thin kitchen towel or nut milk bag. Pour the coconut milk into cloth or bag and gently squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Compost the pulp and place the pot over high heat. Add the lemon grass and bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer while you make the curry or for up to 30 minutes. Remove lemon grass with small strainer and discard. Set milk aside.
Warm coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add a pinch of salt, the garlic, ginger and jalapenos and cook for another couple of minutes. Finely slice the cilantro stems and add to the pot along with the leeks. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and set aside.Stir in turmeric then add the turnips, squash and carrots. Pour in homemade coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir, lower heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower raise heat to bring back to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and continue cooking for a few minutes. Slowly drizzle in arrowroot and gently stir until mixture thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper if you want it spicier.Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add peppers and a pinch of salt and sauté for a few minutes or until they begin to brown in parts. Remove from heat and add to the curry. Stir in cilantro leaves and spinach until wilted. Remove from heat and serve. Serves 6 to 8 people
Brown jasmine rice blend
If you like you can reduce the amount of jasmine rice and increase the red and wild rice. I just wanted it to be flecked with some color and contrasting textures. Pre-soaking wild rice is of course a great thing to do but it becomes very soft and open and doesn’t look as pretty.
1 ½ cups brown jasmine rice
1 tablespoon red rice
1 tablespoon wild rice
3 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking
3 bay leaves
Pinch sea salt
In a small pot with tight fitting lid, combine jasmine and red rice.
Cover with at least 2 inches of filtered water, cover and soak overnight.
Drain, rinse and drain again. Return to pot and add wild rice, water, bay leaves and salt. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and cook for 50 to 60 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 4 to 6 people