Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Use what we have: Thai style vegetable curry with basmati rice & tofu.

Ziggy saw tofu on some PBS show, and then it came up in a book again. I used to eat a lot of it, prior to returning to eating meat in the the late 90s, and have made it off and on through the last decade, though in rarer instances the last few years we've been doing local meat CSAs and whole cow buys with friends. So somehow, Zig had never had the bean curd, and requested it. We purchased a block from Trader Joe's -- extra firm.

As we'd used the last of our white basmati rice, I replaced it with a brown version, and we had some lovely produce from the garden and from our CSA. I've been keeping coconut milk around for making dal, and I had the last of a jar of Thai curry paste, passed along from a friend when her family had to alter diet due to food sensitivity and allergies.

Simply: I sauteed onions, garlic and generous hunks of sweet pepper in olive oil. I added a handful of baby limas and snapped bush beans from the garden. Also a few chopped okra, and three juliet tomatoes cut in generous chunks. Then some of the itty bittiest potatoes I dug up the other night, halved or quartered, depending on size. (Note that the gigantic okra was way way way too tough to mess with. I'll harvest it all when it's small from now on, and not wait for there to be several at once!)

The brown basmati rice takes 40 minutes, and bubbled away in a small pot.

To the vegetables, I added a pinch or two of sea salt, then stirred in the curry paste and about a cup of coconut milk, and a quarter cup of water. Then I set the pot lid on and let it simmer on low for about 15 minutes while I sauteed up the tofu (drained and pressed) which I cubed and then cooked in a smidge of olive oil and coconut oil. I'd actually forgotten about the coconut oil to begin with, or would likely have used it alone! I added a generous sprinkle of sea salt to the tofu and just cooked it up 'til the outside was crisped and golden brown.

The resulting meal was lovely. I left the tofu out of the sauce thinking Ziggy might better enjoy it that way, serving a bed of rice with vegetable curry atop, then scattered with cubes of tofu. I had to depart for an evening meeting, so didn't have time to do more than a taste. Ziggy pushed the plate away-- and did NOT want his photo taken, of him or his food! -- but the Mister enjoyed it well.

And I have lunch made for today! I was kind of impressed with myself. No big shakes for a chef, but plenty tasty, and a home cook's delight. Tell me if you try it, or something akin! I'm sure to learn from what you do.

1 comment:

  1. Alrighty, MBH... tried it tonight with roughly the same garden stuff and just regular old brown rice. Delish-- and probably better with brown basmati like you did. And then! Looking through my new issue of VT after dinner I found a recipe for a very similar combination-- any veg + 1 can coconut milk, 2Tbsp red curry paste, plus... 2Tbsp brown sugar and 2Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce. VT also says to garnish with Thai basil. So, I'll try that next time! Thanks for the inspiration-- you have just received my longest comment ever! :)