THAI GREEN CURRY QUINOA

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I miss penning down my thoughts in this safe haven...It is utterly strange because I am never a good writer, I write in simple sentences, nothing fanciful, and I can express myself in Chinese actually. My negligence of this space for the past two months led me to realise that no matter how anxious I felt before writing the past posts, I miss the tranquility in the study room, trying to make sense in writing my encounters, all by myself, and swaying along with hiphop & jazzhop playlists on Youtube. 

So what have I been doing?

1. I took some time off to watch widely on Youtube/Netflix be it food, cartoon (Bojack Horseman) or fashion vlogs for inspiration

2. Practicing active listening from videos, and people around me

3. Getting geeky with veggieboy almost every weekend when we play Trine on PS4

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With all these stuff going on, the kitchen was still in a mess with Thai spices. *Sneeze sneeze* Lately, I'm hooked in Green Curry. I mean this green giant tastes as fierce as hulk when my friend Pear delivered one portion for me at work. Indulging this curry hand made by a Thai was a sheer bliss! Hence, I started reading up different versions of green curry and stocked up the fridge with tons of shallots, lemon grass, limes, ginger etc. Almost every weekend, the kitchen transformed into a laboratory. There were failures where, I dropped a few tears, and ended up with a blocked nose when the green curry paste written in some recipes were awfully spicy. 

So after four attempts over four weekends, poor veggieboy frowned at me when I cradled a bowl of green curry with glowing excitement in my eyes. 

"Try please...." I said. 

Being his ever supportive self, he took a mouthful of Green Curry Quinoa and nodded and pouted. 

AH, FINALLY!

So...I am going to share this recipe with a video this time! To minimise food waste, I managed to purchase Tom Yam mix pack at the local supermarket instead of buying the ingredients separately. It includes the essential ingredients (bird's eye chillis, shallots, limes, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass and coriander) which are sufficient to whip up a Thai dish for two to three servings. Additionally, I bought coriander and sweet basil leaves to complete the ingredient check list for the curry. This has saved me from scratching my head for a gazillion ideas to use up the spices.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least spicy to 10 being the most spicy, this green curry is rated at a comfortable 5. One tip to lessen the spice is to remove the chilli seeds from the bird eye's green chilli, add more coconut cream/milk and let it simmer longer.  

Well, if you are also starting to remove white rice or wheat from your diet, try quinoa (keen wah) as a substitute! Definitely a great source of protein, and high in fibre. In this recipe, I did not rinse the organic quinoa before boiling because I like the earthy, nutty flavour it integrates with the curry. Also, the unwashed quinoa will have a firmer texture which resembles grains. 

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Time: 35 minutes (including preparation)

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

Green Curry Paste

  • 5 shallots, diced
  • Juice of  ½  lime
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • ½ bulb garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 bird’s eye green chilli, sliced
  • 1 thumb size blue ginger, sliced 
  • 1 thumb size young ginger, sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, remove base, grate only the white part
  • ½  cup coriander (approximately 5 sprigs), remove the roots and chop them up

*Alternatively you can buy a Tom Yam Mix packet as I mentioned above, and look for the balance ingredients separately.

Green Curry

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • ¾ cup coconut cream
  • 6 glass prawns
  • 3 baby brinjal, sliced
  • 4 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup broccolini, chopped, separate stems and florets
  • 6 lime leaves, remove stalk and tear the leaves in pieces
  • A handful of sweet basil leaves

To serve

  • Lime wedge, coriander and sweet basil leaves

Directions

  • Pour quinoa and 2 cups of water into the sauce pot over medium heat. Stir for 1 minute to let water evaporate. Let it boil for 15 minutes, and remove foam-like coat on quinoa surface (saponins). This will remove the bitter flavour. Strain quinoa and set aside to cool.
  • In a food chopper/processor, add all green curry paste ingredients. Blend to a paste and set aside.
  • In the same sauce pot, add coconut oil over medium high heat, then add reserved green curry paste. Stir it swiftly for 30 seconds to release the spice fragrance. Slowly pour coconut cream and stir the paste constantly until it forms a fresh green mixture. 
  • Add mushrooms, eggplants, stems of broccolini into mixture. Stir to incorporate. Lower heat to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Add lime leaves, broccolini florets and prawns, scoop cooked ingredients over so that florets and prawns are cooking at the base. Let it simmer for 6 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle sweet basil leaves on green curry, and stir briefly for 10 seconds. Turn off heat immediately.
  • Portion quinoa into two to three plates, and top each portion with green curry, a lime wedge, coriander and sweet basil leaves. 

Enjoy!Xx

- Ally