Friday, December 2, 2011

Curry and an NPR sex tape.

I have no idea what Panang means but it's a safe assumption that it's Thai for "really fucking good."

Panang Curry Paste (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
note- you only need 2 Tbsp of this for the curry, so freeze it and use it later. Win Win. 

2 dried chilies de arbol, stemmed
2 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed
2 fresh lemon grass stalks, only the bottom 4 inches. Peel the tough outer later and slice.
3 Tbsp roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp galangal- fresh is best, but jared is okay too.
6 keffir lime leaves- again, fresh is best, but jarred/frozen works too
1 large shallot- chopped
4 garlic cloves- chopped
2 serrano chilies- fresh or dried, chopped.
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper

-Place the dried chilies (including the serrano, if dried) in  bowl of hot water, let sit for 15 mins. Drain.
-Throw everything in a food processor. Process until a paste forms- it takes a while.
-Save 2 Tbsp for the curry, freeze the rest. Handy homemakers tips!-use an ice cube tray for handy cubes!

Panang Vegetable Curry (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large shallots- sliced
2 Tbsp Panang Curry Paste- see above
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 c canned, unsweetened, lite coconut milk
1 1/2 c (at least) vegetable broth
8 keffir lime leaves- fresh, frozen or jared.
2 dried chilies de arbol
1 4-lb Kabocha squash- seeded, peeled and cut unto 8 wedges (or 2 acorn squashes, peeled, seeded and quartered).
1 small head of cauliflower- cored and broken into small florets
1 lb carrots- peeled and diced on a diagonal
2 red bell peppers- cut into small squares
1 potato- chopped
1 zucchini- sliced
1/4 c tamarind concentrate (or 2 Tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 2 Tbsp water)
1/2 c thinly slices basil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 12 oz package firm tofu- drain, press for 15 minutes, marinate and then chop into cubes.
1/4 c chopped peanuts
Brown Rice

- Press the tofu for at least 15 minutes. Create the marinade of your choosing- I did soy sauce, tahini, ginger, garlic and siracha. Let sit for at least 1 hour.
-Heat oil in a heavy wide pot (very important!) over medium heat. Add shallots, curry paste and ginger. Stir until shallots soften. Add 1/3 c coconut milk, stir until browned, 4 mins. Add remaining coconut milk, 1 1/2 c vegetable stock, lime leaves and chilies. Stir to blend.
-Add squash, set on sides so that all pieces fit in a single layer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until squash is tender, 15-20 mins.
-Remove squash from pot, add throw the remaining vegetables in, return the squash to the pot, on top of the vegetables. Cook until tender, 10-15 mins. Take the squash out again, let rest on a plate.
-Stir in tamarind concentrate, half of the basil, lime juice and tofu. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 2 mins. Add more vege stock if too thick.
-Divide curry among bowls, top each with a wedge of squash.
- If you're feeling fancy (let's face it, you can't say no to fancy pants), sprinkle with basil and peanuts. Serve with rice.

This recipe was a little stressful, there are a lot of moving parts and I didn't have a ton of time to bring this masterpiece together.
In times like this, only one thing can calm me down, the dulcet tones of Ira Glass and This American Life
I can't explain it, listening to Mr. Glass automatically brings my heart rate down. I listen to it on the subway now.
I've been listening since I could comprehend language; hoping, scheming and praying that one day I'll have a story weird enough to be on that program.
Plus this allows me to plug the following awkward giggle.


  1. 1. I CANNOT believe that Ive never heard of Ira's sex tape before. Nor can I believe that no one else I know seems to have heard of it. I. Love. This.
    2. I freakin love curry.
    3. After I read this entry I was listening to... NPR? Public Radio of some kind anyways, and there was a big story about how Britain is really hurting for curry chefs. Which, as an American, made me laugh. But the story was way serious. So, if you decide you want to move to England? You could, apparently, get a job anywhere. As a curry chef! Awesome :)


  2. I'm so glad I got to share it with you. Someone emailed it to me and I was so shocked/laughed so hard I peed a little.
    Thanks for the heads up about the lack of chefs in Britain. If this theatre thing doesn't work out, I may have to cross the pond.
    And thanks for checking out the blog! Tell all your friends!