Curry in a hurry

I sometimes forget how easy it is to put together a curry dish. All you really need is a can of coconut milk and some curry paste. Add some meat and/or veggies and voila, you've got dinner.

I had some cooked butternut squash and a random assortment of veggies piled up in the fridge, so that's what I will list in my recipe, but keep in mind, you could use nearly anything in here, just adjust cooking times accordingly. You want the vegetables to retain some texture and character, but you don't want them raw. I waited until nearly the last moment to add the green onions to ensure their flavor was very fresh and they were still crunchy.

I served this over quick barley, though you could use any grain. Whole wheat cous cous or brown rice would be particularly good here.

Springtime curry

1 tablespoon olive, peanut or canola oil (not extra virgin, please)
1 medium/large yellow onion, cut in a large dice
3 medium carrots
1.5 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (optional)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, sliced on the diagonal, dark green tops composted/discarded
1 can regular or light coconut milk
1/2 cup stock or broth (chicken or veggie)
2 tablespoons prepared green curry paste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
12 large shrimp (optional)

Heat a very large skillet and the oil over medium high heat until hot. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrot and butternut squash and sautee until vegetables are softened somewhat, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger (if you wish) and curry paste and sautee while stirring for 90 seconds until blended. Add coconut milk and broth and stir. Reduce heat slightly and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Bring heat back up to medium, add green onions and shrimp and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 4 minutes. Squeeze in lime juice, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top and serve over rice or another grain. Serves 4 (ish).

As I mentioned, use whatever you've got on hand. Diced potatoes would do well here, as would most root veggies. Halved cherry tomatoes added at the same as the green onion would brighten things up. You could switch it entirely in the summer using summer squashes, fresh spinich, green beans and the like. If you want more heat, add a diced fresh chile or some dried chili flakes. The possibilities are endless. The results will be yummy!

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