Debbie Major takes squash, spinach and coconut milk to create a delicious hot Thai red curry
- 750g squash, such as crown prince or kabocha
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 400ml tin coconut milk
- 150ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 tbsp palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- 150g sugar snap peas
- 200g tin bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
- 50g baby leaf spinach
- 15g fresh basil leaves (Thai holy basil, if possible, available at most Thai shops)
- For the red curry paste
- 5 medium-hot red chillies, roughly chopped
- 4 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed and core roughly chopped
- 50g fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp Thai shrimp paste (from Sainsbury’s and Waitrose)
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1. For the red curry paste, put all the ingredients into a mini food processor with 1 tbsp water and blend to a smooth paste. 2. Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds and cut into 2cm thick, neat slices. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry gently for 2 minutes, stirring now and then, until it starts to smell aromatic and the oil starts to separate from the paste. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and kaffir lime leaves, if using, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- 3. Stir in the squash and ½ tsp salt, cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Carefully stir in the sugar snap peas, taking care not to break up the squash pieces, and simmer for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the bamboo shoots and spinach leaves, then simmer for 1 minute. Add the basil leaves and adjust the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and seasoning if necessary. It should taste chilli-hot, salty, sour and sweet. Serve with steamed basmati rice.
Per serving: 438kcals, 31.9g fat (16.8g saturated), 9.4g protein, 27.6g carbs (15.3g sugars), 1.7g salt, 6.6g fibre
Freeze the raw paste after step 1 in a small container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. Defrost at room temperature and continue from step 2.
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