AWBU – Finding My Tribe

AWBU

It’s a funny thing, when you think about it, being a guy and being invited into the world of Arkansas Women Bloggers.  But I am, and I did get the invitation.  I recently went to AWBU, Arkansas Women Bloggers University, their annual conference.  It was a humbling and (dare I say it) enchanting experience.  I’m going to wax philosophical about it for a bit, if you’ll bear with me, my dear readers.  It’s utterly bewildering and revelatory, to find my tribe.  It might sound odd that they’re a bunch of women bloggers, but it’s really not when you think about it.  They’re remarkable.  So smart.  So open-hearted and warm.  Accepting of me, despite the fact that I’m not a sister.  If you’re getting the idea that I admire this tribe of women a great deal then you’re paying attention.

Writing can be lonely.  Even if you’re writing about something as universal as the love of food, how it connects us, turns us into friends, family.  Food builds community.  But writing about food from the comfort of my living room can be lonely.  I’ve been so thankful that other bloggers have reached out to me, let me know that I’m not alone.  Loneliness can be a curse, especially for people like me.  Meeting friends who show that they really care, finding your tribe, well that has soothed my soul more than you can know.

If you look at the photo above you’ll see, in addition to a large number of Arkansas Women Bloggers, Stephanie Buckley, aka The Park Wife giving the opening remarks of the conference.  What she and others have built, this community of support and friendship, has frankly blown me away.

Food Photography

There’s really too much for me to adequately explain about everything that I learned, all the amazing people I met (or got to see again after far too long apart).  I won’t go over everything at the conference (other bloggers have done a much better job at that than I can, so I’ll leave that to them; if you’re interested in their experiences just google AWBU).  One of the really cool things I learned about on Foodie Friday, though, was a tutorial on more effective food photography from Heather Dissaro of Heather’s Dish.  The shot above was inspired by an experimental collaborative tutorial session that she let us all engage in.  The beauty of having someone share some of their tips, trying to help everyone there be a better blogger and a better food photographer is just another example of how awesome these women are.

Jacqueline Wolven

The photo above is from Jacqueline Wolven‘s session on branding yourself as a blogger.  The thing that blew me away about her session is the advice to really rock your brand, to represent your authentic self.  She’s kind of a rock star.  Seriously.  Have you read her article on Huffington Post?  No?  You should.  Speaking as a dude, she speaks to me too.

Dining with Debbie

This is Debbie Horton Arnold (yes, she’s originally a Horton, so I’m claiming her as family) of Dining with Debbie.  She is made of awesome.  Go and read her blog.  Every day.  Just do it.  It’ll be good for your soul.  Trust me.  (And if you’re ever lucky enough to get some of her homemade jelly you’ll be a very lucky person indeed)

Acorn Influence

It’s also the first time I ever got chocolate kisses from a social media influence marketing company.  Acorn Influence gave me chocolate!  Squee!  (Acorn was founded by Stephanie McCratic, of Evolved Mommy).  I’ll admit that my kids ate most of the chocolate.

Busvlogger and Me

So one of the other Arkansas dudes to be let into the fold is my brother from another mother, James, aka the Busvlogger on YouTube.  He’s a video blogger (vlogger to the rest of the world) rather than a blogger.  He gave an amazing presentation on video and YouTube and what it could mean for bloggers in the future (I also got to be a human tripod and hold his camera, much to the amusement of the audience, I’m sure).  Very inspiring.  If you’re not watching him go subscribe.  Now.  Do it.  I’ll wait.  Seriously.

Dinner at Tavola Trattoria

These are the amazing women myself and James got to eat dinner with one night.  It’s astounding, to find yourself sitting with these fearless storytellers, these vibrant and amazing women, so full of humor and acceptance and intelligence, and to feel a sense of recognition.  Identity.  Perhaps that’s aspirational, that feeling.  The main thing AWBU did for me was to make me want to be a better blogger.  A better friend.  A better person.  I looked around this table and for a while I kind of wanted to pinch myself (yes, I got to sit by Shannon Magsam of nwaMotherlode, and I sat across from Alison Chino!).  Was this real?  Did I get to do this?

I confess, I was worried.  I was worried that I’d feel out of place.  Or that I would experience rejection, or maybe some women would resent a man coming into what they’ve built for themselves.  But I got none of that.  At all.  Everywhere I turned all weekend I got acceptance and warmth and friendship.  And smiles.  And hugs.  It was awesome.

chicken coconut soup

Tom Kha Gai – A Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

chicken coconut soup

Dear readers, I confess that I’ve been feeling rather down lately.   What at first appeared to be perhaps allergies or a cold turned into a rather nasty sinus infection.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling run down and ragged, there’s absolutely nothing that will make me feel better than some Tom Kha Gai, a lovely, spicy and creamy Thai coconut chicken soup.

I’ve been exploring the idea of ‘umami’ lately (there’s going to be a future post about the subject).  One of the things that I love about umami flavors, such as chicken soup, is that it’s really the flavor of life.  Umami works really well in soups, because it’s essentially the amino acids dissolving into the liquid, giving that wonderful and delicious flavor and mouth feel.  There’s a richness on the tongue, and a nourishment of the body that you can feel with every spoonful swallowed.

Ingredients

So, to begin, you’ll need an array of slightly exotic ingredients, but most are not that altogether out of reach if you have access to a grocery store, or an Asian grocery store, or the internet (you ARE using the internet, aren’t you?).

For my tom kha gai I use coconut milk, ginger (frozen so it grates easier), galangal (a relative of ginger; I get mine from Penzeys Spices), that wonderful Chimayo chili powder (I used it in my grilled Tandoori chicken recipe), kaffir lime leaves, limes, mushrooms, red bell pepper, chicken stock, black pepper, sherry, garlic, vegetable oil and sesame oil.

Cook mushrooms and red pepper

First I saute some mushrooms and red bell peppers in vegetable oil and a little fresh cracked pepper.  This wakes up the flavor of the mushrooms and peppers, making them sweeter, and boosting that umami flavor from the mushrooms.

Adding kaffir lime leaves

Then I add kaffir lime leaves, grated ginger and garlic, and then stir for a bit.

Adding chile pepper

Then I add the zest of a lime (or two if you want that flavor stronger) the galangal and the chili powder.  Cook for a bit, then deglaze with a bit of sherry, scraping up the bits at the bottom.  More umami flavor.  The bottom of the pot is where the flavor lives anyway.  Remember that.

Adding coconut milk

Add the coconut milk and bring it to a rolling boil.  Once the coconut milk begins to ‘break’ you can add the chicken stock, a little at a time, along with the sesame oil  This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Simmer

Finally it’s ready to serve.  Add a little cilantro or basil for garnish and brighter fresh flavors.  Add the lime juice at this point.  The herbaceous flavors of the kaffir lime leaves will perfume the tom kha gai soup, while the creaminess of the coconut milk will temper the fire of the chili powder.

So why no chicken?  Simple answer is I was out.  If I’d had it I would have sliced some thin and added it to simmer in the coconut milk.

The ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • approximately 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 to 2 limes (juice and zest)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or whatever mixture of paprika and cayenne that you’re comfortable with)
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried galangal
  • 1/2 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Next time you’re feeling under the weather, try this.  Next to Vietnamese pho there are few things that will make me feel better than Tom Kha Gai.

Indian rasam recipe

Tomato Rasam – an Indian Vegetarian Spiced Soup

Indian rasam recipe

Rasam is a type of South Indian soup, well spiced, usually made with a base of either tamarind or tomato.  ‘Rasam’ itself means ‘juice,’ meaning that a large part of the umami flavor derives from the juice of the tamarind or tomato used in the soup, in addition to the spices.  This particular recipe for rasam uses tomato as the key ingredient.  In the future I will post a tamarind rasam recipe.

Tomato and red onion

The key to this dish is using tomato and red onion to their full effect, cooking them to bring out their sweet and rich flavors.

Toasting spices

In addition to the red onion and tomato, you also need an abundance of spices.  I used a whole dried chile, whole cinnamon (not cassia, but true cinnamon), bay leaf, whole cloves, ground mustard powder, coriander and cumin, as well as amchoor.

toasted spices

After the spices are dry toasted in your pot (the aroma will be enthralling), set them aside.  Toasting the spices is an essential step.  This wakes up the flavor of the spices.

Cooking tomato and onion

Next, dry fry the tomato and red onions in the same pot until they begin to brown.  Don’t burn them, but you want to get them pretty browned to develop the flavor.

Ginger and Garlic

Grate ginger and chop garlic.  It’s usually easier to grate the ginger if you freeze it.  When I do that I don’t even bother to peel it.

Adding ginger and garlic

Once the tomato and red onions are beginning to brown add the ginger and garlic and a little bit of oil.  Stir and cook for several minutes.

Adding the spices

Next, add the toasted spices, then mix well.

Pouring Vegetable Broth

Finally, pour in your favorite vegetable broth (yes, I used boxed veggie broth; it’s ok you can do that sort of thing sometimes).  Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer for about ten minutes.  Add salt and pepper and diced cilantro before serving the tomato rasam.

The ingredients:

  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 or 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a few cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground amchuur
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced cilantro

Tomato rasam makes a great starter dish for any Indian curry meal.   Don’t be afraid to try something new!

 

mint chutney

Cilantro Mint Chutney

mint chutney

Mint is a weed.  At least, it is in my backyard.  I love the idea of edible weeds, though.  Where I live cilantro really doesn’t do all that well.  It always ends up bolting long before I can get any appreciable amount.  Mint, however, is king in my backyard.  I’m rather averse to general lawn maintenance anyway, so it’s not a bad thing.  We have at least two large patches of mint growing wild in our backyard, plenty for making some Cilantro Mint Chutney.

backyard mint

There it is.  Glorious, cooling mint in all its wild and natural beauty.  Isn’t it lovely?  It’s great for making Morrocan Mint Tea, as well.

adding ginger, onions and garlic

For the chutney just add half a small white onion, grated frozen ginger and garlic to a food processor.

processing

Process until the onion is in little chunks.  You don’t want to make a paste, so be careful.  It’s best to do it in pulses until it’s just the right texture you’re going for.  I prefer mine a little on the chunkier rather than smoother side.

Adding mint and cilantro

Then add the cilantro and mint (about a cup each), a  little sugar, spices (cumin, ground mustard, a hint of nutmeg, a little salt and pepper), vinegar, lime juice, and a little olive oil and finally a jalapeno if you want to make it spicy.  That’s a totally optional step.

Process again until it’s chunky-smooth.  Pretty sure I made that up.

It goes really well with Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh mint (from your backyard if you have it!)
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated frozen ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (approximate) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)

The cooling effect of the Cilantro Mint Chutney is a nice counterpoint to the spiciness of Indian curries.

It’s easy!  Let me know what you think if you try making this.  As always, repin and follow!

tandoori chicken recipe

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken recipe

Tandoors, the big clay ovens that they use to cook Tandoori chicken in India, are awesome.  Unfortunately, they’re also pretty rare in the States, unless you build one yourself.  However, if you have a grill, it’s pretty easy to make a fairly decent and delicious Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

A few of the spices I use are a little more exotic, but not prohibitively so.  Make substitutions if you have to.

Tandoori spices

Like I mentioned in my last post, I was recently given some Chimayo Chile powder by my friend Mike.  I couldn’t resist using some to make this tandoori chicken.  It made the chicken spicy and a little sweet.

You’ll want to assemble your ingredients, including ginger, garlic and spices (ground amchoor, kala jeera, mustard powder, ground coriander, curry powder and finally chile powder, cayenne pepper or paprika, depending on how hot you want the spice mixture to be).

Fresh Tyson chicken

You’ll need chicken too.  I prefer drumsticks for tandoori chicken.  Chicken on the bone just tastes better.

Mixing tandoori spices

Mix the spices together.  You’ll want to add a little salt and pepper as well.

Tandoori spices

Then just add yogurt, lemon juice and the spice mixture to the chicken in a bowl.  Add diced garlic and grated ginger.

Yogurt spice marinade

Mix thoroughly.

Grilling the chicken

If you want it a little spicier you can add a diced jalapeno (I grilled some jalapeno for garnish) or you can sprinkle more chile powder on the chicken while it’s on the grill.  Marinate the meat for at least an hour.  You’ll want to leave the meat out, covered for at least 20 minutes to let it warm up to room temperature.   Grilling cold meat is just a bad idea, in general.   The yogurt mixture will make the meat tender and juicy.  Grill until the outside of the chicken is a crispy and browned (about 20 minutes).

The ingredients:

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Chimayo chile powder (or paprika or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kala jeera seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

It’s easy to make Grilled Tandoori Chicken.  Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make a delicious  Mint Cilantro Chutney to cut the heat.

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

My buddy Mike recently bought me some Chimayo Chile powder from Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico.  The Chimayo heirloom chile variety is sweeter and more earthy than most paprikas.  I couldn’t resist using its spicy earthiness in an easy Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower recipe.

Cauliflower is often overlooked as a vegetable side dish, but if treated right, can be transformed into something delicious.  Rather than frying the cauliflower florets, I opted for drizzling olive oil and coating them with an Indian spice mixture before grilling.

Chopped cauliflower

Garam masala, nutmeg, Chimayo chile, ground coriander and amchoor (sometimes spelled amchur; it’s essentially a dried green mango that’s ground into a fine powder, lending a tartness to any dish) add layers of spicy complexity to the cauliflower.  One of the main objections many people have to cauliflower is also one of its strengths.  While it may seem like a bland vegetable, that only allows it to more readily absorb flavors.

Spice equals flavor.

Grilling

After coating with the spice mixture I simply grilled the cauliflower over a medium high heat for about twenty minutes.  Be careful though.  The particular grill I was using had some flair-ups, which you want to avoid if possible.  It’s very easy to burn vegetables if you’re not careful.

And that’s it.  The magic of the Maillard reaction and twenty minutes later you have delicious Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower.  An option, if you want them a little less dry, is to spoon a spice mixture (just make twice as much) plus yogurt sauce on top of the cauliflower about halfway through.  A little salt and pepper and it’s complete.

The ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chimayo chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor
  • salt and pepper to taste

This makes a great Paleo side option, if you’re exploring that diet.  Let me know if you dig the recipe.  I love to hear from you.

muffin recipe

Easy Banana Nut Muffin Recipe

muffin recipe

Of course, it’s a cliche to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not true.  Most of the time I really only have time for one banana in the morning for breakfast.  This is a side effect of not being hungry in the morning, but being ravenous by the time lunch comes around.  Since bananas are my go-to snack item for a quick breakfast, there’s a near steady supply of bananas in my house.  Unfortunately, I’m also really picky about bananas.  Once they get past a certain ripeness, I just don’t care for them.  However, really really ripe bananas are the perfect ingredients for an easy Banana Nut Muffin Recipe.

dry ingredients

Like most muffins, we begin with dry ingredients, white flour, whole wheat flour, ground oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and ground walnuts and pecans.

bananas and cinnamon

Next we add ground cinnamon, the ripe bananas (being sure to mush them on the way out of the banana peel) and fresh grated nutmeg.

yogurt and eggs

One egg and some yogurt are mixed thoroughly.

mixed yogurt and eggs

Then we add melted butter, milk and homemade vanilla extract (easy to make, just put two vanilla beans in a small jar with some rum and wait about a month), and mix.

adding wet ingredients

Then we add the wet ingredients to the dry/ banana mixture.

muffin batter

And then mix thoroughly.  It should be somewhere between the texture of a cookie dough and pancake batter.

Filling muffin tins

Then it’s just a matter of scooping out the batter into buttered muffin tins.

With topping

Finally, a topping of raw oats and brown sugar are crumbled on top of the muffins before baking at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so.  Let them cool a little before eating.  You don’t want to burn your tongue.

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup ground mixed walnut and pecan pieces
  • 1 egg, cracked
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar and raw oats, mixed, for topping

The bananas and Greek yogurt give this banana nut muffin recipe a delightful moistness.  The spices add a layer of complexity to the flavors, and the brown sugar and oat topping make this muffin feel almost decadent.

Let me know if you try out this recipe, and how it went.

 

 

cake

Birthday Cake and Special Dinners- Celebrations of Life

cake

Monday was my birthday.  We’re not going to discuss how old I am now.  We’re just not.  But I was fortunate enough to actually get two birthday cakes that day.  The first one I received from my coworkers, who were kind enough to go to Rick’s Bakery here in Fayetteville (see guys, it’s on the blog!).  The second one was made by my wife, a wonderful and decadent dark chocolate cake with creamy chocolate frosting.

I love homemade cake.  I do.  But there’s also something about cake from boxed mixes that I love.  I think it probably reminds me of countless birthdays growing up, and how the taste of cake, even from a box, was somehow the taste of love.  Of celebration.  Of family.

Chocolate Cake

What is it about cake?  Is it some genetic impulse, a connection to our distant ancestry, gathering together as a community to share fruit in the jungle, the sweetness of ripe fruit somehow making it easy to forget the last few weeks or months of near starvation?  Every mouthful of something sweet and rich is a celebration of life when life is lived near starvation.  Life for humans in the Ice Age was a constant flirtation with total disaster (there’s even evidence that at one point humans were reduced to 1000 breeding pairs; think about that).

Japanese steak house

Or is it more general?  Does it go beyond cake?  I think it does.  In honor of birthdays in our family we have a tradition where the birthday person gets to choose where we go for a special celebratory dinner.  I chose to go to Shogun, a Japanese restaurant.  Isn’t that what family is, and community?  Coming together.  Breaking bread (or wooly mammoth, whatever).

All over the world, no matter where you go, people gather together, as families, to celebrate milestones, births, graduations, birthdays.  They even gather together to celebrate those who have passed.  And food is our constant companion, the thing we gather over.  I find this universality comforting.  We’re all the same, really.  Not so different, no matter what divides us, we can all find common ground and build community.

So the next time you have a birthday celebration think about that.  Yes, it’s your family celebrating, as you eat birthday cake.  But humanity is your family, too.  We should ALL celebrate.

(Next time I write something about cake I promise I’ll include a recipe)

mango salad recipe

Dragon Fruit Mango Salad

mango salad recipe

When I visited a local Asian market I found these remarkable fruits.  If you’re not familiar with them, they’re called dragon fruit, or pitaya.  As much as I love to eat local fruits and vegetables, I also have a real love for the exotic and unfamiliar.  I had to try some.  The best, most tastiest thing I came up with while experimenting with them was this dragon fruit mango salad.

It’s very minimal, but I think that’s where its charm lies.  There really is nothing quite like ripe fruit.  It’s the flavor of joy.  It makes your blood sing, with some half remembered song from millions of years ago, primates calling to other primates at their good fortune, starvation evaded again.  It’s very primal.

That’s also one of the reasons to eat fresh fruit, the primal nature of it.  There are profound health benefits available from eating dragon fruit (it has an amazing amount of vitamin C, a nontrivial amount of dietary fiber, and the seeds contain good fats).  Mango, in addition to having phenols with anti-cancer  and antioxidant properties, is also very high in iron and has vitamin E, which may have some quasi-aphrodisiac effects.

pitaya

So how does it taste?  Well, the first thing you really notice about dragon fruit is that there’s not much of a taste.  It’s a little bit like a vanilla custard kind of flavor, but much more subtle.  Basically it tastes like fruit. The flesh is white almost clear, with tons of little black seeds throughout the whole fruit.  But the texture of the seeds, the crunch factor, is an interesting contrast to the soft and almost buttery texture of the sweet flesh of the fruit.

Mango

Of course mango has a much stronger flavor, sweet but almost piney in a sense.  They work really well together, both in their similarities in texture and their differences.  The flavor contrast is quite appealing as well.

So this is probably the simplest recipe I’ve ever made.  You simply slice up the mango and the dragon fruit (don’t eat the skin/peel of either; yuck!) and mix in a bowl with the juice of half a lime.  In the future I’ll probably add some diced fresh mint and the zest of the lime, if I want a slightly more complex flavor.    Or I might just stick with minimalism.

The ingredients:

  • diced mango
  • diced dragon fruit
  • juice of half a lime

Eat more fruit.  Eat more green stuff.  Go for a walk.  Take care of yourself.  And follow me on Pinterest and repin all my recipes!  (It’ll make you feel good, promise!)

Thai Eggplant and Mushroom Curry

Thai Eggplant and Mushroom Vegetarian Curry Recipe

vegetarian curry

I recently visited an Asian grocery store.  I was quite inspired by the produce, particularly the kaffir lime leaves and Thai eggplants.  Thai eggplants are smaller than Western eggplants, and green instead of purple.  They’re just as delicious, though, and absorb the spicy goodness of a curry sauce quite well.  Kaffir lime leaves add a citrusy herbaceousness to any dish, but work particularly well in red curries, like this Thai eggplant and mushroom vegetarian curry recipe.

red curry paste

At the Asian grocery store they had an abundance of green curry pastes, red curry pastes and even Masaman curry paste, as well as plenty of different varieties of curry powders and other spices.  Of course, if you prefer, you can always make your own curry paste.  That’s always an option.

cooking onions and carrots

The first step is to dice some red onion and carrot, and cook them until in a pot over a medium high heat (with just a little bit of oil) until the onions begin to brown a little and turn translucent.  This will sweet the carrots and onions (the joys of the Maillard reaction).

kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms and Thai eggplants

Quarter the Thai eggplants and slice the mushrooms thin.  Then add to the pot with the red onions and carrots.

mushrooms

Cook until the mushrooms and Thai eggplant both brown a little.  This will take several minutes.  Continue stirring occasionally to maximize that browning action, and so nothing burns.

adding curry paste

Then add the red curry paste.  You might want to go easy.  I added about three tablespoons here,  and it was pretty much nuclear hot.  Don’t overdo it unless you’re a brave soul.

Adding coconut milk

Finally, add kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  You want to simmer it until the oils in the coconut milk begin to break.  This will change the texture and appearance.  Also, near the end add a little basil, if you have it.  The basil and kaffir lime leaves work together really well in this curry.

The ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, sliced thin
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced into slivers
  • 2 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 to 3 Thai eggplants
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (unless you like it hotter)
  • 3 or 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • a few basil leaves
  • 1 lime

Towards the end add the juice of one lime.  If you like this vegetarian curry recipe let me know.  You can always connect with me on Facebook.  Also, repin if you liked it!  Pinterest is awesome!

exploring global food and food culture