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Thai Panang Curry Vegetables: (version #1)

First added: 2013-01-23; Last edited: 2013-01-29

Michael's "Thai Panang Curry Vegetables".

Author: Michael A (GS&AS-E&AS).


Red curry is one of the most common of Thai curries, with many variations depending on the ingredients used, regional preferences, and method of preparation.  This is a variation of a red curry called panang curry, which lends itself well to a vegetarian version.  This version does not include fish sauce or meat, but for a more traditional preparation, replace salt with fish sauce, and add a meat of your choice (my favorite here is beef).  Also, there are no hard rules on proportions and consistency, so adjust seasoning ingredients to your taste.

Essential Supplies & Ingredients: 

 2 handfuls of buttercup or kabocha squash, diced into bite sized pieces
 1-2 handfuls each of green bell pepper, red bell pepper, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, diced into bite sized pieces (exact quantity is not crucial, use what you have, and adjust seasoning to taste)

 1 1/2 tbsp of red curry paste (I like Mae Ploy brand) 
 1/4 tsp ground cumin 
 1/4 tsp ground coriander 
 1/8 tsp (or small pinch) ground nutmeg 
 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
 1/2 of round piece of palm sugar (or around 1 tbsp of regular granulated sugar)
 1/2 can to 1 can of coconut milk 

 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (must not include anything else other than peanuts), or roasted and very finely ground peanuts
 2 kaffir lime leaves (can be purchased at a Thai grocery, or online)
 1 slightly compressed handful of Thai basil leaves

1) Dice all the vegetables into bite sized pieces and set aside.
2) Heat a pot over medium heat, and when heated, add around a 1-2 tbsp of oil and stir around for a few seconds. Add the red curry paste, and fry for around 30 sec to a min until explosively fragrant. Add a little bit of coconut milk and the cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and continue to fry for another minute until you form a very oily, red liquid. Do not skip this step, as frying the paste like this will help to meld flavors together in a flavorful oil layer and create the right consistency in the curry.
3) Throw in the rest of the coconut milk, and add an equal part of water. (I personally do not like super creamy curry, so I only use half can coconut milk and half water. If you like thicker curry, just use the whole can of coconut milk). Add the kaffir lime leaves, and bring to a boil for a few couple minutes.
4) Add the vegetables, salt, sugar, peanut butter to the curry. (The amount of vegetables to add depends on how soupy you like your curry. If you like it very soupy like I do, don't add as many vegetables, and cut down a bit on the other seasoning.) Continue to simmer until all the vegetables are cooked to your liking.
5) Lastly, add basil leaves and immediately take off from the heat. Taste to ensure seasoning is to your liking, and adjust as necessary.


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