This is a recipe from Episode 3 of the 'How to eat alone' podcast with psychotherapist Helen Sproat. Coconut. Listen to the episode here.
Coconut curries are are never boring. You can pack a lot of different flavours into them, in fact I find it hard to replicate the same curry twice. Although it might seem like a bit of a faff to make an entire curry just for one as there are so many different ingredients involved, I do think it's worth it. You can also double the recipe for the curry paste and use the remaining amount for another time - when you're cooking for one it's often good to put the work in once so you have ingredients for the future. Here's a recipe for a warming, spicy vegetable coconut curry that Helen loves so much. It's definitely Thai inspired but is thoroughly inauthentic. Serve with rice and make sure you listen to Helen's 'dancing around the house alone' playlist whilst you're cooking it, which you can find here -
Time: 30 minutes
Faff Level: 5/10
Makes: Enough for one, but, depending on how hungry you are, there might be enough for leftovers lunch the next day.
Plant Based Diets: Yup, yup, yup this is totally vegan.
For the curry
200 g roughly chopped vegetables - choose whatever you like, but just make sure they add up to about 200 g.
200 g coconut milk (you can also use coconut cream to make this extra creamy)
For the curry paste - you can double this up and use the remaining paste to cook with another time.
Hand blender or blender
1 small chopped spring onion
1 finely chopped shallot
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1/2 stick of lemongrass, chopped
1/2 a thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
tsp miso paste (this replaces shrimp paste or fish sauce that would be used in non vegetarian recipes. if you don't have miso paste, you can use soy sauce or any other type of vegetarian fish sauce replacement, or if you do eat animals, use shrimp or fish sauce)
roughly chopped handful of coriander
2 limes - juice and zest from one, keep the other as a garnish and also for an extra squeeze of lime to serve.
Chillis - it is hard to explain how many chillis to use as everyone likes different heat levels. For this curry, I used 3 small chillis, two birdseye and one cayenne. I left the seeds in and chopped them finely. This makes for a spicy curry. To lower the spice level, perhaps use 2 small chillis, and de-seed them, as that's where they store all of their heat. If you do end up making a curry that is too spicy for your liking, add some sugar to the mix to tone it down. I also garnished my curry with a sprinkling of raw chillis for an extra kick.
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Throw in all the ingredients for the curry paste and blitz in a blender or hand blender until smooth
2. Heat oil in a shall saucepan and add in the blended curry paste. Fry on a medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle, probably for about 3 minutes.
3. Add in all the vegetables and coat in the curry paste for a further couple of minutes
4. Pour over coconut milk, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Whilst the curry is being cooking, boil 100 g rice.
6. Once rice is cooked, drain and serve hot with curry.
7. Garnish with extra coriander, lemon juice and zest, chillis and, to make it posh if you have it toasted desiccated coconut.
8. If you have any leftover, keep it for the next day. My favourite thing to do with leftover curry and rice is to put it in a tortilla wrap for lunch to make a curry and rice taco. Delicious!