In our adventure to try new cuisines, tonight we made something from Malaysia. It has a lot of Indian flavors (curry powder, tamarind paste) and south Asian flavors (lemongrass, lime, coconut milk), and some new stuff that we picked up at Penzeys but have never tried before (galangal). The meal itself is very easy to throw together. We couldn't find Thai chilies so we used some Sriracha, and we couldn't find kaffir lime leaves, so we squirted it with some lime juice. I also used mostly dried spices versus fresh.
It's really odd at first, because it has a spicy, sour flavor but also this weird sweetness. But then you get used to it and it's good. It's certainly not a make-again, but it wasn't bad and we had fun trying it.
Mixed Vegetable Curry (Sayur Kari)
Cooking Light, March 2008
Combining Indonesian and Indian influences, this curry's distinctly Malaysian taste comes from the addition of galangal to build fragrant, balanced flavor. Use frozen kaffir lime leaves if fresh aren't available. Serve over long-grain rice.
1/2 cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh lemongrass (about 2 stalks)
2 tablespoons minced seeded red Thai chiles (about 2 chiles)
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh galangal
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1 cup (2-inch) cut green beans
1 cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
3/4 cup (1/2-inch-thick) diagonally cut slices carrot
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
18 fresh or frozen okra pods (about 8 ounces)
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved (about 4 ounces)
2 kaffir lime leaves, lightly crushed
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots and garlic to pan, and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add lemongrass, red Thai chiles, ginger, and galangal to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add curry powder to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add coconut milk and remaining ingredients to pan; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard lime leaves.
Yield: 4 servings