Awhile ago I got a bunch of cookbooks from Freecycle (a service I use A LOT) and many of them were from Australia or Great Britain. It was very interesting, and not just because bell peppers were called capsicums and eggplants were called aubergines. It's also interesting to see how different cultures interpret other foreign foods. For example, we all know and love Taco Bell, but it is obviously not at all like the food actually served in Mexico. It is our Americanized fatty-ified interpretation of Mexican food.
So I decided to try this Thai curry from one of the books (Great Meals: Time To Cook). It's similar to the Thai food I make all the time, except something tasted very different. I'm not sure what it was, since I've used those spices before. I'm going to chalk it up to it being an Australian/UK interpretation of Thai food.
We liked this a lot and would make it again! I used dried herbs and spices instead of the fresh lemongrass and stuff, but still made the garlicky paste. Stir it fast or the garlic will burn!!
Great Meals: Time To Cook, Paragon Publishing, 2004
Potatoes are not highly regarded in Thai cooking because rice is the traditional staple food, but this dish is a tasty exception.
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 inch piece fresh gingerroot or galangal, finely chopped
1 lemongrass stem, finely chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
4 packed cups fresh young spinach leaves
1 small onion, thinly sliced into rings
Place the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and coriander seeds in a mortar and crush with a pestle to a smooth paste.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a preheated wok or large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the fresh garlic and spice paste and stir-fry over high heat for 30 seconds. Stir in the curry paste and turmeric, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Add the potatoes and stock. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender.
Stir in the spinach and simmer until the leaves have wilted.
Heat the remaining oil in a separate skillet. Add the onion and cook until crisp and golden brown. Place on top of the curry just before serving.
Yield: 4 servings