This curry is an adapted version from Nigella. It’s simple, it’s failsafe and it takes no time at all. The version I am offering is bursting with flavour and is also a low fat version. No compromise on flavour though.
All you need to start with is a good rounded teaspoon of green thai chilli paste and a generous dessert spoon of golden yellow turmeric (slight Nigella flutter of the eyelashes there). Put in the bottom of a saucepan with about 1tbsp of water and let it cook a little. Then add one small can of coconut milk – if you want the full fat version then put the whole can in, and cook the curry paste and turmeric in a little oil. Stir it round a bit and then add 3 tbsp fish sauce (mine is in a large bottle from the Kin Yip Chinese supermarket but you can also get smaller bottles in high street supermarkets). In case you are wondering, the fish sauce is fish stock made from shellfish and it has an intense flavour. Then add about 500ml boiling water.
Now, peel and chop half a butternut squash into 2.5cm squares (well to be honest I am never that precise!) and chop some french beans into three and drop into the curry stock. You are aiming to add sufficient vegetables to that they are just covered by the stock. I tend to use squash because it is so gorgeously orange and sweet, but you could use potatoes if you wish. Anyway. Bring this to the boil and simmer very gently – the squash takes about 20 minutes but potatoes might take a bit longer. Remember that you wont need extra salt because the fish sauce is the seasoning. Add one teaspoon of sugar at this stage.
5 minutes before the end, throw in about a cup of frozen peas and one large tomato (by which I mean a tomato like a Marmande), chopped into chunks. Cook for the final 5 minutes then take off the heat, squeeze in the juice of one lime and add a small handful of chopped coriander and finely sliced spring onion tops.
Sometimes I add prawns, and sometimes I add firm white fish 10 minutes before the end. Today I added tofu. Whatever you add, tofu or fish, dont go stirring too vigorously or you’ll break it up. If you are using frozen prawns make sure they are defrosted as frozen fish is about 30% water by my judgement – and you dont want to dilute that gorgeous curry/coconut sauce.
Serve with rice – or sometimes I just ladle it into a bowl and eat with a spoon as if it is Tom Yum (but without the noodles)…… thinking about it, you could put noodles in. Try it and see what you think. In the back door after work, and dinner in a dish in 25 minutes. What more could you ask?