Did you know that my favorite food is Thai food? Because the weather in Thailand is hot, I often think of curry when the weather gets hot. I lived there long enough to really get it into my system. I've got Thai basil growing in my garden and it is just begging to be made into something delicious. My favorite use of Thai basil is in Squash Curry. You have just got to try it. And if you don't have any Thai basil, don't worry. It tastes fantastic without it.
Easy Butternut Squash Curry
By Barbara Frohne
1 can coconut milk
1 can water
1 - 3 tsp of Thai Kitchen green or red curry paste (I used 3 tsp. green paste and don't think it's too spicy) *
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 - 2 onions, peeled in large chucks
1/2 large red pepper (optional but adds nice taste and color)
1 - 2 cups frozen green peas (optional, but I miss them if I don't have any)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (important)
1 - 2 handfuls of leaves of Thai basil (optional)
1 - 2 tsp. salt to taste
Pour about half of the can of coconut milk into a soup pan on medium high. If part of the coconut milk is solid, use the solid half. Add 1 - 3 tsp of curry paste and stir until it is bubbly and smells really good. Add the onions and the squash, the remaining coconut milk and about a can full of water. Use the coconut milk can to measure. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the squash is tender. It might take around 20 minutes, depending on how big your chunks are. As soon as it is soft add any of the remaining ingredients that you have
*A note about the curry paste. Any Thai curry paste will do, but not all curry pastes are equal. I have tried quite a few. Most will do if you don't care about what is in the curry paste. Read the label. Many have shrimp or some other sea creature which I have no desire to eat. Some add MSG, but call it "spices." I was about to give up buying curry paste and just make my own. It isn't hard to make. But then I found the Thai Kitchen brand. It is vegan and gluten free and delicious! You can find it in heath minded stores such as Wild Oats, Whole Foods, and Huckleberries. My favorite is the green curry paste which has a few spices found in Indian foods. The red is very good too. I use the red in potato curries quite often.
**I really like Jasmine rice, but because of it's low nutrition content, I have switched to brown rice. My favorite is organic short brown rice. I really think that the organic rice tastes better, and the short brown rice cooks up tender and soft, easy to eat. It cooks up easily in a rice cooker.