10 October 2009
Curry, At Last!
I said I was determined to make that oh-so-delicious curry of which I am so fond, and I finally just did it. Despite half a leftover pizza tempting me to skip the effort of actually cooking, I resisted laziness and put my chef's knife and chopping skills to work. I've said before that this was a Thai-inspired dish, which is not quite true, according to the original recipe's author; it's technically "Vietnamese style," as in Vietnamese Style Vegetarian Curry Soup. So I apologize for that slip-up, and meant no harm by it. I blame it on a good friend of mine, who, upon tasting my first attempt at the dish, proclaimed that he loved it and Thai food in general and continued to insist this dish was Thai whenever I made it. This curry, nonetheless, is close to my heart, because it is the first thing I cooked intentionally vegan, specifically for my vegan acquaintance. And the resulting friendship not only forced me to find things to accommodate my friend's dietary needs, but also inspired me to explore veganism for myself, about which, as you might have guessed, I am now quite enthusiastic and fully embrace. In a sense, a single successful vegan dinner sparked a deeper understanding of veganism, huge lifestyle change, and a very interesting and dear friendship, all for which I am very thankful.As for the curry itself, I always begin with only half of the liquid called for in the original recipe, because I prefer a stew over a very chunky soup. I hardly ever cook anything the same way more than once, and this stew is no exception. This time around, deviations from the recipe included baked tofu, vegetable broth replacing any water, Thai curry paste, shoyu, sweet potato (of course), green onion, red bell pepper, coconut cream, lime zest, and Thai chili peppers--you could probably figure out what these substituted when you take a look at the recipe. I always halve the recipe as well, because a few hundred miles prevents me from passing leftovers onto that friend who first loved this curry. I admit, it's difficult to resist this sweet-savory-spicy concoction, whatever its origin.