Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Panang, Take That!

I'm obsessed with coconut milk, it's true. Ever since I've been making a conscious effort to reduce eating highly processed foods and having been enlightened as to the many benefits of coconut, I'm "coo-coo" for coconut. This in turn has created a frenzy in my pantry - half of one shelf is entirely dedicated to Thai pantry items, including fish sauce, coconut milk, straw mushrooms, tamarind paste, a variety of curry pastes and kaffir lime leaves in my freezer.

Last night, I made yet another one of Jet Tila's recipe from his recent stint at New School of Cooking - roti panang. This curry was served with paratha (an Indian bread) at the class, but last night I opted to pair it with fragrant, nutty brown rice. The beauty of curry is its flexibility, you can do anything with it really. I substituted bamboo shoots for straw mushrooms, added more onions and red bell pepper, and upped the amount of extra curry paste for kick. It was delish. The real key to raising your "curry" bar is cooking a few tablespoons of the coconut milk with the curry paste over medium-high heat. You're looking for the paste to melt together with the coconut milk and brown. This browning process brings out all of the flavor of the paste and will intensify your curry.

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