Our first cooking demo in our fall series featured my version of a Thai curry. I call it “Thai Curry Anything” because I like to think more about the method than the recipe. By “method”, I mean I think more about the general proportions and types of ingredients rather than specific ones. So instead of calling for 2 cups of chicken, I call for 2 cups of protein. This approach is much more open and adaptable, enabling the cook to be more imaginative and work with what’s at hand. That in itself saves time and money by using ingredients that are already in the refrigerator, rather than letting those rot while running out to the store for something specific.
Thai Curry Anything
by Audrey Hindes
2 cups cooked protein of choice, or 1lb uncooked, cut into bite-sized pieces
3-4 cups chopped mixed vegetables (bell peppers, onions, or whatever you like or have)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 can coconut milk (not refrigerated coconut milk in carton)
A bit of cooking oil
Prepared Thai curry paste as desired (start with 1 teaspoon red, or 1 tablespoon yellow)
Cooked rice for serving
In a large pan on medium-high heat, add one tablespoon cooking oil. If using uncooked protein, add now and stir fry for just a minute or two. Add vegetables and cook for a minute or two. Add curry paste and cook for another minute. Shake coconut milk well before opening, then add to vegetables and curry, adding a half cup of water or more and stir well to distribute curry paste evenly. Simmer for a few minutes until heated through or until protein is thoroughly cooked.
Serve with cooked rice.
Did they like it? I had to stop them from licking the hot skillet…
Finally, what exactly do we mean when we say that this dish is cheap? Here’s the breakdown:
Rice, per 1 cup $0.64
Chickpeas, 2 cans $2.38
Coconut milk, 1 can $1.99
Curry paste, 1 T $0.07
Bell peppers $2.01
$8.12 total or $2.03 per person for 4 generous servings
Did you catch that? TWO dollars and three cents per serving. You can’t get that kind of sustenance at that price from the drive thru.